Blog: The Negotiation Edge

How To Effectively Negotiate A Raise

Bosses reward people they trust and who are effective. And when in doubt? They lean towards those they trust. Here’s how to achieve both.

Schedule a meeting with your boss. Tell her (or him) “I’m sure this is going to make me seem oblivious…(effective pause)…I want to make sure I’m doing the best for you I can be.”

(This, of course, is the technique of using tactical empathy to get you most quickly to where you want to go.)

Eric Barker tells us to think regarding “deep work” and “shallow work.” (Eric Barker’s book “ Barking Up The Wrong Tree” should be part of your success library. It’s outstanding.)

When the meeting begins, ask: “What’s the deep work you need me to do? What’s the work that when I do it, it most advances the company’s primary objectives?”

Make sure you summarize her/his answer. Get a “that’s right” out of her/him before you move on.

At this point, there’s a really good chance that the conversation will turn towards your boss guiding you to focus more and more of your time on deep work. You will be exactly where you want to be: on the path to success (if you do what you’re told).

You have to create the opportunity for this to happen. The “that’s right” response is always the breakthrough gateway to where you want to go. Like any negotiation, success is getting your counterpart to vocalize your solution (the art of letting the other side have your way). If it’s “their” idea, it’s got to be brilliant, right?

“How much do you want me focused on the deep work that really gets us to where we are going?”

This is a powerful “How?” question. People love to be asked, “how.” The beauty of this is it moves your boss to focus you on the work that will get you ahead.

Summarize to “that’s right” here. This response will give you a clear picture of your future if you actually listen to it.

After you get a clear idea of the deep work, you need to understand where the shallow work is. This is the drudgery that comes in daily.

“What’s the shallow work? What’s the work that comes in daily that really doesn’t do much for us other than take up my time?”

Let him or her answer fully here. Paraphrase it to make sure you’ve got it right.

“When the ‘shallow work’ conflicts with the ‘deep work,’ what do you want me to do?”

Summarize to “that’s right” here. Again, this response will give you a clear picture of your future if you actually listen to it.

If your bosses guidance, for some strange reason, has him or her focusing you on the shallow work, here’s the only way to get yourself out of that (if anything can): “Do you want me to fail you by not focusing on the ‘deep work’?

The point of this negotiation is to find out what’s really going on and where you stand. Then you come up with a roadmap for your success. Knowing is always better than wondering. You can’t come up with your best chance of success based on wondering.

What if you don’t like the feedback you get?

If that’s the case, what are your chances for promotion, raises, and success in this position? Or even with this company? How much time do you want to waste?

On the other hand, (and what is much more likely), your situation might only need 2mm shifts to move you ahead is great ways.

Your boss is human and quite possibly a little overwhelmed by what is an increasingly fast-moving world. Your help is sorting and organizing your efforts is most likely welcomed.

But the key here is taking your boss’s guidance to heart. There’s possibly going to be some comfort shift adjustments. That’s called growth!

Now to the issue of trust.

What are the components of trust? There are 2. Everyone asks themselves: #1 – “Will you look out for my best interests?” #2 – “Can I predict what you will do?”

Let’s go back to the guidance we were just seeking from the boss. Getting her or him to guide you onto to the deep work will by definition start you looking out for their best interests. And actually doing it will make you predictable.

Boom! You’re now scoring high on the top 2 criteria for promotions and raises.

If they don’t materialize, you’ve now built either a great case for to appeal or built a strong resume. Will every job/boss reward you when you deserve, even when you’ve gotten on the agreed path to success? No.

What you want is the best chance at success. It’s not if… it’s when you will need to move on from a job that doesn’t compensate you properly. They’re going to go the way of the dodo anyway (become extinct). In 10 years, nearly 50% of the Fortune 500 companies will be only a memory.

Set yourself up for your best chance of success! Then execute.

Good luck!

Negotiating Within The Negotiations

The Incident Commander (IC) is brand new. He has spent the last three years as a sergeant in the Property and Evidence section. He was promoted to sergeant four years prior and spent one year running a squad before being transferred to Property and Evidence. Two months ago he competed for and was ultimately promoted to lieutenant.

How to  Answer All Their Questions

Having an individual or a team of people ask you questions is an easily foreseeable part of negotiation. Knowing that negotiation is an information gathering endeavor, you need to be prepared to make sure you take every opportunity to make yourself smarter. Sometimes these moments are when questions are asked of you. They are trying to piece together the puzzle for themselves which is why they would ask the question in the first place. In these moments they are focused on something about you that directly relates to value-driven directives for them. No person will ever be able to articulate their entire thought pattern that caused them to arrive at a particular inquiry. Which means chances are what they asked you has holes in it. Where have you left yourself and your counterpart by answering?

The Best “1-2 Punch” In Negotiations

Even I had forgotten how effective this is.

The “late-night FM DJ” voice combined with “How am I supposed to accept that?”

I was just getting in some practice and was shocked when I got my way. I knew I had violated their “rules” and was technically asking for a refund after the deadline had expired.

Using The Power of Silence To Get More

Falling silent, also known as the effective pause, is a powerful tool to use during interpersonal communication. It is a skill in which you intentionally create a void in the dialogue, before or after saying something meaningful, to entice the other side to continue talking and perhaps expound on a point they were trying to make. It is arguably the most underutilized listening skill. Sometimes, even though it is in our best interest, we find it difficult just to shut up.

2 Key Ways To Make Your Counterpart The Problem Solver


We all know at this point, as quoted in Never Split the Difference, the key to negotiation is giving the other side the illusion of control. Turning your counterpart into the solver of problems is essential to making this happen for 2 reasons. First, we know that human nature tells us people feel in control when they are doing the talking. Second, buy-in is paramount to great execution. As a negotiator, your task is to with presenting moments for the other side to do some contemplating. Facilitate an interaction where they are considering things they feel the need to collaborate with you on directly, have to check with their team on, or both.

Protect Your Profit like Marcus Lemonis

3 Ways to Influence Behavior-1.jpg

Marcus Lemonis would have been a great hostage negotiator.

“I understand you guys have rights and remedies under the agreement to pursue whatever it is and I respect that. We will accept whatever the consequences are.”

How To Have More Joy This Holiday Season

What The Black Swan Group teaches is applicable to our daily lives, including family and friends this holiday season! Proactively tell people you care about what you’ve loved about them, even if it isn’t showing itself at the moment, and watch the great result.

Here’s a great story that recently shared with me. I realized it was a great example of the results from proactively nurturing “positives”.

Are You The Favorite or The Fool?

Two weeks ago I coached a client before an upcoming negotiation. His company had been engaged in a relationship with a prospect for over a year that was based on assumptions that were never tested. My client is a real estate developer. The prospect was a potential tenant. The potential tenant provided a Letter of Interest as well as personally expressing their interest in leasing from my client. My client assumed all was good and passed the potential tenants on to other divisions and departments within his company to finalize the lease contract. What he did not know at the time was that the potential tenant had tendered a counterfeit yes.

How To Overcome The Objection Every Time

How do you overcome the objection every time? Live by 2 rules:

  1. Treat every stated objection as a counter-offer in disguise – an implied agreement.
  2. The stated objection isn’t the real problem. It’s blocking for an emotional one.

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