How to Negotiate Correctly - Alex Carter

Alex partners with A+E Networks to create an innovative and groundbreaking series of Empowerment & Negotiation Workshops.

Most people don’t negotiate correctly. There are many common mistakes that most of us make when we come to the table to negotiate. For many people, negotiating is not a natural process; it takes practice and can often be uncomfortable at first. However, it’s necessary for getting what we want and need. Alex Carter helps clients navigate through these situations and become comfortable negotiating and asking for more. Part of this process involves understanding common mistakes made during the negotiation process and how to avoid them so that we negotiate correctly.

The most important part of negotiating is understanding that it’s about steering, not winning. Carter tells us, “Something is always steering. You know, if it’s not going to be you, if you don’t stand up and say ‘Here’s where I see myself in my future,’ somebody else is going to decide that for you.” This isn’t to say that there needs to be domination in a negotiation: “When I bring my full self to the table, and I negotiate from a place of knowledge as to my needs and where I’m going, I can achieve those and create value for the person across the table.”

One pitfall is not knowing our own worth. We’re taught, especially as women, that we should feel grateful to be in the positions that we’re in. This can lead us to avoid asking for more or asking for what we’re worth. Starting with the knowledge that we should be asking for more will help steer these conversations. “When you claim your worth, the person on the other side gets somebody who is fully charged up, ready to go, and excited to be fully utilized at their job.” We do everyone a service when we come to the table ready to ask for what we’re worth.

Another common mistake is not building the relationship first before negotiating. Whoever we’re negotiating with is going to continue to be a part of our lives, whether it’s a superior, hiring manager, or even a family member. It helps the negotiation process to understand the other person and make them feel valued and respected.

Being comfortable with silence is vital for success at the negotiating table. Often we will cut in during periods of silence during a negotiation because we’re uncomfortable with it. When we do this, we close a window of opportunity for the other person. They may have been preparing to make an offer that was more than what we were expecting. Getting comfortable with waiting for the other party to respond is vital to negotiating effectively.

The most important trick for negotiating is asking for more. Asking for what we’re worth and asking for what we want communicates our value to the other party. Carter tells people that the most important thing is to keep asking for more.

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