December 16, 2013 | In: Negotiation

Why You Should Bring Assertiveness Skills to the Negotiation Table

“Speak up!” You may have had a friend utter the phrase after they discovered your reluctance to respond to a question or give your opinion. We live in a society that holds confidence and assertiveness as qualities that are necessary in order to advance. However, there are things that sap Apprehension can ruin your chances at career advancement. our ability to exercise these traits. Political correctness, societal norms, and the “need” to please everyone all work as antagonists against those “alpha” skills. It’s true that you need to possess humility and respect in order to negotiate, but it doesn’t mean you should sacrifice aggressiveness completely.

Aggression doesn’t have to mean screaming and shouting or raising your fists. You can pursue a goal and uphold your beliefs without the ‘attitude’. If you are looking to negotiate things like perks or pay, it’s essential that you maintain such a balance. Fortunately, it is a skill you can learn by means of assertiveness skills training. There’s no need to mute or put yourself on high volume- you can keep things under control with a little preparation.

Don’t Beg

Imagine you’re at the scene of a bank heist. Masked robbers who bear machine guns are holding both tellers and customers as hostages. They urge the cops to back off, or else casualties may ensue. The negotiator starts to speak with the robbers, but does so in a timid and pleading manner. Instead of reasoning with them, they beg them to “please stop and don’t hurt anyone.”

How do you think the robbers would respond? Would they give in? Most likely not. Likewise, if the negotiator threatened to harm them, his attempts to make them surrender would fall apart. For that negotiator to reach their hearts, he has to maintain a balance of calmness and firmness. The concept might seem like an oxymoron, but it is essential if the negotiator is to succeed.

In the negotiator’s case, a lack of assertion can yield tragic outcomes. In your case, a lack of assertion might yield missed opportunities. Sure, you might not suffer a tragedy over a lost project or position, but think about the professional and emotional effects that can happen. You might brush it off with an “oh well”, but realize that you might not get such a chance in the near future.

When Good Things Are Lost

With a lack of assertiveness skills training, a talented professional like yourself can lose out on your chance for advancement. When that happens, there’s a good chance you will feel frustration and regret. In fact, many people who could have had higher positions and responsibilities, forfeited these opportunities due to a lack of assertiveness.

Assertiveness skills training can help you approach all career endeavours with confidence.What Unassertive Employees have Lost

  • Perks (and benefits) – Some people envy their friends who have ‘paid-for’ spa treatments and training courses. However, some of these individuals could indeed have access to such perks if they were able to negotiate. Of course, every organization is different and not all perks are practical enough for the company to pay for.

  • Promotions – Within the hearts and minds of some of the meek individuals lies an overachiever. He or she wants a more challenging position or project, but they feel as if their boss would kill the idea. However, if the employee was assertive, the prospect would thrill their boss and convince them to give the individual the job.

  • Raises – One of the most nerve-wracking things for an employee to ask their employer is for a raise. The odds always seem against them. After all, it seems like their boss has three or four counter-arguments for every good reason the employee raises. Following an honest self-reflection, however, an employee should ask for a raise if they are confident in their performance. The individual might be surprised to know that the boss had plans for them, and a full plate kept him or her from asking! Unfortunately, many employers stick with the same salaries since they never ask for a raise.

  • Vacation time – There’s also the never-ending dilemma of asking for vacation time. Perhaps, an employer has been planning to trek through Europe or see the architecture of Dubai- a vacation that they deserve. They have been somewhat planning the trip with friends, but never made it official because they’re worried about their boss’s reaction. Like asking for a raise, if the employer has performed well, there is a good chance that they can embark on such a trip. However, many people miss out on potentially life-changing experiences due to a lack of assertiveness.

Grabbing the Horns Made Easier

The art of employee-to-boss negotiation can seem like a struggle, but it shouldn’t. Like a public speaker who practices before a speech, you can approach a boss with confidence and reasoning that makes your request a respectable one. Although there are numerous ways you can accomplish this, one of the first places to start should be a course that offers assertiveness skills training.

What You Can Expect to Learn with Assertiveness Skills Training

  • Fundamentals of Assertive Communication – By taking a course, you will learn what assertiveness entails and how you can apply it at work. This training addresses things like management of emotions and body language control.

  • Self-Esteem Building Tips – A lack of assertiveness often stems from internal struggles. Although a training course will not take the form of therapy, it can certainly feel therapeutic since you will learn how to handle anxiety, think positively, and make good first impressions.

  • Assertiveness as a Skill – It’s important to recognize that assertiveness is not merely a trait, but a skill. By enrolling in a training course, you will learn how to speak and act persuasively and disagree diplomatically. These skills are often learned by combining assertiveness training with negotiation skills training.

Don’t Let Aversion Be Your Downfall

In today’s marketplace, jobs are harder to find and harder to keep. A bad decision can cost you a job opportunity and a wrong move can cost you your job. For those with ambitions or requests, the prospect of losing favour with an employer can prevent them from even asking. That mentality destroys advancement. Even in the job interview phase, a lack of aversion causes people to accept all terms offered to them, even ones that could work against them. In fact, up to 49% of job-seekers fail to negotiate a deal when initially offered employment! However, with assertiveness skills training, you can avoid falling into that category and you can learn the skills that will help you approach your employer with confidence. Not only will your career feel more fulfilling, but the benefits of an assertive attitude will spill over into your personal life as well.

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