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This chapter is from the book

Negotiating the Offer of Employment

Negotiation is a skill. And, like (almost) any skill, it can be learned.

That, in fact, is a key point with respect to offers of employment: learn to negotiate them effectively. Although you might not always need this skill, you will likely need it—at some point in time.

There are many resources that you can access as you work to develop your negotiation skills. Books, articles, and courses abound.

As always, choose wisely. Be a savvy consumer of training/development opportunities for yourself, just as you would be for your organization.

Here are a few key thoughts to start with:

  • Don’t assume that your current negotiation skills reflect your ultimate potential to negotiate. Be open to learning, and to growing…and you will!
  • Seek opportunities to negotiate in your day-to-day life. Although they might not initially appear to be relevant, doing this can provide valuable opportunities to enhance your negotiation skill set.
  • Be clear about distinguishing “needs” from “wants.” And, don’t wait until you enter the actual negotiations to do so. Each should be clearly identified and agreed upon, up front, with your clients.
  • Sometimes, seemingly small details can have a major impact on negotiations. Be aware to this possibility, and to the many ways in which this could manifest.
  • Cultural diversity can impact negotiations. It can even impact how negotiations are perceived, in an overarching sense. Organizational impact can have a similar impact. Remain ever-cognizant of these possibilities, and of how they might “show up.”
  • Remember that negotiation is about more than making statements…or posturing…or even bluffing. Rather, an important component of asking negotiation is asked questions. A question creates (or burn) a bridge…It can minimize (or escalate) the likelihood of a defensive response…It can show (or diminish) respect…It can appeal to (or thwart) “good natured” responses. Ask wisely. Listen carefully. And, reframe when necessary.
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