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How to Get What You Want at Work By Strategic Negotiation

How to Get What You Want at Work By Strategic Negotiation

There are things at work that employees want to get and things that employees want to achieve at work, but they keep thinking that it is hard. However, there is something that employees can use to get the things that they want, and that is through strategic negotiation.

Negotiating is one of the things that people seriously don’t like. Whether it is a confrontation or mindset that they are people that don’t deserve to win, there are a lot of people who avoid any situations which require negotiation. However, strategic negotiation doesn’t have to be always like that.

Negotiation can be helpful to achieve the things that you want. Here are the things that you can do to utilize strategic negotiation in getting something at work successfully.

Always prepare everything you need for a negotiation and conduct research

When entering a negotiation without a proper plan, strategy and preparation can already conclude your defeat. Always prepare for the battle. Start with yourself. Ensure that you are apparent on the things that you want. Conducting research is important. It can be helpful to understand their needs, as well as their weaknesses and strengths. Ask for your manager or co-employees for some help and opinions.

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Take your time on asking for something and don’t rush

Instant approval for any request at work can tend to be lousy. Some managers do not enjoy negotiating and want to get done with it as soon as possible. It is understandable. However, it is important to take time on asking for something. It’s much better when you don’t rush things.

Build healthy relationship with others before the negotiation

Excellent negotiating results are just an outcome of a healthy relationship with the involved party. It is necessary to cultivate relationship ahead of time. For the same reason, it is important that you constantly look for opportunities that will grow your relationship with the management. There are cases that even before having any discussions, managers determine the outcome already.

Find the bargaining chip, not just someone’s weaknesses but your strengths

Instead of taking advantage of someone’s weaknesses, focus on taking extreme advantage of your strengths. It is essential to establish a firm foundation while negotiating. You can also demonstrate your expertise and knowledge about the things.

However, make sure that the skills that you’ll show will have a substantial impact on the thing or position that you need. It can determine a good result especially if the managers sees that you deserve it.

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You are already establishing your credibility at work. It is challenging playing catch-up while negotiating, so it is better to take the initiative and guide the process in the direction that will favor you.

Don’t focus too much on the results and make the other side uncomfortable

Employees who attain success in getting the things they want doesn’t usually show that they care about the result. However, it is their strategy to make the other side feel that it is okay to reject them, just as long as they tried.

Look for the best time to ask for what you want

Timing is everything, so it is important to pay attention to it. Timing is key in any negotiation. It is important to know what to ask, but you also need to be sensitive when to ask for it. There are times that you can go forward, and there also times that you need to wait.

It is best to look for the best time before pressing for the thing that you want. However, watch out of pushing things too hard, because it may pollute a long-term relationship with you boss.

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Put yourself into others’ shoes and go for a win-win situation

Throughout the negotiation, always try to determine things that are acceptable for the management. It can be a mixture of various things that aren’t necessarily everything that you wanted. It is important that you understand the management or your supervisor’s priorities, like how you also understand your priorities.

So it is better to think of the things that you would do if you were in their position. When constructing a negotiations or requests to your boss, it is okay to attempt in satisfying some of the company’s priorities but make sure that it doesn’t weaken your position.

Always be ready to give up some things in exchange for the things that you want. It is smart if you know your limits, and how far are you willing to go just to get the deal.

Stick to your principles and know your bottom line

As an individual and employee, you will have your set of values and principles that you don’t want to compromise. If you see that the negotiations will break some of those principles, then it can be something that you can throw away.

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Anticipate the end game and end the negotiation with a handshake

You can compare successful negotiation to a chess game. It requires different things like awareness, creativity, timing, and anticipation of your opponent’s next move. When using negotiation to get something from work, it is important to anticipate that your boss might have something up their sleeve to rebut and say no to your request. Your moves must be progressive so that you can expect the same from your boss.

While creating the plot of the strategy, it is important that you anticipate the end game. Also, you need to be ready for the outcome. After getting the job done, and getting what you want, it is appropriate to end the negotiation with a handshake.

Proper planning and an in-dept strategy are the key

As an employee, some requests and promotions seem too hard to attain. Negotiations can be helpful for employees to have an approval on the requests and promotions that they are aiming. With proper planning and an in-depth strategic negotiation, you can easily achieve it. The things listed above are the things that can help you get what you want at work.

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Harry Beckett

Full-time Freelance Writer

How to Get What You Want at Work By Strategic Negotiation

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Last Updated on April 23, 2019

How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

How to Set Stretch Goals and Keep Your Team Motivated

Stretch goals are a lot like physical fitness. When you adopt a physical sport such as running, continual practice leads to increased stamina, growth and progress.

While commitment to the sport improves performance, true growth happens when you are stretched beyond your comfort zone. I know this from personal experience.

For years, I was an avid runner. I ran with a variety of running groups in the Washington, D.C., area and in Columbus, Ohio, where I lived prior to moving to the nation’s capital in 2011.

While I was initially fearful about slacking off on my exercise habit when I moved to D.C., running enthusiasts in the area provided continual motivation, inspiring me to lace up my shoes day after day. Much to my surprise, many of the area’s running stores (including Pacers and Potomac River Running) boasted running groups that met in the mornings and evenings. So, it was relatively easy for a newcomer like me to connect with like-minded peers.

I was never a particularly fast runner, but I enjoyed the afterglow of the sport: being completely drained but feeling a sense of accomplishment; setting and reaching goals; buying and wearing out new tennis shoes. The sound of throngs of feet pounding the pavement in semi-unison is still enough to bring tears to my eyes. Yes, I sometimes tear up at the start of races.

Of all the groups I ran with, the Pacers Store group that met on Monday nights in Logan Circle boasted the fastest runners. I met up with the group week after week only to be the slowest runner. It was difficult to muster the courage to get up every week and meet the group knowing what was waiting for me: sweating and watching the backs of fellow runners.

Each time I joined the group, I was stretching myself without even realizing it. Instead of feeling like I was transitioning into a better running, for a long time I felt I was torturing myself.

Then something remarkable happened. I went for a run with a different set of runners and noticed my time had improved. I was running at a faster pace and doing so with ease. What was once uncomfortable for me I now handled with ease.

The reason I was becoming a better runner was because I was taking myself out of my comfort zone and challenging myself physically and mentally. This example illustrates the process of growth.

Fortunately, we can create situations that stretch us in our personal and professional lives.

What Is a Stretch Goal?

A stretch goal – as authors Sim B. Sitkin, C. Chet Miller and Kelly E. See detail an article “The Stretch Goal Paradox” in Harvard Business Review[1] – is something that is extremely difficult and novel. It is something that not everyone does, and it’s sometimes considered impossible.

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In general, you establish stretch goals by doing things that are difficult or temporarily challenging.

For instance, when I was first promoted to a senior communications management role, I knew I needed to beef up my relationships with media personalities. I set a goal to once a month book a day of media interviews in New York City – which is home to many media outlets, including SiriusXM radio, CNN, NBC News, HuffPost, VIBE.

This was a huge goal because it meant not only identifying the right people to meet with but convincing them to meet with me and my team. While I didn’t end up meeting the goal of doing a full day of media interviews in New York City, I met more people than I would have met had I not established the goal and instead stayed in the comfort of my D.C. office.

It is important to note that just because you establish a stretch goal doesn’t mean you’ll achieve the goal each time. However, the process of trying is guaranteed to provide some level of growth.

The Importance of Creating Stretch Goals

The beginning of the year is a perfect time to assess where you are excelling and where there is room for you to grow. I typically start the year by creating a yearlong strategic plan for myself.

I think about the things that are necessary to do and things that would be cool to do. I assess the people I should know and think through how to meet them. Then I ask myself if the goals are realistic and what would need to happen for me to achieve them.

Over time, I have learned that there are five things I can do to set stretch goals:

1. Get Outside of Your Head

If I exist within the confines of my imagination, I imperil my own growth and creativity.

If I examine my accomplishments and celebrate them in isolation of others’ accomplishments, my vantage point is limited.

I want to be comfortable with what I accomplish, but I also want to be motivated by watching others. In some respects, stretching is about expanding your network of friends, associates and mentors. These are the people who will propel or slow your growth and development.

Since two are better than one, I always value being able to share my progress with others, seek feedback and then map a plan for success.

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2. Focus on a Couple Areas at a Time

When setting goals, it is important to focus on a couple of areas at a time. Most of us are only able to focus on a few things at a time, and if you feel you are unable to tackle all that is before you, you may simply disengage.

I see this in so many areas of life:

When people get in debt, if they believe the debt is insurmountable, they refuse to look at incoming bills for fear of facing down the debt. Unfortunately, many businesses go awry when setting stretch goals.

In “The Stretch Goal Paradox,” Sitkin, Miller and See note:

“Our research suggests that though the use of stretch goals is quite common, successful use is not. And many executives set far too many stretch goals. In the past five years, for example, Tesla failed to meet more than 20 of founder Elon Musk’s ambitious projections and missed half of them by nearly a year, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

Goal-setting is like a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t all need to happen at the same time, and pacing is extremely important if you want to get to the finish line. It is better to focus on a couple goals at a time, master them and then move on to the next thing.

3. Set Aside Time Each Year to Focus on Goal-Setting

When I was a managing director for communications for the Advancement Project, I spent the first part of every year facilitating a communications planning meeting.

The planning meeting began with the team members assessing the goals the team had established in the preceding year, and whether those goals were realistic or not. If we failed to meet certain goals, we broke down why that happened. From there, we brainstormed about possibilities for the current year.

For instance, one year we set a goal of pitching and getting 24 opinion essays published. This was audacious because no one on the eight-person team had the luxury of focusing exclusively on editing and pitching opinion essays to publications around the world. We would need to focus on pitching in between the rest of our work.

We hit this goal within the first eight months of the year. Remarkably, in total, we ended up getting 40 opinion essays published that year, which was an indication that our original goal was too low. We upped the goal to 41 the next year, and amazingly, we hit 42 published opinion essays or guest columns.

From this experience, we not only learned what was feasible, we also learned the power of focus.

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When we focused as a team on getting the commentary on our issues out in the public domain, we were successful. The key in all of this is that there was a ton of discussion around which goal we’d pursue and why.

Equally important, as a manager, I didn’t set the goals alone; the team members and I established the goals collaboratively. This ensured buy-in from each individual.

4. Use the S.M.A.R.T. Goal Model to Set Realistic Goals

S.M.A.R.T.

is a synonym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. For the sake of this article, the realistic portion of the acronym is most important.

While you want to set audacious goals, you want to ensure that they are realistic as well. No one is served by setting a goal that is impossible to accomplish.

Failing to meet goals can be demoralizing for teams, so it’s important to be sober-eyed about what is possible. Additionally, the purpose of setting goals is to advance and grow, not depress morale.

For instance, my team would have been discouraged had I begun the year asking it to pitch and place 40 opinion essays if we didn’t already have a track record of placing close to two dozen essays.

By using the S.M.A.R.T. formula, we were able to achieve all that we set out to do.

5. Break the Goal up into Small Digestible Parts

I am a recovering perfectionist. As a writer, being a perfectionist can be counterproductive because I can fail to start if I don’t see a clear pathway to victory.

The same is true with goal-setting. That’s why I join Lifehack’s fellow contributor Deb Knobelman, Ph.D., in noting that it is critically important to break goals into bite-sized chunks.

When I had a goal of doing daylong media meetings in New York City, I had to think through all the barriers to achieving that goal and all the steps required to meet the goal.

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One step was identifying which reporters, producers and hosts to engage. Another step was writing a pitch or meeting invitation that would capture their attention. Another step was thinking through the program areas I wanted to highlight and the new angles I could offer to different reporters.

Since reporters want to cover stories that no one else has written, I needed to come up with fresh angles for each of the reporters I was engaging. An additional step was thinking through who from my team I’d take with me to the various meetings.

I was clear that, as a talking head, as public relations reps are sometimes called, I needed the right spokesperson in order to land repeated meetings with different outlets.

A final step was thinking through what I needed to bring to each meeting and which reports, videos and testimonials would buttress our claims and be of interest to media figures.

As I walked through what was needed to bring my goal of doing daylong meetings to reality, I realized that not only was the idea within reach, but I was excited to tackle the challenge.

From that point until now, I have learned to break down goals into smaller parts and tackle the smaller parts on the path to knocking the goal out of the park.

The Bottom Line

These are my recommendations for setting stretch goals, and there are a ton of other resources to support you in the workplace and in your community.

For instance, LinkedIn’s Lynda.com platform has a wonderful suite of leadership development videos, including ones on establishing stretch goals. This is a paid resource but may be worth the investment if you lead a team or want to invest in tools for your own growth and development.

Featured photo credit: Avatar of user Isaac Smith Isaac Smith @isaacmsmith Isaac Smith via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Harvard Business Review: The Stretch Goal Paradox

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