We are nearing the end of the How to Negotiate in the Corporate World Series. Tune in to today’s episode to learn more about getting sponsors, stakeholder negotiations, negotiating your price, how to lead in today’s environment, and more. Know that as a woman, you don’t have to check all the boxes for a job description or salary raise. You just need to learn how to grow and build the right relationships. Join Rosie Zilinskas as she talks to leadership consultant, speaker, and the CEO of Highland Performance Solutions, Patricia Carl. Learn more about negotiation tactics, power phrases, and much more in this conversation. Also, get a sneak peek at her upcoming book about leadership and how leaders need to adjust their style today. Get a lot of useful information, so you can start negotiating your way to a more successful life.
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Negotiate Like You’re Negotiating For Somebody Else With Patricia Carl
How To Negotiate In The Corporate World Podcast Series – Episode 7 of 8We are in the How to Negotiate in the Corporate World Series home stretch. This is episode 7 of 8. We are going to be talking to Patty Carl. Patty’s going to be talking about a few key things. First, she mentions that negotiation is a bunch of withdrawals and deposits. We’re also going to be talking about the fact that you need to treat your negotiation as if you were negotiating for somebody else. One of the other things we’re going to talk about is that there are times when you don’t talk first and why. A little bit about Patty is she is an HR professional, a leadership consultant speaker and the CEO of Highland Performance Solutions, a woman-owned organizational consulting firm that works with leaders, teams and organizations to unlock potential and drive an organization’s performance. Patty and her firm help leaders create thriving, dynamic and engaging cultures where people feel valued and motivated to do their best work. Her thought leadership has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Harvard Business Review, ATD, Entrepreneur Magazine and more. She’s also in the process of writing a personalized leadership book. With that, stay tuned for Patty Carl. Before we get into the episode, I want to remind you that if you go on my website, NoWomanLeftBehind.com, there are some awesome resources on here. First of all, on the homepage, in the top right-hand corner, there is a Kickstart Your Career button and this is the Corporate Kickstart course. It’s about 45 minutes. If you don’t know where to start in your career, that’s a great course for you to start with. Next, there is a button that says I’m Ready For My Corner Office. If you are at the point where you want to talk to somebody or have a consultation with me, you can click on this and it’ll take you to my calendar. You will be able to answer a short questionnaire. You and I can talk for about 30 minutes about where you are versus where you want to be in your career. If you continue to scroll down on that same page, there is a section that says Let’s Find Out Where You Are In Your Career and there’s another button that says Take The Quiz. This is the Corporate Kickstart quiz. It’ll take you about ten minutes to take that quiz but it’ll give you some great information. If you scroll down on that main page, you will see some additional freebies that you can download like the Believe in Yourself, the three steps for women in corporate to stop being left behind. If you click on that Learn More button, you can download that one. There’s also the Conversation Starters Checklist. You can click on that Learn More button to download that one. Finally, The Productivity Strategies Workbook that you can figure out how to be more productive and you can download that one by going to Learn More. These are some awesome resources that I wanted to make you aware and now, we are going on to our episode.
—Patty, thank you so much for being here on the show. I appreciate your time. You and I spoke previously and had mentioned something to me that whenever you’re negotiating, you need to almost come to the negotiating table as if you were negotiating for somebody else. Can you elaborate a little bit more on why you think women should come to the negotiating from that respect? For a few reasons and some of them are big macro reasons. Women have been socialized to be less assertive and much less likely to be self-promoting or self-aggrandizing. That can sometimes get in the way of negotiation. One of the things that researchers have found is that if women are negotiating or advocating on behalf of someone else, they do a better job. Coming into that situation with the idea I might be creating a situation where the women behind me are going to be able to negotiate a lot more easily or if I’m coming into a negotiation, I’m talking about the work of my team instead of my work using we statements and not I. That makes me more comfortable, then that’s how a woman should approach the negotiation. Whatever puts her in her power when she’s walking into that situation is going to serve her well throughout that conversation. You said something key there in your answer. You said we versus I. If I am trying to get, whether it’s a salary increase or a promotion, I’m not going to say the word we. I have heard that it’s better to use the word we. When would you use we versus I? I would use we when I’m talking about my team’s accomplishments. If I’m going into a salary negotiation with my boss and I’m already working at a company and I’m going to ask for more money, I would probably start with we and talk about my team’s accomplishments or my functions accomplishments and what it is that we’ve been able to achieve. As I move into asking for the salary, I would switch to I and focus more on my contributions. The reason for that is it tends to be accepted better by women if we’re using we instead of I and not using a lot of I statements, which might seem self-aggrandizing, lacking humility or even aggressive. I wish things were different but the way that women have to negotiate must be different from the way that men do it if they want to be successful. We’re countering some pretty strong socialization forces that we’re coming up against. Being aware of that as you enter into those kinds of situations and discussions and adjusting accordingly is going to get you to the answer you want. I love that answer. This is the first time that we’re talking about using the word we versus I. It’s very critical and crucial. You’re a human resource professional and have been in that position for quite a long time so you’ve seen a lot. One of the things that we had talked about previously is that women don’t apply for jobs having all the skills and things like that and have seen men do apply for jobs having 50% of the skills. That’s part of how we are socialized and the reason why we’re doing this show and episodes so that we get that message out there to women. You had said also that influence skills are critical. Let’s talk a little bit about what you mean by that. As you rise within organizations, one of the most important things that you can do is develop your sphere of influence. That makes negotiations when you need to negotiate a whole lot simpler because you’ve already paved the way for those kinds of conversations and have built the relationships. The way that I think about building that sphere of influence is stakeholder management, thinking about, “Who in my orbit is important to my success and my team’s success?” That can be people who might sponsor my career, certainly my boss and other people that have a lot of interdependencies with my particular function, department or team so that I can begin to make deposits in those relationships in advance of when I’m coming for a withdrawal. In organizations, we always come for the withdrawal. We’re always going to be asking for something. It’s a much smoother road if you have set up that relationship ahead of time and are more amenable to, “She’s been so wonderful and made all of these deposits and helped my team. She’s asking for something and I am much more likely to want to help her.” Is that what you are referring to as a sponsor, someone that is there to help you, not necessarily your career but a mentor? What is the difference in your opinion between a mentor and a sponsor? You need both. You might need often more than one of those things. Sometimes they’re formal mentors that the organization sets up for you and sometimes they’re more informal and might be inside or outside your organization or you might have some in each camp. That person is the person you go to seek advice. They help you think through situations and get you exposure and visibility within organizations when you need them. If they have functional expertise, they can be enormously helpful as you’re developing your leadership of a function, for example. That’s a bit different than a sponsor. Sometimes a mentor can be a sponsor but often a sponsor is not a mentor. A sponsor is someone or some people that you have identified as having influence over your career. Somebody within the organization who has a lot of influence on others and when they speak people listen. Someone who thinks highly of you or is prone to think highly of you. Maybe you need to work on that relationship to build your reputation with them over time but they are a friendly person within the organization. Not only do they have the power to help influence your career trajectory but they also are vested in the relationship with you. Those are almost always informal. People don’t walk around saying, “That person’s my sponsor.” That’s not how it works but you know who they are. Those are relationships that you need to very carefully cultivate. You talked about deposits and withdrawals. I want to focus a little bit more on that because when you are building those relationships, you can’t just take but you have to give back. Can you think of a couple of examples of how we can illustrate that to our readers? There are a few things and I’ve had some great pieces of advice from others over the years. These are not all my own but they’re my collected wisdom. One thing is whenever you’re thinking of someone, send them a note. If you’re reading an article, for example, you think, “This would be helpful to Joe.” Send the article to Joe and say, “I was reading this and thinking of you.” You might not think of that as a deposit but it is because, 1) They’re flattered that you were thinking of them and, 2) The article might be worthwhile for them. It keeps you front and center so that they’re thinking of you more often and you want to stay in their consciousness. That’s one way to do it. That can be done inside organizations and certainly within whatever network you’re trying to build. That can be helpful. Also, when you’re inside an organization, it’s being intentional about meeting with your stakeholders, understanding what business problems are they trying to solve, what are they up against and what are their barriers and being curious and leaning into that curiosity about what they’re grappling with and how might you be able to help. Another stakeholder I was talking with is facing the same issue or has a lot of experience in and maybe you can connect people so that they can get the help that they need. Maybe there’s a big project and they need some folks to pitch in on a short-term basis. Maybe that’s something that you and your team can do in hopes that they’ll return that favor when the time comes. There are lots of little ways to do that. You don’t have to set up meetings with all of your stakeholders all the time. You could say, “Can I get five minutes?” if you’re virtual or not virtual, you could pop into their office to chat with them about something or even ask them for advice on something. That’s dicey. You have to be careful about how often you’re going to people to ask for advice on things because when you boil it down, the two components of leadership are warmth and competence. You want people to see you as competent but you also want them to see you as warm. That is especially true for women and the bar is higher for women in terms of warmth, friendliness and helpfulness. Being aware of how you’re showing up with other folks and helping them meet their needs will create some reciprocity. I like that. That all goes to managing your network inside work. I like the stakeholders as far as connecting people, especially if you’re in the office talking to a few people and hearing those two things. You’re like, “I heard that Joe needs help. Susie, you can help him.” That’s a brilliant way to connect with people, help them and do it. We’re there for business purposes in the corporate world but it’s also fun to be able to help people and do it from a place of serving and building a community within your organization. Navigating the organization is key. We talked about the stakeholders that influence and one of the things that we talked about is building a business case. If you’re trying to grow your team and add an individual to your team, that’s still part of negotiating because you’re going to have to build your case. How would you do something like that as far as building a case? Building and presenting business cases is negotiation. You’re taking a stance on a particular initiative, need or set of resources. You are negotiating with your CEO, the leadership team or your boss, whomever that is because resources are finite and institutional energy is finite. Anytime that you are trying to advance a particular initiative or project or get an additional headcount to help with those kinds of things, you are negotiating against everyone else who wants the same thing. Number one, back to that stakeholder management, when you bring a business case for something, that should not be the first time they’ve heard of it. You should be at all times bringing people along with you in your thinking about things over time, planting seeds with people and asking their perspective on it. I’ll use an HR example. I’m putting in an executive recruitment function within the HR team instead of using search firms, for example. That’s a big investment. You would spend some period, usually months, talking with people about what their needs are for executive recruitment, what challenges are they finding with search firms, how are they grappling with that, what would success look like for them, what would make it better and what would be an A-plus experience. Also, planting seeds about, “I’ve been thinking about this idea of an executive recruitment function. I’ve seen it at a few other organizations and it’s worked well. I’d like to explore it for this organization. I would love your input on that and what it would need to look like for that to be successful.” What you’ve done is they’re aware. They know what your plans are and have some time to chew on them but also, they’re part of it because you asked them for their perspective on it. They’re getting invested without even realizing that they’re proffering an opinion and telling you what success would look like so they’re starting to buy into it. By the time you get to present the big business case, there should be no surprises. My goal was always to walk into a room and no one was surprised by what I said because I’d already had the conversations with them. I was having this conversation with one of my executive coaching clients. I said, “I’m not telling you that this is efficient. I’m telling you it’s effective because it does take more time and effort but it can save you time later in terms of paving the way for the things that you want to do.” That’s pretty brilliant in the fact that you’re planting little seeds. You’re seeding your idea and, to your point, you’re having them opine and buy into the idea a little bit at a time. I like what you said that when you present something to somebody, it’s not the first time that they’re hearing it. For example, if you are trying to earn a raise in your current position, not necessarily a promotion but you blindside your boss and say, “Why didn’t I get this raise,” instead of six months prior to your annual review, “I want to talk about my compensation. Can we discuss it,” and then have a whole plan for that is pretty brilliant. You mentioned last time that sometimes when you’re negotiating, it’s best to not talk first. Let’s talk about that piece. Silence is golden. It’s important, first of all, to ask questions and get the other person talking so that you can understand where they’re coming from and also think, “How do I make this situation feel like a win-win and get through?” Negotiations can be dicey. They can be a little uncomfortable but if you are coming into an organization and negotiating with your boss to be or you’re in the organization and you’re negotiating with your boss to be, you above all want to preserve that relationship. When sometimes when people think about negotiating, they think about like hard-charging and I’m going to come in and say exactly what I want but what you don’t want to do is damage that relationship because that is going to be important, if not the most important relationship you have in the organization. You don’t want to damage that. You can also ask for what you want but before you would come in and ask for what you want, you might start by asking questions about, “What are the goals for this year? What do you need from my team? What would success look like? How can we help you be more successful?” You then get some agreement on those things and then come for the ask. It’s back to the deposits and withdrawals because you made the deposits. Now, you’re coming for the withdrawal. When you come for the withdrawal, you’re still focused on, “How can I be clear, kind and firm in a way that I can preserve this relationship?” First of all, you would come in and do a little bit of a warmup where you’re saying things like, “I love my job here. I am so excited about the work that we’ve been doing. I’m thrilled to be a member of this team. I want to talk about my role, where I’m going and how I can progress in my role both from a promotion perspective but also from a compensation perspective.” I really love my job here. I’m so excited about the work we are doing. I want to talk about my role, where I’m going, and how I can progress not only from a promotion perspective but from a compensation perspective. Then BE SILENT! – Patricia Carl Click To Tweet Start that and then be silent. Let the boss start to say what she’s thinking so that you can get where she is with it, how things are going and there might even be times you get into that conversation, you realize, “This is probably not the best day to have this conversation. Maybe something happened.” You’re asking questions so you find out, “I get you got a lot on your plate. Let’s revisit this. We’ll circle back next month. Maybe we can go to lunch or something.” You have to be sensitized and use your emotional intelligence in those moments to figure out where are they and how much you push versus how much you sit back. Both pushing and sitting back are equally important in negotiating because there are times when you want to say, “Tell me more about that. Can you elaborate on that?” That creates enough of an awkward silence or an invitation for the other person to talk. You then get lots of data about where they are and then you can use that to formulate your win-win and/or overcome objections. Both pushing and sitting back are equally important when negotiating.– Patricia Carl Click To Tweet You gave us some powerful phrases there. I’m going to go back and read those. You gave us an example of how to ask specifically, do a little bit of a warm-up and then I would like to talk about my compensation then so on and so forth and then pause and that silence is golden. Silence sometimes is powerful because it gives the other person the room to then say what they’re thinking and, to your point, this is where you start gathering some information. One of the things that I mentioned to you that I wanted to do is put together a document of sorts with some of these powerful phrases. A lot of times we say, “Yes, negotiate,” but as leaders, we’re not giving the proper language or the phrases. Sometimes you need one little phrase to say, “I’d like to talk about my compensation. Let’s talk about the goals of where the business is going,” and set it up that way. Those are all great phrases. It’s going to depend on your position. You have been again in HR for a long time. I want to talk about your story for a little bit. You’re a coach and have been in the HR world for quite a long time. How do you decide to go from being in HR to being a high-performance coach? What a lot of people don’t know is that when you are in HR in leadership roles, you are in effect an internal coach. As you move up to an executive level, you’re spending a lot of time with other business leaders, helping them solve their business problems and being a sounding board. People don’t talk about it much but in a lot of ways, we’re doing a lot of emotional labor with other leaders in the organization. Prior to going into HR and concurrent to being in HR was a therapist so this feels very full circle in a lot of ways to do executive coaching or work with executive teams because I’ve sat in the C-Suite and understand the incredible pressures and the practicalities that they’re facing but I’m also comfortable talking with them and going deep if I need to about where they are, how they’re feeling about it and how we can get them to the best place where they can be most effective at a personal and professional level. When you’re in HR, managers come to you with all their problems with their direct reports and then they’re looking to you for advice. You are coaching those folks. I didn’t realize it because it’s always HR. You get all sorts of things because HR is where you come in if you have a personal issue that’s going to affect your work and you need advice on how to handle it or if it’s your team or you’re having a conflict with another leader and how you resolve it. There are a lot of things that people would come to HR for. One of my more favorite things to do is to coach leaders. When I had the opportunity to do that, I took it because it’s very rewarding to help leaders as they’re on their leadership journey. We all are. We’re all trying to improve all the time and it’s fun to be part of that process. You had male and female leaders that you would coach. Confidence is a big thing in the difference between male behavior and female behavior but did you have to coach female leaders to be a little bit tougher and have a little bit more confidence than you did with male leaders? Sometimes I found this with leader candidates that were coming into the organization or internal folks who were applying for roles that would’ve been a promotion. I would see that often women would want to have every box checked on that job description and maybe even more than that before they would feel like they were qualified. Whereas men didn’t feel that way. They would say, “I’ve got 65% or 75% of it. I’m going to learn the rest on the job and I’m ready to go.” Coaching them to be more confident in their abilities and also realizing that if you take a job where you already can check off 100% of it, you’re going to be bored in a couple of weeks. Everyone is coming into a job and growing into it. In some way, form or fashion, you’re going to be growing into the job. Helping them see that everyone is coming into a role and will inhabit it differently. Every person coming into that job has got upsides and downsides. It’s a series of tradeoffs so what are the things that you need to develop to be successful in this role and what support do you need? Throw your hat in the ring for it. If you don’t get it, throwing your hat in the ring for it puts you on the radar as somebody who wants to continue to move up. If you don’t get it, ask for feedback and be assertive about your career. Don’t just wait. You have to set the stage yourself to do that. If you don’t get the job, throwing your hat in the ring puts you on the radar. Don’t just wait for someone to pluck you from the ranks and move you up. – Patricia Carl Click To Tweet I am chuckling because when I was trying to get into management, I was already working towards becoming a high-performance individual and I was already a high-performer. I’m sitting at my desk waiting for someone to come and tap me on my shoulder. I can picture myself in my seat and then when I finally said something, they’re like, “Really?” I’m like, “Yes, what do you mean?” They were like, “You never said anything.” I’m like, “How did I wait so long,” which is part of the reason why I’m doing this work. It’s so common though. It’s a situation where someone might think, “My work will speak for itself.” Certainly, you have to perform if you want to be promoted but that’s only one piece. They know that you can perform but you may not have the visibility or exposure in the areas that you need. They may not know you have an interest so you have to take ownership of driving your career. That’s what happened to me. It was the misconception of my work will speak for itself. “They’ll notice my hard work. Someone has to see what I’m doing,” but the thing that I always emphasize is that your boss is busy doing their job. They know that you’re doing work but it’s not their job to highlight what you do. It’s your job. Be the person that is responsible for you and your career because otherwise, nobody’s going to do it. You’re writing a book on personalized leadership. Tell me a little bit about that project. It’s my first book and I’ve written a few articles about it but it’s thinking about where we are and so much has changed about the employee-employer contract. It’s the craziest talent market I’ve ever seen in my career but that will settle down. The pendulum always swings but what won’t change is that people have spoken. They want flexible options and digging in their heels about coming back to the office. They want to have a more fulsome life. If hybrid and remote work helps them do that, then they’re willing to leave a job to find one that will allow them to do that and have more boundaries in their lives. Whatever that means to them because everybody has their set of boundaries and their way of working. What people want is autonomy to choose that and still meet the business needs. That has to be a symbiotic relationship. As leaders think about that, everybody’s needs are different. I’m guilty of this back in my HR days. We make policy, for example. In a lot of the policies, we would try to figure out what’s the worst-case scenario that could happen in this policy. Let’s put all the belts and suspenders into that policy so that we can avoid the worst-case scenario. At times, the folks who were showing up and doing their jobs which are most people that want to do a good job, be productive and be successful, then you were creating limits and constraints for them to manage risk. This idea that there’s a peanut butter spread of leadership doesn’t make sense. One of the popular questions I used to get when I was interviewing and people still used is, “What’s your leadership style?” The answer to that should be, “It depends because it’s not about me. This is not a cult of personality. It’s about the people on my team that I’m serving. If I’m truly supporting them in their success, then I’m like the wolf pack and leading from the back and making sure everybody’s getting what they need.” Every single person has different needs in social, emotional, financial, family lives and seasons of life. The idea that you have to make a blanket policy or process for where and how you work doesn’t make a lot of sense when you think about it because people have different needs. The question becomes, “How can you customize an experience that enables each individual’s success while also still being equitable?” That’s what the book tackles because that’s what we’re moving into. I’m a Gen-Xer so we’re in between what we’re seeing with the Millennials and the Gen Zs but we also grew up paying our dues and working hard. The Millennials and the Gen Zs though have very different perspectives about it. As you think about how much of the workforce they’re going to make up, pretty soon we have to start adjusting and giving leaders tools to do that. That’s brilliant because you’re right. You can’t be like, “I’m an open-door policy leader.” You do have to customize how you are leading according to your team and that’s fantastic that you very eloquently put that because it can’t just be one mold for everybody. It’s so interesting because I heard a CEO of a company say that in his opinion, people are much more productive when they’re in the office. I was like, “Where is the proof in that? You’re going to say that in this day and age?” People have not missed a beat when we went from the pandemic, COVID and all that stuff. Most companies already had some hybrid work. People worked and transitioned. It was almost seamless in most cases. For you to say that “People work better when they’re in the office,” but you didn’t have to do the 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours commute each way and then get your kids up from their warm beds and in the winter and out the door and all this stuff. There’s a lot to consider. There’s a whole person behind the work. You can’t just say, “In my opinion, we’re much more productive when we’re in the office.” Where’s the proof of that? Who does that work for and apply to? The organizations that are mandating a return to the office are struggling and backtracking because they’re losing talent. Other ones are attending to people’s needs, meaning everything from flexibility but also, “What’s the work they want to do? What’s the intersection of their strengths and interest? How can I get you as much of that as possible? Conversely, what depletes you? Did someone else on the team love that? Let’s have them do it.” Think about personalizing jobs and job descriptions because people are very energized. When they’re energized, they perform better when they’re doing stuff that they feel good, enjoy and feel confident about. I’ve heard that when someone has those characteristics in the job that they’re doing, their productivity goes up from 12% to 14%. It’s pretty huge. You were also talking about to whom that serves. There are so many different life situations. It can’t just serve you as an employee. It has to serve your family. A lot of employers are trying to take the whole person into consideration. That’s probably the best way to go because, to your point, companies that are digging their heels and saying, “You need to be in the office,” are losing those people because people are like, “I’m sorry, I don’t want to spend 6 hours or 10 hours in the car when I don’t have to.” When is your book coming out? It’s probably 2024. It’s a long and tough process. I quote Gloria Steinem who wrote a lot but she said, “I don’t like writing. I like having written,” and that’s how I feel too. Are you using some of the coaching techniques that you’re using and are those going to be in the book? Absolutely. Some of these things came out from the coaching and the work with executives because you start to see them trying to figure out, “What’s happening with talent? How do we address this? What do we do?” There were a lot of big questions. You’re right. It was a lot of change at once. Organizations are still catching up and trying to catch their breath and figure out, “Now what? What’s going to work?” Many of those conversations led to, “How could we rethink this and do this differently?” I’ve done a lot of volunteer coaching as well. I find that with my clients, the things that they appreciate the most are not necessarily the lessons but the encouragement like, “You can do this.” I had a conversation with someone where the boss was not being very nice to them. I said, “You don’t have to take that. Not quit or anything like that but you can respectfully say, “I don’t talk to you that way. Please don’t talk to me that way. I expect you to talk to me with respect.'” You can say something like that and be well within your right to demand respect from your manager. The manager can coach you or tell you what you’re doing right, wrong or whatever in a respectful way, regardless of what’s happening with you in your job. I’m very much looking forward to this book because I love the way that you pose the customized leadership. That’s going to be fantastic. I do want to ask you a couple more things. You already gave us some powerful phrases but do you have any go-to powerful phrase that is something that you recommend either to your clients or you use often in your negotiating while you were in HR or with your clients? I don’t know if they’re phrases as much as certain words like partner. “I want to partner with you.” I didn’t mention this but I should, one of the things that I am very careful about in negotiations is where you sit and how you think about the problem that you’re trying to solve and become a partner with the other person. If you go into a room, try not to sit directly opposite. Try to sit on the side because then it’s easier for you, even with your hands or gesture into the middle of the table and says, “This is the issue that I want to solve with you. How can we do that together? How can we partner to get the best answer? What does success look like to you? How would you define success?” It’s making them partner with you to solve the problem. The problem could be, “I don’t make enough money. I need to be promoted,” but also to pull in the things that they’re thinking about and the problems they’re trying to solve and apply those where they make sense as solutions to that problem so that you can get to the best possible outcome. I love the word partner. What would you suggest to somebody if they do all those things and they’re not successful, whether the manager is saying, “Sorry, we’re off cycle for the promotion or the salary increase?” What would your response be in that situation? First of all, you might expect that you’re not going to be successful the first time but it goes back to planting the seeds. If you’re bursting in through the saloon doors and declaring that you’d like to negotiate for a raise and it’s the first they’ve heard about it, you can’t expect that they’re going to have an answer for you then at that moment. If you get an answer, it won’t be a great answer. Thinking about a longer cycle of, “This is a process and not an event.” Think about negotiation as, “First, I get agreement that my boss likes my performance and thinks I’m being very successful and I’m helping her achieve her goals. I’m working on that.” Once we have an agreement on that and then I’m able to share my salary information, “I’ve done some salary research and this is what I found,” then you’ve already at least gotten an agreement on the fact that you deserve it. You then have to get an agreement on how much and when. It might be true that it’s off-cycle and there isn’t anything that you can do about it right then. Your answer there could be, “I get that. Could we talk about this at the end of Q1 and revisit it?” Get the agreement that you’re going to resurface that conversation. It’s not usually one-and-done at all. In almost any negotiation, it’s an evolution, not a revolution. I wanted to go back to your comment that I’m also a Gen Xer and part of the, “Put in your hours. Pay your dues. Do not talk salary.” I’m sure you’ve heard this but 42% of Gen Zs are talking about salary openly and it’s perfectly fine. I’m sure you’ve also heard this with the seventeen states with pay transparency laws like New York. That’s going to help close the pay gap. I hope that all states go with this pay transparency law. Some of those states though won’t post the range but have to provide it if you ask for it. At least, we’re trending in the right direction. Especially, in those situations where someone is negotiating for a new job, even if it’s legal in the state for the recruiter to ask, “What are you making? What’s your current compensation package,” it’s perfectly appropriate to come back with, “Here’s what I’m looking for,” and then talk through that package. You don’t have to give them that information at all but you can say, “Here are my expectations.” As you go up the ladder, compensation packages have many components so you could talk to them about, “These are my top three. These are the things that matter to me the most. This is where I’d like to get to. I’m excited about this opportunity.” When they come back with maybe a disappointing number, that’s your next stage in the negotiation. You don’t start negotiating until you get an answer you don’t like. You then say, “That’s a great starting point. Thanks so much for that. Let me talk through what’s important to me and what I would feel comfortable with.” The last minutes are the best part of the conversation that we’ve had because you’ve given people the formula to not have to say something that you don’t want to say. Along the same lines, recruiters want to do this and pigeonhole you into, “You have to give me several what you’re looking for.” I like the way you said, “This is what I’m looking for.” If a recruiter is pressing you to give them a number, what would your response be? I believe in having a compensation conversation earlier on because I certainly have been burned in conversations where you think you’re on the same page and find out you are worlds apart and it isn’t feasible. I believe in having that conversation within the 1st or 2nd conversation because then you’re on the same page. The only time that doesn’t work is if the job information is not clear about what all of the accountabilities are. You might have to investigate a bit more. Maybe you’re going to an early-stage company or something and it’s not defined. That’s where you need more information. You should be having that conversation upfront so that you don’t waste anyone’s time. If you’re at a higher level in the organization, you can talk about, “Here’s where I would like to end up from a packaging perspective.” You can give them a number but then how you negotiate the components, you can look at, “If I give a little bit on salary, then I can get more equity.” Everyone’s different. Somebody might want cash on the barrel, as my grandma would say or others might say, “I’m okay taking a little bit of a haircut or not as much salary because I believe in this company. I want the equity.” It’s very appropriate to give people a number that is researched. Do your homework because if you come in with something outsized, then that’s not going to work. If they’re not giving up their number, then you can articulate your number and say, “This is what I’m looking to get to.” This has been a powerful and concrete conversation because of all the phrases that you gave us and the ideas. Thank you very much for that. Would you be able to provide the readers with two tips that you would want to lead them with as far as how to negotiate in their careers? One that I haven’t spoken about but it might be helpful, is to be very self-aware of your emotional and mental state when you go into high-stakes conversation. No matter what that conversation is, whether it’s negotiating a salary or giving somebody some tough feedback. You need to make sure that you are in the right space to do that. Let’s say you’re going in to talk about your salary with your boss and you’re feeling particularly resentful because maybe you had a lot of work pile on you that week and you’re feeling put upon a little bit of barter, you’re resentful or angry and tired, that’s not a great time to have the conversation. Even if there’s a bit of a tug and you are having a bit of conflict and introducing a little bit of tension, you still want it to have a positive tone. If you are walking in already in a state that is not going to serve you, do not do it. Wait until you’re in the right space to have that conversation. I would say that for anyone. I usually say, “Don’t have them at the end of the day because these people are tired.” They’re out of bandwidth. Even if you are a bit tense, you still want to have a positive tone. If you arrive in a state that is not going to serve you, do not have the meeting. Wait till you are in the right space to have that conversation. – Patricia Carl Click To Tweet That’s your first one. Did you have a second one? Go back to building those relationships with people and taking the time to do that. I get that it’s a time suck but it is so effective when you come knocking for what you want that you have already given at the office so that they know that they’re in a position to want to help you as well. Patty, thank you so much for spending the time with us. This is a great conversation that people can use. I’m going to put all those like key phrases together and I’m excited about that. Do you have any final words for our readers when it comes to negotiating in their corporate jobs? You’re more prepared than you think you are. Even if you do it awkwardly, you’ll get better at it but still, do it. If it scares you, it probably means you should do it so just do it. If you’re not successful the first time, you’ll learn something every single time, be able to build on that and get better with experience. Take that as you progress in your career. In the words of Nike, “Just do it.” I love it. Patty, thank you so much for your time. This was a wonderful conversation. Rosie, this is so fun. Thank you for having me.
—My conversation with Patty Carl was fabulous. She gave us some tremendous golden nuggets of information. The biggest piece of knowledge for me is seeding your initiatives. Making sure that you take the time to have several meetings before you do the request. You shouldn’t go into your manager’s office and say, “I want to raise.” You’re going to have 2 or 3 meetings before then, acknowledging that they acknowledge that your performance is doing well and where your career is going. Maybe then think about how you’re going to position the compensation conversation but it should be several conversations before you get there. One other thing that Patty said is you need to position the conversation properly. She says you can say something like, “I love my job here. I’m so excited about the work that we’re doing. I want to talk to you about my role and where I’m going. Not only from a promotion perspective but also from a compensation perspective,” and then be silent. That is key because you will learn what your boss is thinking. Silence is golden. She gave us a ton of good powerful phrases. The word partner, for example. When you’re working with someone maybe on a project, you want to pull in those things that they’re thinking about and try to solve the problem together. It’s not you against them. It’s you and the individual against the problem. You’re going to go in there and say, “Let’s figure out how we can partner together to solve this problem.” That word partner is key. Another phrase that she provided us is, “How do you define success?” That’s also important because if the other person thinks of success differently than you do, then there’s going to be a disconnect. The information that Patty provided us was pure gold. I want to leave you with a couple of tips that Patty provided us. Tip number one, she says, “Be self-aware of your emotional and mental state when you’re going into a high-stakes conversation.” It doesn’t matter if you’re negotiating a salary, giving somebody some feedback or whatever it is, you have to make sure that you are in the right state of mind. If you realize that you’re either upset or angry, that’s probably not the best time to have any difficult conversation. Wait until you’re in a better state. Tip number two, she says, “Build relationships with people and make sure that you take the time to develop those relationships.” We also talked about deposits and withdrawals with relationships. The more you are able to build that relationship and then when you need something, you can easily go and ask for something from that particular individual. With that, remember to be brave, be bold and take action.
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