Want to negotiate for more money? Think creatively and differently about how you approach the bargaining table.
Mutual Problem Solving
Unlike Katniss, however, don’t go in with bow and arrow. A blazing dress? Perhaps. It makes a statement. But blazing weapons? No.
Part of why we think that being liked means giving away the farm is because we view negotiation as a conflict. We come in ready to do battle. Territory gained by one side is territory lost by the other.
Instead, come in with an attitude of creative mutual problem-solving. Not “we’re here to fight over money,” but “we’re here to see what we can accomplish together.” Even if they don’t have that attitude, you’ll be able to be more constructive and creative in your approach.
For example, if other things matter more to you than additional cash right now, you can propose a creative deal. You accept a 2% lower royalty rate on your current movie, giving them the cash to meet their quarterly numbers. They then agree to give future female stars royalty parity with their male co-stars.
This particular deal probably wouldn’t fly, but it’s an example of how you can address their profitability interests in return for them addressing your interests in equal pay.
Negotiate “for a Friend”
Now try a thought experiment. Pretend you are negotiating for a friend of yours who’s a real pushover. You would probably be able to stay respectful, creative, and firm when negotiating on behalf of your friend.
Well guess what? That friend … is you! During a negotiation, pretend you’re negotiating for your best friend. You would naturally stand up for your friend. You’d be respectful, but firm. “I’m sorry. A single Oreo Ice Cream cake each week just won’t do. My friend can’t go hungry for that long. We’ll need two Oreo Ice Cream cakes per week.” You’re stating your position and expressing your needs clearly enough that the negotiation should be able to reach a successful conclusion. And guess what: you’ll still be likable!
Let’s recap: when negotiating on your own behalf, it’s OK if you want people to like you. Just don’t let that get in the way. Get people to like you by treating them with respect, not by giving in. Keep your relationship separate from the negotiation terms. Come in with an attitude of mutual problem-solving, and pretend you’re negotiating on behalf of a friend.
Jennifer, if you’re listening, take this advice. It could be worth an extra $10 million for the next film you negotiate. I ask only one thing, please shoot me a one-time $5-6 million commission for the advice out of the additional money. It will help me be able to afford that new living room carpet, and I promise to like you forever. Respectfully.
This is Stever Robbins. Email topic requests to email@example.com. I run webinars and other programs to help people build extraordinary careers. If you want to know more, visit SteverRobbins.com. … and if you know Jennifer Lawrence, please pass along this episode.
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