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Everything is Negotiable: A Guide to Getting What We Want.

A recent study found that 60% of women have never negotiated with an employer over pay and 72% would rather leave their employer to get a salary increase than negotiate. Reasons behind avoiding negotiations include believing accomplishments and efforts will be noticed and rewarded without having to ask, feeling more comfortable negotiating for others as opposed to themselves, fear of how they will be perceived and being labeled as too ambitious.

We invited Dr. Meg Myers Morgan, author of Everything is Negotiable, to help VEST Members uncover the gender gap in negotiations and to coach us through how we can become more effective negotiators.

Here are the main takeaways.

Reframe the way you think about negotiations. Women often shy away from negotiating because they feel like they are tricking someone into something. Negotiation is not a zero sum game and it doesn’t mean you are manipulating someone for more than you deserve. Negotiating is leveraging your worth for something you value.

Set Ground Rules. To achieve the outcome you truly want, you will need Clarity + Motivation + Accountability (What + Why + How). Ask yourself: What is it that I need? Why do I need it? How am I going to get it?

Practice Dr. Myers Morgan Five Tactics to Get What You Want:

  1. Don’t Confuse Your Wants. You are not going to achieve what you want in life if you aren’t certain what it is you want. Most people get wrapped up in the wants of others, in competing with others and, in comparing themselves to others, they lose sight of what they want. When it comes to life goals, don’t be confused about what you want. Unless it’s a haircut. It’s hard not to want the haircuts of others.

  2. Choose All That Apply. You’ve probably been told you have to make choices. You do, of course. But you’ve probably also been told that making choices means eliminating other great options. This makes no sense because the more choices you make in life, the more choices you are presented. Ever made the choice to order a coffee at Starbucks? Then you get the concept.

  3. Own the Terms. Ever have a date order your meal for you? Even if he or she orders what you wanted, you still feel weird, right? We give over our narrative to more than just weird dates, we give it over in life to our kids, parents, friends, spouses, etc. We let other people set our terms, often in small ways we don’t even notice. You not only have to set your own terms, you must constantly communicate those terms. And you’ll have the chicken, thank you very much.

  4. Never Give Your All. I’ll never understand where the concept “give it your all” came from. I’m guessing from a nurse in the delivery room. But by and large, very rarely do you need to give anything your all. Buying into the idea that you must give anything and everything your all is what is holding you back from taking on new challenges. Who wants to start a new career path or go back to college when they are in the middle of streaming House of Cards? But, if you know you don’t have to give any of those your all, then all of it is possible.

  5. Get Out of Your Way. More than anyone else, any schedule, any demand, and any obstacle, we are in our own way. Most of the time, we are in our heads thinking thoughts and dreaming up issues that will never come to be. Even if they do, there is no reward for having predicted the bad stuff, and no surefire way to ensure the good stuff. When it comes to getting what you want out of life, you’ll find the biggest thing standing in your way is you. So step aside.

“Always know what you value and what you are worth” Dr. Meg Myers Morgan.



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