How To Ask For What You Want
In Any negotiation - be clear on what you want and how you ask
Welcome and beckoning you into the Happy Career Hub corner.
So when I invite you into this little corner of my world, it's to, because I want to have a little chat. I want to get a little bit serious about certain things going on in the career space. And today I want to talk about people asking for what they want.
So often when I work with clients, they come to me and they kind of have this negative viewpoint and say things like;
‘I don't ever get what I want. Other people get what they want, but I never seem to get what I want’
When we dig a little deeper. And we could, we could be talking about, you know, not getting the job that they want, not getting the promotion they want, or being able to get negotiate for a better salary or get some great perks, you know, like flexible working arrangements, whatever.
And they believe that, you know, everyone else might get it, but they don't get it.
Now often when I dig through some questions with them, we discover, or I discovered that they haven't, first, bothered to ask, they kind of expect the boss, the manager to know that they're good at what they're doing. And therefore, should be given a shot at a promotion.
For example. Now, if you, aren't going to, first, ask how is someone even going to know that you're interested?
So that's one thing to consider.
Be brave enough to ask.
Second thing to consider is how are you asking?
Are you asking in an empowered way – are you negotiating?
In other words, because negotiation is fundamentally, in its simplest form, it's a two-way conversation where you get to ask for what you want, but you also get to give something to the other person, right?
Negotiation is never about only one person getting what they want. Only one party getting what they want. It must be a two-way street.
And so, first, as I said, you must pluck up the courage to ask. So the person knows that you're interested.
And second, you've got to ask in the right way.
I'm going to demonstrate with a little story.
So, when I was on maternity leave over 20 years ago, and you know, that was at the rock bottom of my life. And I was starting over again, even though there were money challenges, and I was paying off debt, I did not want to come back off maternity leave too early, because I didn't want to miss the milestones of my infant child.
That meant a lot to me being a present mother, you know, being a present mummy, being there for her meant a lot to me. Even though I was really struggling, I didn't want to come off maternity leave early, but I was approached by a manager, not my actual boss, a different manager. My boss had recommended me to this manager because he was a couple of projects in trouble.
And he said, you know, she's the person to help you get it back on track. He said, the only catch with her is she's on maternity leave right now. And she's only about four to five months into her maternity leave. This other manager decided he was going to take a shot, rang me anyway, we had a conversation and it's interesting.
I immediately saw an opportunity.
I saw that I could negotiate.
He wanted me to consider coming off maternity leave early. I suddenly realized, hang on a minute.
There's something that I want.
What I wanted was to be able to work one day a week in the office, have all my meetings on that one day and then do the rest of it from home.
Now this is obviously in a time when it wasn't fashionable or even considered remote working, all of that was not really a twinkle in anybody's eye at that stage.
But asked, I decided, well, yes, the negotiation can happen. I can ask something of him. I know he already wants something of me, which is to come off maternity leave early, but I also didn't want to kind of have him feel like I was pushing for something because I knew that he wanted me to come back early.
So what I did was I offered him some extra support time. And what I mean by that is that, you know, my daughter, I was fortunate enough that I had a baby who slept through the night from six weeks onwards.
I mean, how lucky could I get?
But you know, I believe the gods were shining on me. They gave me what I needed as a single mom. So I had a baby. We slept through the night from six weeks onwards. And she would usually go down at six o'clock at night, which means I had time in the evening to support.
And I offered him that. I said, I can offer you a couple of nights of extra hours support, especially for some of the, you know, the, the time zone differences, because some of part of the project was being run from overseas as well from Asia. So, you know, they were a couple of hours behind us and I said, I can offer that extra support.
We had some backward and forward conversations, and that's what negotiation is all about. It's a back-and-forth conversation, trying to work out the best deal that suits both parties.
Negotiation must suit both parties.
One party can't get one over on the other party. So to speak one - party, can't be the only party benefiting.
Otherwise, it's no longer negotiation and it leaves a sour taste in people's mouth.
So that's the art of negotiation to get what you want. You need to get good at the art of negotiation, meaning asking for what you want, but also offering something to the other person in return. That's what it's all about, isn't it?
So in the end, I was able to go into the office. We agreed, I would go into the office one day a week, work the rest of the time from home. But I also supported on the, on a couple of nights, evenings gave extra and extended support.
It was a win-win situation for us.
And it, the thing is what happened was that built incredible trust between me and this new manager, the same kind of trust that I had with my previous manager who had recommended this other guy to, you know, recommended that he followed me up and try and get me off maternity leave early.
And that's kind of how that important relationship runway started for me with that particular manager and then other managers following that.
So you can get what you want.
This is what I'm trying to say.
The point is, is that first, have the courage to ask, ask yourself the question, have I really asked for what I want?
And if I really asked in an empowered way, have I really negotiated the terms, given someone what they want and then ask for what I want as well. So that both parties end up winning.
If you're going to have longevity in your career, in your life, in your lifestyle, in getting good at the art of negotiation is going to be super important.
Before I go, before we leave the Happy Career Hub little corner where we've had our serious little chat, I want to encourage you to never give up, never give up.
You can have what you want, just be courageous enough to ask for it and to negotiate for it.
As always wishing you a happy day and reach out if you have any questions or you need any guidance or assistance, I look forward to helping you.
Watch the video here