Negotiate Like A Boss

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negotiate like a boss

Negotiate Like A Boss

Most people feel nervous when asked to negotiate. According to Procurement Tactics, 40% of all adults don’t feel comfortable in their negotiation skills. And while being nervous is common, it doesn’t have to be this way. Knowing how to negotiate like a boss will help you as you advance your career. Negotiation skills are for more than just raises. These skills can help you land a new client, get a promotion, and expand your team.

3 pitfall to avoid when negotiating

Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn where she interviewed Women’s Leadership Speaker, Journalist, and Author, Selena Rezvani.

They shared tips and personal stories about how to negotiate like a boss. This Soulcast Media | LIVE event is brought to you by our amazing sponsors at Sabobatage.

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1. The Magic Middle

Most people feel like they are either too pushy or too passive when it comes to negotiation. However, there is a balance you should try to find. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Selena explained how the Magic Middle is a place of healthy entitlement. This is where your communications are direct, clear, and honest.

Consider the following:

  • Clear – During a negotiation, you must be clear. This means using your clear communication skills. You don’t want anyone in the room to be confused about what you are asking for. Try to avoid using filler words, or going on long tangents. Practicing your statements is an excellent way to ensure they are clear. For example, you can record yourself speaking. Listen for unnecessary words. Make sure what you are saying is logical. The more precise you are, the more confident you will come across. 
  • Honest – During a negotiation, you may want to hide what you really want, but this doesn’t always help you get what you need. For example, let’s say you are a team leader, and you need to add four direct reports to make sure all of the work is done in your department. It is critical for you to be honest with your superior. Or, if the workload you’ve been given simply isn’t sustainable, you have to tell the truth. Otherwise, your superior may not understand why you are asking for help. negotiate like a boss
  • Direct – In a negotiation, you want to be direct. The opportunity for negotiating doesn’t come often, so you want to make sure you aren’t wasting your time getting off track. For example, if you are trying to negotiate a promotion, stick to your original intention. This means keeping the conversation centered around you, what responsibilities you’ve taken on, and why you should be promoted. If you aren’t direct, you may lose your chance to get what you want.

Focusing on clear, honest, and direct communications will help you find the Magic Middle in your negotiations.


2. Leverage

As you prepare for your negotiation, you will want to ensure leverage is on your side. What do you have that the other person wants, needs, or relies upon? You will also want to consider the timing of your negotiation.

There are several things to keep in mind when it comes to leverage.

  • Timing – You want to ensure the timing of your negotiation is to your advantage. For example, did your team just execute a project successfully? This might be a great time to ask for a promotion or raise when it is still fresh in everyone’s minds. On the other hand, if the company just went through a round of layoffs, it might not be to your advantage to ask for additional team members. As you prepare, consider the company’s temperature as a whole before making your ask. negotiate like a boss
  • Current Role Requirements – Your current role requirements are important. What you do matters. As you prepare to negotiate, think about what you do that no one else does. Also, consider what you do that no one else knows how to do. For example, did you create a system? Are you the only person in charge of a specific function? These role requirements can help you create leverage when negotiating.
  • Evidence of Value – It’s important to express your value when negotiating. For example, if you ask for a raise, you can use your previous accomplishments to showcase your value. Maybe you increased sales by 25%, or perhaps you implemented a system that reduced overhead by 10%. Be sure to include facts and numbers when giving evidence of your value.

The negotiation will be more likely to turn in your favor when you have the proper leverage.


3. Keep Pushing

Not all negotiations go your way. However, this doesn’t mean what you want or need isn’t important. Instead of letting one “no” stop you, keep pushing. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Selena reminded everyone that no one will ask on your behalf. You have to do it yourself.

Consider the following:

  • Your Needs Are Just As Important – Your needs are just as important as your co-workers and superiors. If you don’t negotiate your needs, you can’t get your problems fixed. For example, let’s say you’ve asked to add two new hires to your team, but were told no. You know your team, and you know you need additional help. This means you need to keep pushing. You may not be able to bring up your needs right away, but don’t be afraid to keep asking. 
  • Change Your Ask – The way you ask something can determine whether you will get what you’ve requested. If you’ve been denied a promotion or raise, consider changing how you ask for it. For example, instead of asking for a promotion because you’ve taken on additional job responsibilities, consider asking for a promotion because it will benefit everyone. Maybe your superior will then be able to ask for a raise or promotion because they are managing a larger team. Changing your ask can help you negotiate to get what you want.
  • Power Moves  – Power moves can help you negotiate like a boss. During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Selena suggested two power moves to help you in a negotiation. The first is silence. She said it is important to realize silence is your friend in these conversations. Silence can create negative space where you aren’t speaking. This will prevent you from talking down and saying, “I want a raise, but I understand the company is not doing so well.” Or, “If it’s not too hard, but I understand if it is.” Silence will prevent you from agreeing to any terms you don’t like. The other power move is RNF – resenting neutral face. No matter what the other person says, keeping a neutral face can help you avoid giving away any frustration or excitement. 

Just because you didn’t get the answer you were looking for the first time doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate to get what you want. Changing your ask and using power moves can help you the next time you negotiate.

Learning how to negotiate like a boss will help you as you advance in your career. The magic middle, the right leverage, and the tenacity to keep pushing will help you negotiate like a boss.


If you would like to see the full LIVE version of Jessica and Selena’s conversation, check out Jessica’s Youtube Channel.


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