How to Negotiate If You Hate Confrontation
Today’s post is written by Kelly Gregorio, a writer who specializes in workplace trends and tips. 
If you are like me, then you hate confrontation. You spend countless minutes, hours, and sidesteps going out of your way to avoid it. And sometimes, (ok, maybe often) that same passiveness has the audacity to turn around and bite you. The fear of asking for what we want has held me and fellow peacekeepers’ back, but that stops here.
With a change of perspective, we can put fear in a sleep hold and knock it out of the picture. (How’s that for confrontational?)

1) Write a Letter and Throw It Away

I am an emotional person. Blame it on my crab-happy zodiac sign or my mother’s tender touch, but at work, I invest not only my head but all of my heart. Here is where the non-confrontational person first gets in trouble. They pour their everything in, pretend to not to expect anything in return, and then silently crumble when the desired results do not play out exactly as imaged. Typing this out makes me stop and think about how equally stupid and merciless this sounds, but it’s true just the same.
That is why the first step to getting what you want has to do with tending to the emotional powerhouse that is bursting inside of you. Sit down and write yourself a thoughtful letter detailing everything you feel, the things you want to say and those you know you shouldn’t. Highlight the changes you want and the reasons why you absolutely deserve them. Then, throw the letter away.
If Tom Hanks taught us anything, it’s that there is no crying in baseball, business, or negotiations. If you want something, you’re going to have to stand up and rationally get it, sans the Kleenex. (The same rule applies to those that express their feelings with an outpour of anger or resentment.) Get your emotions out, have your deep breath and get ready for step two.

2) Give Them What They Want

While you’ve taken the time to review all of your own stellar points, push them behind you for support and nothing more. When it comes to negotiating, your focus should be on one thing: your opposition.
Whether it is a professional change or a personal request, the best way to get the response you want is to appeal to the decision maker’s needs. Prior to your conversation, list all of the reasons this person would want to say “no.” Then, detail reasonable reasons why your request would actually benefit them. Even if the benefit is having more fulfilled and productive interactions with you, there is always an angle that can present something in its most favorable light.

3) Navigate the Negotiations

Ok, today is the day. Regardless of any remaining (who are we kidding, abundant) nerves you are experiencing, flash your pearly whites and present yourself as cool, calm, and happy. You want people to be attracted to your offer, so let them pick up on your positive attitude first.
Remember that during your discussion you are presenting an idea from angles that should benefit the decision maker. Be proactive about mentioning “what-ifs” and providing reasonable solutions. Foster a teamwork approach and use the word “we” instead of “I” wherever possible. Keep things conversational and interject the phrase “What do you think about…” where you would normally declare, “I want to…”
Find something that you both can agree upon, such as, “The quality of my work is important, wouldn’t you agree?” or “You’ve been happy with my productivity levels up to this point, haven’t you?”

4) Command, Don’t Demand

Your smile is still shining at this point, right? Good, because while things may start to get heated your pleasant attitude will keep things even-tempered and in-check. Position yourself as moving and shaking; you’ve got everything going for yourself, you just want to afford them the option to hop on board. By positioning yourself in this light you will avoid looking desperate and could even spark their efforts to try to please you.
If you do not get the answer you want, keep the pressure to a minimum and make only one request: that they take the time to think things over with a tentative decision date.
If after all of your efforts you still are not getting what you want, take a trip back to the trash bin and read your letter once more. Where is this passion coming from? How badly do you want this? Whether you are the most confrontational person in the world or prefer not to rock the boat, it is important to know your worth and command your value when others refuse to acknowledge it.
Decide if you can continue to live happily without those granted negotiations. If you can, forge ahead and continue to stack “wins” that build your case up for next time. If not, move on. Life is too short and business is too long to feel under-appreciated.
Out of all the people in the world that can give you what you need, the most important person in the bunch is you. Stand up for what you believe in, negotiate what you can and base your decisions accordingly.

Do you hate confrontation? What have you learned about how to negotiate?

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