During my Industrial Relations class, I first realized the power of negotiation. After a year from having taken that class, I am now looking back to reflect on the importance of the word “negotiation” and its effect on my life during different situations. Just imagine yourself being an international student. If you already are, you will relate what I am referring to. If not, imagine yourself in a role-play; new country, a new language, new culture, no family, no friends. Scary, right? Also, you are an ambitious and highly motivated individual who wants to be successful. This is your first interview for your first summer job, and the employer asks you, “What are your salary expectations?” You feel like saying a desired number that will pay your tuition and down payment for your new car. You ask yourself, “Wait a minute, is that reasonable?”
This conversation taking place between the “angel” and “demon” sitting on either side of your shoulders is the “internal negotiation.” We often call it “overthinking” and distract ourselves from finding our bottom line OR having asked ourselves, “What do I really want?”
The moment we find the answer for what we want, we have started to prepare ourselves for effective negotiation with the employer. Sometimes, I use the same technique to clear my head when things are confusing, and I don’t know where to start. Often, things have failed due to lack of internal harmony within ourselves or within an organization, or a team. Ultimately, taking the time to ask ourselves what we want, and negotiate internally within ourselves first will make us feel confident and prepared for that upcoming salary negotiation with the employer.