Negotiating your way to success

New research suggests that women in their 20s and 30s are now negotiating salary increases as often as men. Well if that’s true, then hurrah. However, when it comes to negotiating that pay rise it would seem that both men and women could do better – some fairly old statistics I found suggested that 75% of women have never asked for a pay rise v 66% of men.

It set me thinking about the negotiation sessions I have run, and although they have mainly been for women, the tips and hints are the same for everyone. The women that I spoke to just seemed a little more reluctant to put themselves forward, they expect to be recognized for what they were contributing, they believe in fair play.

Certainly in my own experience of managing staff, it tended to be the men that were more comfortable talking about their salaries. I was happy to talk about why they deserved more: after all I could always say no.

Anyway, it’s perfectly possible for everyone to improve their negotiation skills with a bit of practice. Here is a four stage approach that should set you up for most scenarios:


  • Do your research and know your facts
  • Write down what you want to achieve
  • Have evidence if you are negotiating your salary for why you deserve more
  • Practice
  • Plan your walk away moment and what happens if you get no agreement


  • Be clear about what you want
  • Listen carefully to the other person and clarify
  • Be aware of your body language, be confident
  • Take notes if appropriate


  • Explore options if you don’t immediately get what you want
  • Find where you agree and be creative
  • Remember what you were prepared to concede
  • Move to a win/win outcome as that will be the bet


  • Ensure it is clear what you have agreed, write it down
  • Agree a course of action and make it happen

Just a personal tip, negotiating a salary doesn’t always have to be about more money: maybe you want to work from home one day a week, maybe you want flexible hours, maybe you need some additional help. Be creative and non confrontational if you can.

Good luck.