How to Ask for What You Need

how to ask for what you need

Ever found yourself yearning for something but struggled to find the right words to ask for it? Be it a raise at work, additional vacation time, or as a child, yearning for a night out with friends, approaching superiors or authority figures such as bosses or parents can be daunting. However, negotiation can be a powerful tool. Knowing how to ask for what you need can transform every sphere of your life.

Negotiation, in essence, is a discussion amongst two or more entities aimed at formulating an agreement that appeals to all parties involved. If you believe you lack proficiency in negotiation, fret not! It’s a skill honed over time and with deliberate practice and strategy implementation, you can master the art of reaching mutually beneficial agreements. Here are five techniques to consider for your upcoming negotiation encounters:

Empathize with Their Perspective

Aim to comprehend the desires of the other party in the negotiation. Make sure you enter the conversation with a solid understanding of their viewpoint. Conduct thorough research to understand their perspective as well, or even better than they do.

Anticipate and Prepare for Difficult Questions

Prior to stepping into the negotiation room, brainstorm potential challenging questions or counterarguments they might raise. Formulate your responses to these tough questions to prevent being caught off guard. Ensure you frame your responses positively, keeping in mind the negotiation’s main points.

However, remember not to formulate questions for the other party – don’t negotiate on their behalf. Prepare yourself to respond to their difficult inquiries while supporting your case. Despite your prepared responses, stay attentive to their actual queries. They might phrase their questions differently, requiring a nuanced response from you. Be mindful not to robotically answer their questions as if reciting from a script, but rather, address their actual concerns.

Identify Mutual Interests

Discover areas of agreement between the different parties within a negotiation. There’s always a shared objective both sides aim to achieve through the deal. Identify this commonality before entering the negotiation room. Sometimes, the mutual interest could be a swift resolution to the problem at hand or preserving existing relationships. In other scenarios, the shared interest might be more specific to the negotiation, such as both parties wanting a salary increment and negotiating the magnitude of the increase. Recognizing shared interests can significantly impact your negotiation approach, as you already understand you don’t need to contend over these mutual objectives.

Strive for a Mutually Beneficial Outcome

Make your offer or proposal as appealing as possible for the other party. In a negotiation, aim to craft a deal that is a win-win for all parties involved. Avoid exploiting the other party, especially if they are novices at negotiating or if you’ll be dealing with them in the future. Armed with the knowledge of shared interests and the other party’s negotiation goals, strive to meet their desires or compromise to facilitate their agreement with the proposal. The ultimate goal is for them to willingly agree to your proposal because they perceive it as beneficial, not merely because you’re persuading them.

Know When to Retreat

Have a clear understanding of your non-negotiable terms and conditions. Establish boundaries you will not transgress, which will guide you on when to step away and either explore other options or revisit the negotiation after a cooling-off period. This will prevent you from hastily making regrettable decisions and help you stay focused on your goals during intense negotiations.

Next time you asking for what you need, leverage these five strategies as a starting point. Remember, a myriad of other tactics is available, so find what resonates with you best. Consistent practice will see you crafting equitable and effective negotiations in no time. Take a G360 Pulse Survey and get some feedback on how others perceive your communication skills.