What To Do When Asking For a Pay Raise: Salary Negotiations

By · Monday, September 30th, 2013

The Power of Saying Nothing. 

In a negotiating process, after you state your position or ask a question, whoever speaks next often loses.  Let’s take the scenario detailed a couple tips back on negotiating.  When you countered with $58,500, and later with $56,500, it was imperative that you waited for your boss’s reply before you spoke again.  Most people can’t stand the silence and will speak, awkwardly trying to defend their position or, worse, lowering their number.   Don’t make this mistake.  Don’t talk yourself out of your stated position.

If your boss is a deliberate person and takes his time to think things through, just sit and wait.  Two to three minutes could go by, but just let the silence work in your favor.  If you don’t know where to look or what to do while waiting, start observing things around the office, or re-read your accomplishment list, or make a grocery list.  Let him worry about what you are thinking.  You left the ball in his court when you named a figure or asked a question.  Don’t go onto his side of the court and grab the ball from him.  If you move to his side of the court prematurely, you could get penalized.  Let him make the next move. You’ll be mad at yourself if you don’t, and you’ll be pleased if you do.

Now, what should you do when your boss makes you an offer?  Right after the offer or counteroffer is made, pause and show that you are considering his offer before blurting out your response.  Do this even if you like his response.  Let the silence work in your favor and make him feel uneasy.  Since it is normal for most people to feel uncomfortable with silence, perhaps he will end up increasing his offer.  When you can’t think on your feet or, even if the offer is reasonable, always ask for a day or two to consider his response.  No one says this all has to be finished in 10 minutes, or even on the same day.  Be patient…this is your money.

Salary Negotiations aren’t always a cut and dried event.  There can be lots of shades of grey and blues and pinks and you get the idea.  Let’s discuss next what some of these grey areas look like.  Hang in there.   All of this can impact your life and your family’s life for years to come.   See you for the next tip.

How does silence make you feel? Have you experienced the awkwardness of silence when with your boss? Share details here:



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