Alexandra Dickinson of “Ask For It” shares negotiation tips and tactics for honoring your worth.
– KEYS SOULCARE
We might know how to identify our wants and needs, but actually asking for them? Now that’s a different story. Which is why today, we’re calling on an expert. From in-house roles at Fortune 500 companies to speaking gigs at SXSW, negotiation coach and Ask For It founder Alexandra Dickinson has a passion for doubling down on her clients’ worth — and not letting them leave what they want (or their integrity) on the table.
Here’s our chat about tools for staying true to you, while getting to “yes” more often.
How does negotiation help us tap into our own self-worth?
You can follow any script you want, you can research until you know everything there is to know about what you’re asking for… but none of that will matter if deep down inside, you don’t believe you’re worth it. You can’t control your counterpart’s emotions or reactions, but you can bring your best self to the table and show them a part of who you really are.
What are some common misconceptions or limiting beliefs we all have about negotiating?
I often ask people to share some words that come to mind when they think about negotiation. Typical responses include “intimidating”, “self-serving”, “scary”, “icky”… even “greedy.” As women — and especially for, say, moms — some of us are socialized to look after everyone else’s needs before our own.
What are a few physical ways we can boost our own confidence when preparing to negotiate?
A lot of the tips I’ve heard generally equate to telling women to act more like men, which I’m not into. I advise anyone entering a negotiation to ask what makes them feel confident. For example, sit with your legs crossed. Now sit with both feet on the floor. Which feels better to you? That’s not as much managing how the other person sees you — something you ultimately can’t control — as how you feel inside your body.
Also, role play the conversation out loud with someone who will give candid-but-kind feedback. Thinking about what you’re going to say is not the same thing as engaging with another human being.
And what about mental and emotional prep?
Ask yourself: Literally, how much are you willing to pay to avoid an awkward conversation? What would you do with that money if someone handed it to you right now, if all you had to do was ask? It might be a bit awkward, or intimidating, but know this: Once you’ve had the feeling of speaking up for yourself and ending up in a better place as a result, you’ll never be tempted to stay silent.
Another of my favorites is to give yourself an incentive — something specific and special — if you get what you’re asking for. It can be a meal out at a hot new restaurant (once that’s a “thing” again), a piece of jewelry, or something for your home. But it should be a treat for you!
What do you feel prepared to ask for next? Share your thoughts in the comments!