Have you ever stopped short of asking for what you wanted because you KNEW that even asking would rock the boat?
We have all been there.
Maybe you were afraid of pushing too hard. Maybe you were just sure that the other party would say “no”. Maybe you were afraid of repercussions for asking.
(Don’t) Rock The Boat. Don’t Tip the Boat Over!
It is natural to want to avoid upsetting other people, but doing so can work against your interests…
In October, actress Jennifer Lawrence broke her silence regarding last year’s discovery that she earned substantially less than her male co-stars in the movie American Hustle. She blamed herself for not negotiating as well as her male counterparts. All told, she missed out on a percentage of the profits that likely amounted to millions of dollars.
Some of the reasons she cited for not pushing harder for a better deal may sound familiar (to anybody). At some point, you have probably backed away from a negotiation and settled for less than you wanted because…
You did not really NEED the thing you wanted.
You did not feel like you deserved the thing you wanted.
You did not want to “blow it” by asking for too much.
You did not want to come across as greedy, entitled, or spoiled.
You could not find a way to ask for what you wanted and still be likable.
You did not want to offend anyone or make them mad.
Add to that list the fear of:
Appearing needy, bossy, grabby, or undeserving.
Negative repercussions – like punishment or being ostracized.
Sometimes You Must Rock That Boat! (Like Oliver did!)
Going into any negotiation – and that is any time you ask for what you want – you always have the opportunity to succeed. However, a fearful mindset can keep you from advocating for yourself in a way that is truly effective. Great negotiators prepare for negotiation!
Here are a few things you can do to minimize the effects of fear so that you can bargain for your own interests with confidence and authenticity:
Start by getting a clear idea about what you want. List all of the reasons why you should have it. How will getting what you want benefit you? How will it benefit others?
Think of any reasons why you might be hesitant to ask for what you want. Do you deserve to have it (of course you do!)? Are you concerned about upsetting other people? If so, why?
Remember that you almost never know how the other person feels. And even when you think you know, think again. It’s possible that you are mistaken. It is also possible that adding new information or options could open the negotiation window for you.
Come up with several variations of how your desires can be satisfied. Get creative and see if you can come up with solutions to objections ahead of time.
Create a contingency plan. If you don’t make any headway getting what you want through the current channels, what else can you do? You might look for even more ways to satisfy your desire or change the timeline to be more achievable.
Sketch out at least two other paths you might take. Think them through thoroughly and include a timeline so that you know how much effort it will take and how long it will likely be before you succeed.
This is important because it gives you the ability to try something else if things do not work out. It gives you the swagger and confidence of knowing that you can walk away from the negotiation and still be fine.
Tap through the beliefs that keep you from asking for what you want.
Start by thinking of the last time you bargained on your own behalf. You can also think of an upcoming encounter which will require you to negotiate for your own benefit. Imagine it in your mind as vividly as possible.
Tap this protocol out loud.
On your Karate Chop (KC) Point:
Even though I want this but think they will say no, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I’m afraid to upset people by asking, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Even though I feel awkward asking, I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
Top of your head (TH): I want people to like me.
Eye Brow (EB): If I ask for too much, they might get upset.
Outside of the Eye (OE): They may not like me anymore.
Under Eye (UE): I might get uninvited to things.
Under Nose (UN): I might get punished.
Chin (CH): If I stick up for myself and ask for what I really want, I’ll look bossy.
Collarbone (CB): They will think I’m needy.
TH: An entitled brat.
EB: I’ll be unlikable.
OE: And I don’t want to bother anyone with my desires.
UE: After all, I want it but I don’t NEED it.
UN: Even if I earned it, I don’t NEED it.
CH: I’ll just come off as greedy
CB: Who am I to want more?
KC: Who do I think I am to ask for this?
TH: I’ll be slapped down!
EB: They don’t think I need it.
OE: They don’t think I deserve it.
UE: And they will give me all the reasons I should not have it.
UN: Shame on me for asking.
CH: If I ask for what I want and upset them…
CB: There may be consequences.
KC: They may reject me.
TH: They may kick me out of the group.
EB: They might even try to punish me somehow.
OE: Still, other people ask for what they want and get it.
UE: Do they deserve what they want more than I do?
UN: No! I do deserve to have what I want – even if I don’t need it.
CH: Other people ask and receive.
CB: What do other people have that I don’t?
OE: I choose to be confident in my ability to have what I want.
UE: There are options and it can happen in many different ways.
UN: I choose to have faith that my relationships can handle me asking for what I want.
CH: I choose to know that if one avenue doesn’t work, I can find one that will.
CB: Other people ask and get what they want.
KC: And remain liked.
TH: I choose to have the confidence, faith, and courage to ask for what I want.
EB: Anyone who would be offended by that can take a hike.
OE: The people who respect and value me will listen.
UE: They will work with me toward a mutually beneficial agreement.
UN: I deserve to ask for what I want.
CH: I choose to honor myself and my path by asking.
Take a deep breath.
The more you tune in to what you want (and why you want it), the easier it will be to ask for it (and get it!). Practice on small things with people you know so that you can get more comfortable with doing it. If you ever feel awkward or uncomfortable asking for what you want, come back and tap through this protocol again.
If you know someone who always goes last and avoids asking for things they really want, please send them a link to this blog post. If that someone is you, contact me and we will sort it out.
PS – Remember to check out this week’s companion video!