Are your fears holding you back in negotiations?

Face your fears: Banish these 4 negotiation barriers


There are some situations when fear is crucial for survival. When meeting a shadowy stranger late at night or stumbling across a hissing snake on your morning walk, fear heightens your emotions and sharpens senses – helping you to make quick decisions and protect your safety.

However, there are some places where fear is not welcome. Take the workplace, for example.

No matter how great our negotiation skills and training, fear can turn us from calm and collected diplomats into unreasonable arguers once our fight or flight instincts can kick in. If you suddenly find yourself wanting to raise your voice or run away, you have lost your position of power in the negotiation.

Facing your fears is therefore crucial for achieving a positive outcome when debating in the workplace. Here are the four most common fears that you may need to overcome before tackling a big negotiation:

Fear of rejection

While it seems like a relatively small thing to some people, hearing “no” can be a big blow to your confidence. However, you need to remember that a negotiation is a small debate – your employer may reject the first offer in the hope that you will compromise.

This means that even if you hear the word “no”, it does not mean the negotiation is over. Stay strong and prepare a rebuttal to keep the conversation going.

Fear of embarrassment

Negotiations often require individuals to step out of their comfort zone and risk being proved wrong.

Rather than focusing on the chance of being embarrassed, use this as an opportunity to learn from your manager. Support your own opinions with research and be ready to discuss why you were mistaken – this should help you avoid similar outcomes next time around.

Fear of being unworthy

Sometimes, we avoid asking for the things we want because we believe we may not deserve them. Face this fear by doing your research. What are others in your position being paid? If you are working as hard as or harder than they are, then you deserve to earn as much!

Fear of being fired

Working in poor conditions is better than not working at all, right? Believing that you may be fired for speaking out is a strong deterrent for avoiding negotiations. However, if you overcome this fear and realise your worth, you may find that your employers is more worried about losing you than you are about being let go.

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