How to negotiate your work contract

negotiate work contract

“In life, you don’t get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate. So don’t be afraid to ask – the worst you can hear is ‘no.'”

Christine Tsai


I am pretty sure the one or the other heard about this quote and many of us really have the intention to be more convincing and obtaining what they want in professional collaboration, but they are not sure how to proceed. 

So I decided to give you a short overview of ready to use strategies in order to make your negotiation easier. 

1. Take your time

The first step in negotiation is to obtain as much information as you need and to recognize limits and expectations. This needs time for understanding every little detail you might need during the actual negotiation. 

2. Train your negotiation skills 

Have a look at some online courses that provide you some strategies on how to negotiate a working contract and try to put those strategies into practice. The more you exercise the better you get!

3. Make yourself a list

Prepare before the negotiation and make yourself a list with your strengths and your expectations from the collaboration but also the financial remuneration. Find numbers and stats that sustain you. Take your time and find as much positive pieces of evidence for your cause. Prioritize your arguments from less important to most important. 

4. The negotiation discussion

Do not try the all-or-nothing approach. Break your list of expectations into pieces and try to obtain validation for each of your points. This will take the overload from your shoulders – you will win battle after battle and finally the war, by giving the other part in the first line the impression that they have won, but obtaining later more than you have expected before. 

5. Take control

Try to conduct the conversation by keeping the lead concerning location, timing, topics, and pace of negotiation. Framing the discussion can have a big advantage for being on the winning part. Take care of the language you use – try to take neutral expressions rather than personal sentences like “I think, I believe, I want” and learn to master your emotions. 

6. Put questions

If you see that the discussion is not fluid anymore and the other party does not agree with you, simply ask why. This will re-open the discussion with the other party. 

7. Make a compromise, if needed

The other party will not agree on every point with you. Depending on the importance of the decision for you there are situations in which you have to find a common solution with the other party and make a compromise. If you are indispensable for the other party another tactic is to sustain your point of view and to sit on the discussion table until you are content.

8. End in a positive tone

No matter how the negotiation discussion has ended for you, if you are content or not, try to leave a positive impression on the other party. 


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