Negotiating your salary

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In my case, I’d say it’s about five hundred we are talking about.

Click on the infographic below and have a closer look at some tips and tricks that will help you be successful when negotiating your salary.

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You have just graduated and you are full of dreams and hopes that you will (of course) succeed and that you and your unique set of skills will make you world’s next Lord Sugar (do not get me wrong, I know you can do better, but did not want to go as far as saying Donald Trump… you have to reach for quite a Realistic goal… remember the SMART objectives your teachers somehow thought you did not get from the first 10 times they told you about it, so they felt the need to explain it to you even the 11th time? Yup, that type of realistic).

You start applying to countless jobs. Some of them might not reply, but that is fine, you told yourself they were not worth your time, anyway.

All of a sudden everything makes sense: You get THE call! You realise this is THE job and you now know why the others did not contact you… it was Faith, exactly! You were meant to work for this very company. Happy and satisfied, you then give your old Primark Smart Outfit a rest and you invest in that exquisite suit you imagined yourself to be well-deserved at your first interview…

Just days after, all is set, you managed to get there on time, you mesmerised them with your well-rehearsed speech and your lovely persona. You are good to seal the deal when the word “SALARY” pops into the conversation. That is when we feel like trying to break the world’s record for the biggest numbers of “uhms…” used in a sentence.

 Let us see how we can avoid that.

Do your research, before anything…

➢          Determine the market rate salary range for the position you aim to occupy;

➢          Prepare a budget to determine the financial needs you’ll have: rents, transportation and living costs in general might be different, should you move into a new city;

➢          Decide, what salary you’d like to earn, what is the amount you need to live on, and what we’ll be the one you are willing to settle for;

NEGOTIATION STAIRCASE

Have patience and take one step at a time. Start with proving a high emotional intelligence (E.Q)- be emotionally stable, control your feelings. Everyone has nerves, it is a proof that you do care about the outcome.

The destination: Influence, Persuasion. The deal is sealed.

Trust – get them to have confidence in you so they’d feel assured before you attempt to reach the last step

Empathy/ Rapport – this is where you connect

Initial Contact- Opening lines, First impression (e.g. show confidence by having a firm handshake)

E.Q. – The solid foundation

PUT  SOME  FUN  INTO   IT…

Shoot your arguments firmly to the employer

Once you get the ball back into your side of the court, Dribble with the ideas, be flexible

Have the guts to then throw the ball back if you are not yet confident the game should end, and the deal to be sealed

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And finally… Do not be afraid to ask any additional questions you might have, you will be delighted with the results!

Do you recall your first interview? Were you aware back then that your salary could be negotiated?

As always, I look forward to hearing from you!

Performance Review Process

What a performance appraisal requires is for one person to stand in judgment of another. Cartoon_PerfAppraisal-300x218

Deep down, it’s uncomfortable.” said Dick Grote, author of How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals.

Evaluating an employee’s job performance should consist of more than an annual chat, according to James Baron, the William S. Beinecke Professor of Management at Yale School of Management. Performance management is a process, he says. “Presumably you’re giving a tremendous amount of real-time feedback, and your employees are people you know well. Hopefully your relationship can survive candid feedback.”

1612_stripFirst things first, the performance review process within an organisation is in no way limited to the performance appraisal discussion. The performance review should be seen, by both management as well as employees as a continuous process that requires constant communication and constructive feedback.

Transparency, mutual respect, respect for the individual and procedural fairness, these are all just few of the key ethical considerations for a performance review to be successful on both sides.

The following are what I consider the key stages of a successful Performance Review Process to be:

  • Schedule it beforehand
    The discussion is typically expected to take place once a year. Make sure everyone is familiar with the concept and only after initiate the process.
  • Give the employee time to provide you with written input
    The employee should receive the same form that the manager is going to fill and have enough time in order to submit their comments before the beginning of the appraisal discussion.
  • Have your own records
    The manager should record employee’s major accomplishments, strengths and weaknesses manifested over the evaluated period of time according to the dimensions on the appraisal form, as well as suggest actions and training or development to improve performance.
  • The meeting itself… *suspense sound effect*
    … where the following should be considered:

a. Put the employee at ease.
- The review should be started on a positive note, the tone being friendly and sincere, all in a comfortable and relaxing environment with no risks of being interrupted.

b. The purpose
… of the meeting should be communicated in positive terms as mainly an opportunity to review the employee’s performance during the evaluated period of time in order to discuss achievements and opportunities for improvement.

c. Obtain the employee’s views.6_strip
- Encourage the employee to speak first and offer their input related to the performance issues;
- Do more listening than talking and HEAR the employee;
- Encourage the employee to express any feelings, ideas and concerns.

d. Elaborate on the employee’s strengths
- As employees may not always be aware of their own achievements and strengths, it is very important for the manager to start discussing performance issues by focusing and emphasizing the positive issues rather than the points to be improved;
- Also, give the employee the chance to describe any ways in which they believe their performance can be improved.

65675_strip_zoome. Oups! You did it again…
- When braking down the “bad news” the supervisor should describe the specific behavior that asks for improvement and clearly explain why in view of the expected performance standards (guidelines for illustrating a behavior: remember the sequence who, what, where and when);
- Focus on performance (behavior and results) and not the personality of the individual.

f. Encourage employee development and end the meeting on a positive note.
- Remember that positive feedback is a motivator so do not waste any opportunity to thank the employee for their efforts and describe the specific behavior that asks for recognition;
- The meeting should be concluded by summarizing employee’s overall strengths and accomplishments as well as by agreeing on future plans to be implemented (these may include training sessions to which the employee should participate, coaching sessions, mentoring etc).

N.B. Although some of the key points might sound as common-sense ones to you, I have been surprised to research the matter and to realize how many managers lack the ability to conduct such a review without ending up with their employees feeling frustrated and aggrieved. I suspect in many of the cases the managers responsible with the review disregard some of the steps or even skip them intentionally. In your view, what steps would you say they are most overlooked and what would the consequences be in each case?

“Conflict” the multi-cultural workplaces

Assuming you experienced confusion at least once in the interaction with another colleague of different nationality, what did you make of it? Unfamiliar behaviours, unexpected replies and communication approaches that we might not have taken before… all these can be sources of conflict in the workplace, especially in multicultural teams. Why? Read below.

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First of, conflict arises when one of the parties involved in the communication process disagrees with a statement/behaviour/situation of some sort. Having a reaction of any kind implies that the party has assessed the message, has analysed it and somehow did not see it as appropriate to the situation. Or maybe it was unexpected. Unfamiliarity can also cause disturbance, can it not? How do we get to the point where we react? What is the process that unfolds in a matter of few seconds and still, sometimes, its consequences can last for ages?

I mentioned analysis of the perceived message earlier. To me, this analysis involves much more than we might be aware of at a first glance. It involves a full spectrum of emotions, past experiences or even expectations, along with personal beliefs, cultural background, education, life principles… in other words: filters, our own personal filters.

Sender Receiver Model

Coming back to the first example, your colleague whose nationality differs from yours sends out a message with no intention of harming, solely based on his previous experience. The message, as a whole chunk, crosses the route to you, the receiver. Will it reach you the way it has been sent out? No. It will be altered. Why? Because it will first go through your personal filters. There is now a big chance for you not only to receive the message differently than it was meant to, but also to react due to the fact that your filters determined your very own internal representation of that message. The new representation of the message might be offending to you or inappropriate, although to the sender it would not seem this way at all. What you perceived through your own filters was not what the sender wanted you to.

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From my own personal experience, as a foreigner working in multicultural teams, keeping an open mind and leaving your ego at the door step when working in environments as such are key steps to a better communication.

I have left room for you to exemplify the above stated as I’d be excited to hear some of your experiences. Did it ever happen to you to be part of a conflict that rationally should not even exist in the first place but cultural differences and miscommunication allow it to occur?

Have a bright week ahead!