Mostly, the discrepancy boils down to being afraid of a negative result, or disliking confrontation, period. Twenty-eight per cent of respondents said that they were afraid to negotiate salary, while 19 per cent said they didn’t want to be perceived as pushy, and eight per cent were scared of losing their job. These are not unreasonable fears in a post-recession job market, but they’re also not based on reality. The vast majority of managers expect workers to negotiate, especially when they’re contemplating a new job.
Don’t be swayed by the horror stories that crop up in the news now and then — it’s the rare employer that will condone firing someone (or yanking an offer) simply because that person tried to negotiate in a reasonable manner. The reason those stories stand out is precisely because they’re so rare. And do you really want to work for a company that fires people for asking to be paid what they deserve?
Still, if you’re confrontation-averse, you probably don’t take much comfort in knowing that it’s OK to ask for more; your issue is how to do it in a way that can stop you from hyperventilating.
Here are five negotiation tips for people who hate confrontation: