Negotiating for a higher salary is nerve-wracking for many of us. If you’re an introvert, however, you may be even more reluctant to fight for higher pay.
“The idea of negotiating is something that strikes fear or discomfort in many people, introverts among them,” says Susan Cain, best-selling author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking,” and one of the most popular TED Talks speakers of all time with over 17 million views.
But having this discussion doesn’t have to be a terrifying prospect. Cain explains that there are various steps you can take to make negotiating your salary a seamless and easy process.
“When you have to negotiate a salary,” she says, “one thing that you can always do is your homework to figure out what the market value is for this role that you’re applying for.”
Knowing how much your peers are making in that same role or industry will at least give you a starting baseline and you can navigate your way from there.
If you’re looking to negotiate, it’s crucial that you stake your request in the market value, Cain explains. By doing this you’re “depersonalizing” the negotiation. “You’re not making this like a contest between you and your prospective employer,” she adds.
Focusing on the market value also makes the dynamic between you and your employer much more comfortable and less combative, says Cain. She suggests saying the following: “I know the market value for a position like this is generally X. Do you think that you might be able to reach that?”
Approaching the “salary topic” in this manner is based on a principle in negotiating which is called “being soft on the people but hard on the problem,” says Cain.
This tactic is particularly useful for introverts who tend to shy away from tough conversations that they find draining. On the flip side, Cain notes that one of an introvert’s many skills lies in their interactions with others on a deeply personal level.
Introverted employees should also make use of this ability to snag senior level roles, which generally come with a higher payday.
When you’re tackling a difficult scenario, being firm on the issue yet still personable is always your best bet, according to the bestselling author.
“It’s always the way you want to go,” she says. “Be firm about the substance but be friendly, and open and warm in your dealings with the people.”