Whether you are negotiating going back to work after maternity leave or a pay rise, having confidence is key to getting what you want.


Many years ago, I went on an amazing negotiation course, and what I learnt on it still sticks with me today. We arrived late afternoon for a 3.5 day course where we were going to have intensive learning on how to negotiate and how to do it confidently.   


We arrived in our classroom to meet our trainer who was very off from the start. His tone was confrontational, he was angry with our answers to his questions. We were uncomfortable to say the least. We finished for dinner; he ate with us but didn’t say a word even though some tried to make conversation. I thought that evening, how am I going to survive the next three days?


The next morning started off on the same foot until he asked us how we felt yesterday? “Did I make you feel uncomfortable?” he said. YES YOU DID!

It was then that we realised that it was all an act. He was trying to make us feel uncomfortable to prepare us for negotiating because the key to being a confident negotiator is being comfortable with being uncomfortable.


The rest of the course, we practiced all sorts of negotiation and were filmed to see body language and how we acted in situations of being uncomfortable. The trainer was actually really friendly and the opposite of his initial demeanour.


Here are some tips that I still use today whenever I’m going into an uncomfortable situation:


1) Preparation


So as not to get caught off guard, preparing for any outcome or any question that arises will help you feel confident.


2) Be comfortable with silence


Once you have given your negotiation offer, be prepared to NOT SAY ANYTHING. This may make the other party nervous and try to fill the silence. Being nervous in a negotiation is normal but try not to show it by saying too much or giving too much away in your body language.


3) Envisage your outcome


Confidence is certainty so envisaging the negotiation going well beforehand will mean that you go into it feeling confident.

As well as being a licensed career coach, Alice is negotiation trained with the Gap Partnership and successfully negotiated with some of the top fashion and beauty brands including Estée Lauder.



Alice offers a career progression programme which includes all things that will help you progress in your career, including negotiation skills. If you are interested in finding out more, get in contact to book a free 30-minute discovery call.