It’s never easy to demand a pay rise, but there are ways of persuading your boss to give you the salary you want.
Check out these clever tips to get the best out of pay negotiations, all backed up by psychology research.
Warm hands = warm heart
You wouldn’t think that a hot drink would make a difference. But an experiment discovered that people are more likely to think better of you if they’ve just been holding something warm. Didn’t your boss just ask for a nice hot cup of tea?
Are they sitting comfortably?
You’ve got to find the perfect position. Researchers discovered that people haggling over a car bargained more forcefully if they sat on a hard chair and were more forgiving if they were in a soft one. Give your boss a marshmallow-filled armchair to sit on.
Reach for the sky
Think big. During simulated salary negotiations, those who jokingly quoted an implausibly high figure at the outset ended up with salaries 9% higher than normal. How much are you asking for again?
Add a little extra weight
Give your request some substance. In an experiment, people were asked to look at CVs attached to clipboards. The heavier the clipboard, the more seriously the CV was taken. Lesson? When asking for a pay rise, tie your proposal to a brick.
It can pay to be assertive and up front. Employees negotiating a pay rise got more money if they were competitive and even threatened to pull out of the negotiations. But they had done their homework, and knew their market worth.
Round numbers = less pounds
Be specific. Many people open a salary negotiation with a round number, instead of an exact figure. Bad idea. According to research, precise opening figures make people look more informed and result in higher counter offers.
And finally, I wonder how such tactics would have worked on the Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792BC -1750BC). He set down laws on workers’ wages and contract length, but he also said that masters could cut off the ears of uppity slaves. Swings and roundabouts, eh?