by Cindy Cabral

From Negotiating Salary basics to how to negotiate with your peers to the impact of stereotypes and how to come across strong without sounding aggressive, this article covers it all. A must read!

Negotiating Salary, the proven negotiating strategies you don't want to miss!
Negotiating Salary, the proven negotiating strategies you don’t want to miss!

Proven negotiation strategies was one of the most popular topics in the recent Red Shoe Movement event in NYC. Among the many questions asked during two rounds of this topic, negotiating salary was the one we spent most time on.

Negotiating salary

Participants were concerned about how to have a conversation about salary and benefits.

Experts shared the following:

– Do your due diligence by researching websites such as and to get a feel for what other companies are offering within their packages.

– Keep a running list of your accomplishments.

– Research salaries for positions below and above your own.

– Know your strengths and assets within the company.

Expert Xiomara Wallace shared that when it comes to negotiating salary “you must know how to sell yourself, what you have to offer to employers and it begins with answering the following questions: What do you bring to the table? What is your experience?  What is your worth?” She also added: “When you’re looking for new employment never tell a new employer what you already make. Do not reveal your salary but if you do, never lie because some employers may ask for pay stubs. The best way to find out what a company may or may not be offering is to ask for a salary range.”

Expert Sandra Plaza suggested that when negotiating salary you must “highlight the cost effectiveness of your abilities.” For example being bilingual represents an extra asset you bring to any company you interview with.

Negotiating salary when you’ve been in the company for a long time

Expert Chris Castillo shared the following: “Go for it! Do it before your mid-year review. Know your market value, show that you are a top performer. Show the data for where you need to be. Ask for the raise and have a candid conversation which includes a time frame for your salary increase.”

She explained that  “role playing is a great way to prepare for these conversations. Negotiate with your husband and family. Practice outside of work in an environment where you’re comfortable and then move the strategy to the workplace.”

Turning a negotiation into an opportunity

How do you turn a negotiation from a challenge to an opportunity?— Asked Christina Saenz- Alcantara.

Expert Lily Benjamin said: “You need to know what you want to ask for. Your goal is to take the person where you want to go. Practice active listening, which means, listen for emotions and feelings. Really inquire about the person you are talking to and about the company.”

Expert Chris Castillo shared: “Women seldom negotiate. They settle for 5 to 10 % salary increase while men settle for 10 to 20 %. Express to your employer what you currently make and what your expectation is based on what you know and the research you have done. Be explicit, but also ask if there is room for negotiation. The worse they can say is that there is no budget for a salary increase. But know your worth! Prove your competency! Be confident about what you are asking for!”

Impact of stereotypes

The room was filled with a majority of women from different cultures and backgrounds. Participants wondered how they could internalize confidence with the kind of stereotyping and discrimination they often experience in the work place.

Experts shared the following insights:

-Be confident in your abilities.

-When you deliver a product and the product is good, you’re recognized for it. That is America!

-Ambition goes a long way and employers love it as it helps you move up the ladder.

– Having a strong drive is important.

-Be patient and don’t jump to conclusions about others’ opinions of you.

-Experience will speak for itself.

Negotiating with peers

Some participants expressed their frustration when communicating with their peers because they felt they didn’t know how to adequately share responsibilities, delegate, or even build consensus to reach a common goal.  Experts gave great advice:

-Try to influence without being authoritative. Build a relationship with each team member to make them feel they are being heard.

-Establish rapport with everyone on your team so people want to work with you.

-Change the setting where you meet with your team. Have team gatherings and outings to get to know one another.

-Figure out individuals’ weaknesses and strengths.

-Practice kindness. The more kindness you practice the more kindness you get back.

-Don’t take responsibility for what others are not doing.

-Have conversations that don’t involve work.

Negotiating when you’re younger 

Participants asked about negotiating within a team which  includes younger and older people than themselves.

-Create a track record of success, so it speaks for you.

-Find your allies before you begin negotiations.

-This generation feels they are entitled so meet them half way.  Ask questions to have them meet you where you’re at. – Keeping an open dialogue is the best way.

Proven salary negotiation strategies
Proven salary negotiation strategies

How to come across strong without sounding aggressive

Expert Lily Benjamin addressed this issue with the following: “Emotions will come across in negative ways when negotiating because you are trying to sell something you are passionate about. This causes you to forget to listen. State your intentions and be logical. People respond to logic not emotions. Redirect your emotions during negotiation.

Other experts shared the following:

-Show objective data.

-Emotions and passion can hijack objectivity and your negotiation techniques.

-Find your allies before you begin your negotiations.

-Refine your tools.

Red Shoe Movement

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