How to Negotiate the Salary Using the Power of the Norm of Reciprocity

An employee negotiating his/her salary may often feel a complete lack of bargaining power. If the employee lacks alternative jobs, and thus cannot make a credible threat to quit or take another job, it is easy to feel that the offer made by the employer is a take it or leave it offer which the employee cannot influence at all.

The employee or job seeker can however take advantage of the laws of human nature to increase his/her leverage when negotiating the salary. One of these laws says that every human being has an interest in being recognized as a worthy member of society. The only chance to be recognized as such a member is to show that one is willing to comply with the basic norms of society. Not to comply with these basic norms is to put oneself outside society, a condition that is unbearable to most people.

The most fundamental norm of society is the norm of reciprocity. According to Wikipedia, the norm of reciprocity is “the social expectation that people will respond to each other in kind — returning benefits for benefits, and responding with either indifference or hostility to harm.”

The power of this norm can be felt in most bargaining situations. Assume a buyer and a seller are haggling over the price of a car. The seller starts out with a bid at $24,000. The buyer finds this offer unacceptable and makes a counter bid at $15,000. Now, the seller lowers his bid to $20,000, i.e. he makes a concession. In this case, the buyer will most often feel inclined to increase his bid, maybe to $17,000. The reason why the buyer will feel this inclination is because of the presence of the norm of reciprocity. This norm now demands that the buyer responds to the seller’s concession with another concession.

The norm of reciprocity is so powerful that it can be taken advantage of in almost any bargaining situation, even by a party that otherwise completely lacks leverage. This norm is a most powerful ally to the employee or job seeker negotiating his salary – if correctly appealed to.

The norm of reciprocity will only work if it is very clear that the employee makes a concession or gives something away to the employer. This can be made in several ways. If, for example, the employer has worked over time for months without any compensation, he can say “I really do like this work. That is the reason why I have spent hours and hours of overtime here. I think it is only fair that I get some kind of compensation for my efforts for this company.” Another way is to start out the salary negotiation by making a high but reasoned salary claim, from which a concession can be made in the next round.

With the norm of reciprocity in his toolbox, the employee or job seeker negotiating his salary will have dramatically increased his leverage.

When You Negotiate – What Value Do You Place on Hope?

In past negotiation lessons, I’ve highlighted strategies and tactics that you can use when negotiating. I’ve discussed the value of being able to read and interpret body language (nonverbal signals). I’ve elaborated on the virtues of being mindfully astute when it comes to deciphering nuances that occur when negotiating. The one thing I haven’t touched on in any great length, in any lessons, is the value ‘hope’ plays when negotiating.

I don’t wish to sound whimsical nor capricious, but there’s something to be said about faith, belief, and ‘hope’, when you negotiate. Of course, you still have to prepare for any negotiation by doing your due diligence when it comes to gathering background information on the other negotiator, creating a plan for the negotiation (your road map), and determining what you’ll do if the negotiation doesn’t go the way you want. Nevertheless, you can add an additional dimension to the negotiation by having faith in your abilities and giving consideration to the role ‘hope’ will play.

Let me state, I’m not a huge fan of the law of attraction, but there are ‘things’ that occur in the universe that none of us are truly aware. That being the case, might ‘hope’ really be a viable resource that you can use to enhance a negotiation? There will be setbacks and heartbreaks when you negotiate. Things won’t always go the way you planned, but if you can keep yourself from feeling beaten, downtrodden, and discouraged, you’ll keep ‘hope’ alive.

Have you ever thought that something you wanted very badly would never come to pass? Then, when it didn’t, your first thought was, I knew it wouldn’t happen. Think for a moment. In the instant you thought about a negative experience, it occurred. Maybe part of its occurrence came to fruition,partly due to the thought process you manifested. I’m not suggesting you can will something into existence nor will it away, but if you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right! The direction in which you think, will be the direction in which you’ll move.

When you negotiate, instead of being pessimistic, try to be optimistic. Allow ‘hope’ to replace doubt. Allow ‘hope’ to replace fear. Let not your imagination be your downfall, due to your lack of belief, faith, or conviction that you have about your negotiation position and the outcome you seek.

The next time you’re in a tough negotiation situation and you’re not sure if you’ll be able to acquire the outcome for which you search, close your eyes, while at the negotiation table, and quietly start thinking or chanting out loud, ‘I have ‘hope!’ By doing so, you will enhance the chance that the negotiation will turn out to be more positive for all involved. This may not work, but if your chant is heard by the other negotiator, believe me, it will get his attention. Upon seeing and hearing you, he may give consideration to helping you achieve what you need and want from the negotiation.

Even if using ‘hope’ in your negotiation doesn’t bear fruit, it won’t leave you bare. You will have discovered another tool that will cause pause in a negotiation. During that pause, the negotiation can be reshaped, revamped, and redirected. Done right, with the proper timing, you’ll throw the other negotiator off his game. At that time you’ll have a momentary advantage. Use ‘hope’ wisely and you just might shift the power of the negotiation to your advantage; after all, who knows? With ‘hope’ the unimaginable may become reality … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

· When you’re handed a plate that’s broken into a million pieces and all you have is a single rubber band to put it back together, what else can you do except ‘hope’. When negotiating, don’t discount the value of ‘hope’.

· While negotiating, pay close attention to the dynamics that are occurring. If the other negotiator is faith based, or one that can be easily mollified, you can use flowery language such as, ‘I ‘hope’ we can achieve the outcome we’re seeking.’ This type of negotiator will be more impressed by such language and easier to assuage.

· It’s been said that “Chance favors the prepared mind.” When your negotiation plans fail to bring forth the outcome you seek, or it’s not going in the direction in which you’d like, use ‘hope’ and always try to keep ‘hope’ alive.

Presents for Men that Will Impress

Buying a gift for a man means taking a moment to think about what he does in life for work and play. Men who work in or like carpentry may find a new hammer or drill useful. However, a 3D artist would have very little use for a hammer. It’s important to keep this in mind when buying a gift.

Guys who like electronics will certainly give off some kind of sign. They will usually be talking about the latest greatest thing, or be drooling over a new piece of hardware. If you don’t have time to listen then take a peek inside his den or workshop and see what’s there. If you open the door and there’s a tower of giant beeping plastic with lights on it then that probably means he likes electronics.

Another thing you need to consider is that there is a difference between electronics people and computer people. Computer people are often called packrats for all the parts they keep strewn about their homes. We can’t help it we never know when we will need them. Other men also like camcorders and other audio video electronics, and then you have gamers.

Most notably the hardest to buy for these men love their games. When buying for a gamer you have to figure out which time period of games he likes. Whether he is an older gamer or he is a modern gamer. Then you have to figure out which system and game types he likes. After all this you then need to get him something he doesn’t already have.

Keep in mind not all of us are the same. Every expert seems to think we all like starring at naked ladies and drinking beer all the time but that’s a big misconception. We are often just a sensitive about issues and as complicated inside as anyone else. Finding cool presents for men isn’t hard if you just take the time to get to know us.