Ever seen something and without looking at a price tag guessed what it would cost to obtain? It is a great road trip game – guess the price of the passing houses or the cars that pass.
We do this in life all the time, often unconsciously. Think about it, you see a commercial for something and venture a pregnant guess on its price until you either hear it or look it up and are appropriately pleased (less than what you thought) or horrified (it costs how much?!?!). Of course, your reaction has no bearing on the price quoted – in other words, nobody is changing how much the item is worth simply because you do not agree with its valuation.
Why then do we not stake the same claim to our own value? Whether it is the value we bring to a relationship or to a job, very often we are afraid to ask for the price that is aligned with our true value. We settle for less than what we’d like or worse we don’t think we deserve more.
This happens during times of salary negotiation; performance reviews and compensation raises. But it also happens outside of work. It happens in relationships – spousal, parental, familial – just about any relationship – and just like a salary negotiation, the value we bring to the relationship must be negotiated. This challenge is even more pronounced when the relationship (or the job) is new. Fortunately, there are two simple steps to overcome this:
Step 1: Know your worth – Before entering any negotiation, be sure of what you are bringing to the table. Familiarize yourself with your value in the equation. Ask others, ask yourself, do what it takes but know yourself beyond a shadow of a doubt (and don’t shy away from periodic ‘training’ sessions to better yourself – whether at the gym, the couch of a counselor or a coaching session). Growth is leverage. That done proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Command your price – Now that you know your worth, have no reservations about asking your price. Whether it is a higher salary, a title, more responsibility or in the case of a relationship, respect, consideration and equal say. Remember, every commodity has its consumer and those that want you bad enough will gladly pay your price. Besides, we often believe they get what we pay for and that being true, how do you think you might be perceived if you are willing to come to the table for less?
So, arm yourself with the certainty that comes from knowing yourself. Then state your worth, claim your value and settle for nothing less.
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