10 tested methods to negotiate with your boss

Comment Negocier Avec Son Boss

Who could be better than an FBI negotiator, used to extreme situations, to help you learn how to negotiate without blushing a raise or a change of jobs with your boss? In his book Never split the difference, American Chris Voss coaches you on how to get the best out of your professional life. Follow the guide:

Listen attentively

To avoid listening to the little bicycle spin in your head rather than the endless arguments of your boss, force yourself to direct your attention only and exclusively on what he or she has to say. Because negotiation is less a battle than a discovery process, try to learn how to gather as much information as possible in order to rebound even better afterwards.

Runaway from presuppositions

Rather than impose to your boss the suppositions you have in terms of his reactions, turn your tongue seven times in your mouth before launching into questions-answers and use the negotiation to collect information. You think your boss will not give you a raise tough you deserve it? Definitely banish phrases such as “even if I know times are tough for the company, I’d like to ask for a raise…” Might as well shoot yourself in the foot!

Work on your voice

Nothing is more convincing during a negotiation than a positive or cheery voice. No matter the object of the negotiation, whether you want more holidays, more money or consideration, train yourself in front of a mirror at talking with the poised voice of a relaxed person with a laidback attitude. We will never repeat it enough: the chances of success are increased in a positive atmosphere of dialogue!

Flatter your boss

Learn how to recognize the reflexive line of your boss and don’t hesitate to repeat his sentences after him in a “mirror effect”, so as to get him to develop his remarks: the person facing you will feel understood and consider you like a deserving individual. Your boss sweetly says: “I would like you to increase the productivity in terms of your work? Just repeat: “that I increase productivity in terms of my work” in order to extend your hand to him. In short, leave your ego on the doorstep during the discussion and make sure the negotiation places itself in the universe of your interlocutor and not yours.

Disarm the person in front of you

To chase away the recriminations of your boss as far as you are concerned, express them freely out loud… Before him! A good tactic to deactivate bad news that could happen? Slip yourself into the shoes of your superior. No need to be in agreement with his ideas, but by recognizing his situation, you immediately show you are listening and disarm your interlocutor who might have prepared himself to a combat…

Accept a “non”

Mostly, don’t push it to get a “yes” from people, because this this of attitude can quickly irritate your boss and put him on the defensive. Don’t be afraid of the “no”: beginning or all negotiation, it is never definite and often synonymous of a plain “wait”. To put all the chances on your side in this power relationship with your boss, first list all the obstacles justifying his refractory position and put them in the spotlight in order to dedramatize them. Little by little, if you also follow the other tips, the “non” will gradually soften and open the way to a real “yes”.

Ask open questions

To give your interlocutor the illusion of control, ask questions which he can answer, without expecting a determined response. A way of flattering the other to win some time to prepare you own argumentation. Rather than say: “do you accept to give me a higher position”, opt for: “how do you consider my place in the company at this stage?”

Implicate your interlocutor

As brilliant as you may be, always give to your superior the impression that he is the one coming up with the solutions … and not you. For that, do not reveal yourself immediately. You know that you will be more productive than your colleague for five different reasons? Rather than impose this fact which you really believe in, ask questions opening ways towards your goal in order to naturally rally your boss to your cause.


Well yes, this can seem totally impossible for those who are the most stressed out, but you should know to a major part of the negotiation result depends on your body language. With a big smile pinned to your face, whether it’s natural or forced, you send back positive vibes to your boss—he or she will be more open to collaborate and resolve issues.

Take your time

Overwhelmed by stress or energy, we often tend to launch out in our argumentations at work. The drawback? Your boss may have the impression of not being heard and could very well close the door to all your grievances… The best way to preserve the confidence established? Slow down the dialogue and install pauses in order to make your interlocutor feel you are clam and open to discussion. Do not be scared of silences, the person across from you will know how to fill them out.

Livre de Chris Voss et Tahl Raz

Never split the difference by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz, published by HarperCollins, €19.90

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