Negotiation Means Defining Your Measurements

Like we saw a few weeks ago, there inevitably will come a time in your career when you’ll have to convince someone else — to change their mind. This is sales; this is, essentially, negotiation. When my client wanted to convince her boss to hire a co-leader team, instead of just one leader, she had to negotiate. And what she learned is that negotiation will always go more smoothly if you can define your own measurements.

When her boss said, “Co-leadership doesn’t work,” part of what he was saying was, I have no evidence and I don’t know how to measure it. Not only does she have to explain why it could work — she had to design the measurements to define what ‘working’ really meant. How would they know this new method was successful? What metrics would they use? Less turnover? Higher profit? Employee satisfaction? And over what period of time? How long was long enough?

The same goes for any negotiation, really. If you want a pay raise, define your measurements of success. How have you contributed to the company? What metrics show your own growth and that of your team? This is what negotiating is: not trying to convince someone you’re right, but showing them with clear evidence the measurements that prove you’re right. The unfortunate truth, as Anias Nin taught us, is that we don’t see the world as it is — we see the world as we are. Therefore, they may be looking west for an answer when it’s standing a few yards behind them jumping up and down — but they haven’t turned east to see it. They may be simply missing a new dawn coming over the horizon, and it’s your job to get them to turn around, to stop looking at what was, and start looking at what can be.

Anytime you’re faced with a negotiation, define your measurement of success.