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How To Negotiate Your Worth & Completely Change The Game

From the L.A.T.T.E. method to knowing your add-value, your raise is closer than you think.

Finance

Sometimes speaking up for ourselves and what we deserve at work is easier said than done. While previous studies say women don't negotiate as often as men, recent studies counter and suggest that women do in fact negotiate, they just don't get their full ask as often as men. The beautiful thing about life is that there is power in asking for what you want, especially in the workplace.

We talked to a few boss women in career coaching on the art of negotiation and helpful tips to get what you want.

Jacqueline Twillie, Founder of Zero Gap

Jacqueline Twillie

Big Yourself Up and Prime The Pump

If you know you've been killing it and other people are acknowledging your value-add, let your boss know this too! "When you're receiving compliments at work, [it's important] to really accept them so don't shy away and say, 'No big deal.' Really say, 'Thanks for recognizing that. I pride myself on doing this well.' [That way] you are emphasizing the value that you add. So, you've been priming the pump with those two things."

Speak From A Standpoint of Team

Understanding your company culture and language is crucial in stating your case that you understand the vision, direction and business goals for the company, and how you meet or exceed them. Jacqueline recommends using the DISC Profile Assessment which gives insight into how people communicate.

"When you ask for something, whether it's that time off from work or a promotion and some type of adjustment, what you should do in the next instance is use language like 'we' and 'us,' it needs to be communal."

We know that double standards are real, and common language can be particularly helpful for women. "Stanford researchers showed us a few years back that western culture American culture specifically expects women to be communal, and because we have to be communal that is like a two-edged sword," says Jacqueline. "If we come off like 'I-I-I' it will backfire even if we negotiate with a woman."

L.A.T.T.E.

When it comes to negotiation, Jacqueline lives by the motto L.A.T.T.E – a checklist of five points you should use before you go into a negotiation which she shares in her book, Don't Leave Money On The Table: Negotiation Strategies for Women Leaders in Male-Dominated Industries. It stands for:

Look at the details.

Anticipate challenges.

Think about the walkaway point.

Talk it through.

Evaluate the options.

Yvette Gavin, Founder of Yvette Gavin Consulting

Yvette Gavin

Build With Your Boss

One-on-one meetings with your boss are optimal times to showcase your work and skill set. "You should be having regular one-on-one conversations, meeting with the person they report directly to. Don't wait for your manager to schedule a one-on-one with you. You schedule it with him or her," says Yvette.

Frequent one-on-one meetings with your boss allows them to understand your work value and can place you in a better position to negotiate comfortably. "When you want to talk to your leader, it shouldn't be like, 'OK, now I need to have a conversation about making more money.' You should have already established some type of rapport so that by the time you get to the place where you now want to really negotiate, you have something more to leverage."

Tone and Body Language Is Key

How we carry ourselves is also a reflection of how we feel about ourselves. While it's natural to be nervous in a negotiation meeting, it's important to exude confidence. Show that you deserve a seat at the table through verbal and non-verbal behaviors like sitting up straight, speaking loudly and clearly and eye contact. "If someone comes into my office and they are acting meek, not looking me in my eye and don't sound like they are convinced that they deserve to earn a pay increase, I'm not going to buy it either."

Time Your Negotiation Request Properly

If your company is in crisis mode about budget cuts or operation issues, then it may not be a good time to bring up a promotion request. Instead, set yourself up for a promotion by showing you're a team player and are flexible to changes.

"If you have knowledge that the company is about to go through a transition weather [it is] a lay off or cut back, your leaders are more concerned at that point about putting out the fire," says Yvette. "You really just want to show yourself and adding greater value than your peers when that transition [happens] and how you do that [is] you volunteer to help in some way right help help your leader."

Latesha Byrd, Founder of Byrd Career Consulting

Latesha Byrd

Play It Big With Negotiation Ask

"Every year, you need to ask for something. Ask if you are on track to receive a promotion or what your future looks like at that company. There are so many things you can negotiate for, like maybe you want a flexible work schedule. So, think about your current lifestyle and the position you are in."

While many may typically think of negotiations as financial, Latesha recommends exploring more ways your company can invest in your growth and success.

"Don't just focus on salary, [focus] on the other things and other benefits that you want," says Latesha. "One thing that I think we should all negotiate for [is a] professional development budget - that includes going to conferences [and] letting them pay for membership professional association."

Be Confident In Your Value

Despite the nerves you may be experiencing during a negotiation meeting, it's important to conceal it as best you can. "They (managers) can kind of sense that fear and hesitation and nervousness, they're not going to take you seriously. Speak from a place of, 'Hey, this is how I've added value.'"

Latesha also recommends to stay away from language like "I think." You know what you deserve, say it with your chest!

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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