Men love to negotiate, women hate it. That is because women are still socialized to be passive and sweet and not rock the boat. College is a great place to start sharpening your negotiations skills and prepare yourself for the work world.

Why Negotiating is Important

During college you will be part of a lot of group assignments. This is to prepare you for the work world because you will most likely work with a team. Usually in every group assignment scenario, there is one person who really comes in strong and takes the lead. There is also the slacker who tries to get away with doing nothing and riding on the coattails of the group. You need to start negotiating with your group from the first moment. Try to establish yourself as the group leader by starting to dole out pieces of the assignment. If going into toe-to-toe battle with someone for top dog position doesn’t sit well with you, at least make sure you get the better part of the assignment delegated to you. Here is where you need to learn to be selfish and take what you want without apologizing for it. Also, don’t let the slacker skate. Speak up in a group meeting when the slacker doesn’t perform. He’ll get group pressure and start pulling his own weight, or get kicked out.
By standing up for yourself immediately during a group assignment you ensure that you won’t get taken advantage of. Unfortunately it seems to be human nature to take advantage of the perceived weakest person in the group. Learn to not portray that trait fast.

Do it Even if You are Scared

The idea of negotiating makes most people quake in their boots. However college is a time for personal growth. Make sure you push yourself. If negotiating instills fear in your heart, take small steps at first.

Negotiating Means Staying Friendly

There is no need to get angry or aggressive during a negotiation. Actually it is counterproductive. No matter how you are feeling, stay calm. If you feel your temper rising, take a break. If the other person reacts this way say, “I feel that you are very emotional about this topic right now. Do you need a break?” People hate being called emotional and usually calm down quickly.

Take a Course in Negotiating

College is there for you to learn. Even if a negotiation course is not part of your curriculum, take one anyway. If your college doesn’t offer it, take an online class or seek out the local community college. Negotiating is a life skill that you will use over and over.

Negotiate Your Salary

Yes you are lucky to be offered a job. However not even trying to negotiate your salary is a mistake. Use the skills you learned in the course you took and ask for more money, a company cell phone, and/or more vacation. The tiniest bump up will make you feel so good.

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