When asked whether you have any questions for the interviewer, the answer is always yes. Interviewers expect you to be curious about where you intend to work and if you don’t have any questions, the assumption is that you are not interested in the job.
If you had the good fortune to interview with a person who spoke non-stop about the company and answered every question you had ready to ask, reword it and ask it anyway. A lack of questions indicates a lack of interest in the company, a lack of enthusiasm about the job, and, to some extent, a lack of commitment to the interview process.
Asking a question about the interviewer gives them a chance to discuss their own career path and it takes them off the offensive. Questions like “Why did you initially choose to work for this company and how did you get started?” will give you some insight into the promotional path within the company (or lack thereof).
Another good question to ask the interviewer in regards to their experience is “What do you like most about working for the company?” You want to hear if they still have enthusiasm and excitement about their job. If you hear regret in their voice or their body language is not optimistic (tight-lipped, eyes rolling, sighing, etc.) this is just one more piece of the puzzle for you.
You can also inquire about how long the position has been opened. This gives you insight into how difficult it has been for them to fill the position. Maybe they are being unrealistic in their expectations and can’t find anyone (in their eyes) suitable. It may also hint about the importance of the position. Is it a priority or not?
Finally, ask the interviewer “How many people have held this job within the last 5 years?” This allows you to discern if there is longevity within the department and within the company or are you about to step into a revolving door. If people have been quitting every six months (or worse, being fired) there is a problem that will probably not be resolved if you are ultimately hired.
This is your opportunity to find out as much as you can about your future employer before choosing to work for them. You don’t want to find yourself in a job you hate and realize it could have been easily avoided by obtaining the answers to a few basic questions.
We’ve all been there-sitting across from a stranger who holds the key to our dream job, our opportunity to advance or our chance at more money. Our palms are slightly sweaty and we wonder what the interviewer is thinking as they look at us. As harrowing as the interview process can be, you can reduce some of your anxiety by the reminding yourself this is a two-way street. You are there to interview the company and ensure it is a fit for you just as much as they want to see if you are a fit for them.
We have all been on interviews where we are subjected to the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question. “Tell me about yourself” means tell me about your qualifications and how they relate to the position for which you are interviewing. Why are you here? What brought you to the point that you are now sitting across from an interviewer asking for a job? This is your time to provide your story… your professional story. Start with your education and then describe your past employment (employment that is relevant to the position) including your performance.
“What are some of your best qualities?” Your response to this question should be professional and relate to the job. An interviewer would want to know if you are always on time, have integrity, are honest (even when no one is watching), are hardworking, willing to admit mistakes, outgoing, persuasive, organized and adaptable. As you provide your list of qualities, don’t forget to give examples.
Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Every time you answer one of the Interviewer’s questions, you need to ensure you find a way to answer the unspoken question: Can you do the job and will we like you while you’re doing it?
It’s Sunday night and once again you find yourself dreading the upcoming start of the workweek. You know your company is all wrong for you, but you’re not sure if there's anything better out there. At the time you accepted it’d sounded like a good offer, but now you’re stuck in a position you hate.
Even though you’re not happy, you’re hesitating to actually do something about it, because—let’s admit it--leaving a secure job is scary. Instead of taking a leap, maybe you’ll just wait it out: Something else will come along soon, right?
It might, but it might not, and the only way to know for sure that a more satisfying job is in your future is to be the one driving the change. Here’s how to go about that:
To continue reading at TheMuse.com click here...
Networking is an important tool that like any other tool, if used correctly, it will get the job done. The problem most people have with networking is user error. I support and teach effective networking so in the words of John Whitaker, “Save a tree and quit sending resumes . . . Network, network, network – in PERSON.”
I frequently write about the importance of networking and the fact that most people find jobs via networking, so if you are finally willing to try it, here are a few ways to break the ice.
I know this seems very elementary, but how many times have you stood around by yourself at a networking event waiting for someone to speak to? Why not take a deep breath, walk up to someone standing by themselves and break the ice? They will be eternally grateful and you have the opportunity to display a little confidence.
Ask the person you just met why they are attending the event.
People like to talk about themselves so if you hate small talk, this gives you the opportunity to let the other person talk. You can stand there and smile and nod.
Ask if they are a member of the organization.
This is a great way to get to know someone who may be a member or may even be on the board. If you’re looking for a job, knowing a board member is a good thing. They usually have insight into their sponsors who may be hiring, other organizations and all kinds of good stuff. You just have to ask.
Ask if they have attended other events with this organization or know of other similar events that may be happening soon.
This question works well because birds of a feather really do flock together. If you like this event, odds are, the people who are attending know of other events where you can meet more professionals like yourself.
Of course, when all else fails, there is always the old standby of “So, what do you do?” Don’t get discouraged if the person you’re speaking to is also looking for a job. Networking is networking. And when done right, you just may find that contact or introduction you need.
I’m always out networking, speaking or training, so if you're in Los Angeles, you're bound to run into me somewhere. If you'd rather not leave our meeting to chance, I'm available to facilitate a training for your company. You just have to ask.
Speaking with an African-American candidate a few days ago, she made a comment in passing that made me stop and think. We were discussing the interviews she had been on and she said, “I’m sure my natural hairstyle prevented me from getting a couple of those jobs.”
Immediately, I wanted to believe she was wrong. Surely, someone more qualified was chosen for the job. It had to be that simple. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was being naïve. It is never that simple when it comes to Black hair. Gabby Douglas was the most recent target of criticism about her hair and she wasn’t even applying for a job at the time. Chris Rock even produced a movie about the subject after one of his daughters made a comment about her friend’s hair being “so good” (the friend was Caucasian).
I’m no stranger to the ‘natural’ vs. ‘straightened’ hair debate among Black women. My own hair is straightened and has been for more years than I can remember, but when I wore my hair in braids, I would consistently encounter people asking a million questions about my hair. And when I say ‘people’, I mean Caucasian people.
So what does that have to do with getting a job?
Each time a person is questioned about their hairstyle, they are casually reminded that it is different and not the norm. Not once has anyone asked me about how I “get my hair that way” when it is straightened. During an interview, an African-American woman with straightened hair is confident in the knowledge that her hair is not a factor in the interviewer’s thoughts because we have all bought into the idea that straightened hair is acceptable. Curly, kinky and braided hair is not.
Corporate America has a dress code and it applies to your hair. African-American women with natural hairstyles, men with dreadlocks and Baby Boomers with gray hair are not the only ones leaving job interviews questioning whether their hair just cost them a job. Men with long hair and anyone with non-traditional hair colors/hairstyles are looked upon with suspicion.
It’s not just hair that causes interview angst. Tattoos, piercings, and ear plugs all have their place in the non-interview appropriate hall of fame. Companies will tell you they are private entities and have the right to institute a dress/appearance code. However, hair is a very personal point of view with a public expression. The line a company draws can be difficult to approach. Even though a dress code should not discriminate under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unfortunate that many enforceable dress codes include provisions that mainly adversely affect minorities.
The point of an interview is to let your qualifications shine, not your hair gel. Regardless of how you wear your hair, make it neat without serving as a distraction to the interviewer. People will always find a reason to reject a candidate they weren’t planning to hire anyway. I once had a candidate get rejected because the hiring manager said she played with her hair in the interview and it was distracting.
In the end, if you believe you will need to substantially change the way you look in order to obtain employment, it warrants seeking work outside of a short-sighted employer. You probably wouldn’t have liked working there anyway.
Originally written for Forbes.com
2016 will be 15 years that I’ve lived on the West Coast (gasp!), yet I still think of myself as a New Yorker.
Why? Because I am still that person who enters a room and says what she thinks.
I am that person who will tell you your fly is open, there is toilet paper on your shoe and oh yeah, people are talking about you and you should probably get your act together.
I tell it like it is and luckily for me, my coaching clients seek me out because I will call them on their B.S. and refuse to let them hide behind their excuses.
So, when I heard that companies are beginning to talk about “Frontstabbing” and “fierce conversation” all I could think was, “Oh, really now!?”
It seems that smiling to a person’s face but speaking ill of them behind their back is now considered wrong. What a radical thought!
We’ve all been there. We’ve sat in meetings where a coworker or presenter was saying things that made no sense, but no one stepped up to correct him for fear of being labeled negative or a hater. We know that if you don’t have anything nice to say you shouldn’t say anything at all, right?
But now we should?
Well, I believe that we always should have.
I attended a DisruptHR event where Sabrina Baker gave a great talk called “Use Your F*&^ing Words” and she recounted the tale of Sheryl Sandberg giving feedback to an employee who had just given a presentation. She tried to step around the issue by simply saying, “You said 'um' a lot.” But after the feedback was continually ignored, in the end, she told her, “When you say 'um' every third word, it makes you sound stupid.”
Blunt? Maybe. Necessary? Definitely!
So how do you give constructive feedback?
First, check yourself and make sure you’re not actually hating. If the only reason you don’t like what someone is saying is because they said it first, you should probably stay silent.
But if you’re ready to take on a role that is more mentorship and accountability than envy and negativity, you need to come from a place of sincerity. Let the recipient of your feedback know that you truly mean well and want to see them succeed.
If you truly want to lead, you have to have the courage to actually do it. And sometimes, that means looking someone in the eye and telling them they sound stupid.
Got a tale of a time you gave someone much needed feedback? Tell us how that went in the comments.
By Lisa Gates | SheNegotiates.com
We are negotiating something every day. Whether it’s salary, a promotion with a new title, a private office, a parking space with your name on it, clean air and water, homework, where to go on vacation, new cars, a new couch, or our neighbor’s new fence, we face asking for what we want, need or deserve with a great deal of frequency.
For many people (statistically, women) negotiating induces hives. For reasons ancient and cultural, it hijacks our amygdala and engages our fear of conflict and rejection, and keeps us silent.
To understand the nature and implication of our hive-getting tendencies, in this century alone countless research studies on gender and negotiation, power, promotion, pay gap, productivity and bottom line, have been hurled into public consumption and subsequently chewed and digested by all forms of media, and then interpreted into “good advice for women” by well-meaning managers, teachers, trainers, coaches, and consultants—myself included.
As a result, I began to notice a kind of paralysis—a deer-in-headlights confusion about the litany of contradictory advice women should pay attention to if we want to thrive in our careers.
Who can live like that?
Furthermore, how will we shift the balance in terms of true diversity and equality if we continue to conform to expectations? And one more, very elemental consideration is what will move us from fear to competence?
I can give you a framework for negotiation success that would look like this:
Focus on Your Foundation with Five Key Actions
What I am warming up to here is that it’s time to find a way to get the world and the workplace to conform to you. And that means engaging your activist alchemy—to be strategic and politically savvy without violating your sense of self or your values; to advocate for yourself and others while preserving your reputation and your relationship.
The mammoth question that might be on your lips is, “How the heck to I do that?” Fair enough. My answer to finding the “how” is to step on the backpedal, and start fresh at ground zero with five key actions.
Key Action #1: Find Yourself
You are who you are, and you can only be who you are. If you are shy and quiet, it’s not likely that you will succeed in willing yourself to become a gregarious backslapper. Yes, you can add skills and degrees and certifications; you can sharpen your strengths and delegate your weaknesses; you can seek experiences that take you to your edge, like standing in the limelight. But starting at ground zero requires some reflection if you are going to move in a more authentic, purposeful direction.
Key Action #2: Find Your Allies
Because you are who you are and you can only be who you are, and your strengths, contributions and future potential are of value to others (both inside and outside your organization), connect with them. They need you as much as you need them, especially when navigating potential bias and other inequities.
Key Action #3: Find the Double Coincidence of Wants
Because your strengths, contributions and future potential are of value to others, always be looking for the double coincidence of wants—that place where your strategic career goals map to your ally’s strategic career goals.
Key Action #4: Find the Elephant
As I wrote earlier, most negotiations we deal with day in and day out are problem solving, value creating conversations. If you are trying to solve a problem, like improving your win rate on proposals, and you keep hitting roadblocks, likely an elephant is lurking in the living room.
Perhaps someone on your team is weak with the technical aspects, or you don’t rehearse enough. That might be what everyone is thinking, but not talking about. So know that if the elephant isn’t in the living room, it might be in the closet, and you are just the person to let it out.
Key Action #5: Find the Money in Bossy
In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg tells a story about being called bossy as a child and her experience of being perceived as aggressive in her career. Her story, and research bears this out, demonstrates that bossy is a female pejorative, and that both men and women perceive bossy behavior as somehow contrary to good leadership. On the other hand, you can call a man aggressive, or even a jerk, and he will more likely achieve and retain his power and leadership (Steve Jobs comes to mind).
So what do you do if you are a woman navigating your career at any stage where you have some kind of authority?
When you get good at the above, and you run into bias and pushback on your ideas or proposals or, yes, your bossy behavior, find your activism and speak truth to power. Reframe the pushback.
Let me give you an example. Jessie was a client of mine a few years back who was an engineer and product director in a well-loved tech company. She was tapped for having leadership bones, and on her way to the c-suite, but had been told by her boss—a notorious screamer—that her “demanding and exacting” leadership style would hold her back, even though she was loved and admired by her team and by leadership.
She then asked her boss, “If you were me, what would you do?” And her boss said, “You know, be kinder. Listen more.”
And then Jessie stepped into dangerous waters. She said, “I’m committed to hitting our production targets and always improving productivity. That’s what I’m known for. I’m paid to be demanding and I have a team who loves me. This smells like a double standard to me. What if I asked you to be kinder, and listen more?”
The conversation between Jessie and her boss transformed their relationship. Their conversation was frank and difficult, yes. And because she found the money in bossy, and hooked into her confidence and activism along the way, her boss was able to see himself inside his own bias.
Granted, not every boss is built the way Jessie’s boss was. But the upshot of these Five Key Actions is that they take commitment and practice, and each involves having conversations that lead to agreement. And that is what negotiation is—a conversation leading to a good agreement.
"Republished with permission from the author"
I live by two creeds:
As a career strategist, I believe the two go hand in hand. A job you love will not just fall into your lap; you have to choose what you want—and that requires preparation.
We’ll show you how to find a new career you’ll love by prepping with these five steps.
1. Determine what’s not working
Why are you dissatisfied with your current job? Ask yourself what it is about your job that you dislike. Why do you dread going to work? Why do you hate getting out of bed each morning? Get specific.
When working with clients, I have them start with a sheet of paper and a few column headers. One of those headers is, “Things I hate doing.” If there are tasks in your current job or a past job that you despise and never want to do again in your life, identify them. This way, when a new job opportunity comes along and everything looks great, you won’t just focus on the good; you’ll have your eyes open to the bad.
Too often we jump from the frying pan into the fire because we’re focusing on the things we want to see and ignoring all of the things we don’t want to see—that are staring us right in the face.
2. Determine what DOES work for you
Ask yourself what would make you happy in your job. What type of tasks do you wish you were doing? What type of company do you want to work for? What kind of environment would you prefer to be in? What do you love doing?
Now comes the more difficult part …
3. Get proactive
When you want a new job, what’s the first thing you do? You go to a job board, type in a job title and start scrolling through jobs.
But using a job board is reactive. You’re applying to jobs that a company tells you are available, and often that job has already been filled. This is not the way to find a job you love; this is how you find a job you can live with.
Instead, you need to be proactive. Stop waiting for job openings to come to you; you need to find them before they exist. You have to search for it.
Which leads me to the next step . . .
4. Research companies
You have to do significant amounts of research to make this work. And before you say, “But Stacey, I already know where I want to work!” please know that this advice goes double for you.
Your desire to work at the company you think is your dream job is probably based upon someone else’s experience of working there. You need to do your own independent research because the grass is always greener …
Research only works if you know what you’re looking for, so use the information in the first two steps to guide your way. This can be a slow process and will not work for you if you are currently unemployed and in a hurry to line up a gig; it can’t be rushed. You will only have the patience to see it through if you are secure in the knowledge that your bills are currently being paid, even if you are also secure in the knowledge that you want out of that job at the first opportunity.
(If you do need a job immediately, searching job boards and working with external recruiters is the way to go. But know the difference.)
5. Do informational interviews
Remember that grass that’s always greener? An informational interview will provide you with additional information to help you figure out if you should cherish what you have or if it’s time to jump ship. It’s also an excellent way to make a transition to a new career.
An informational interview may also help you determine if there’s a barrier to entry in a new career that you didn’t know existed.For example, if you’re a lawyer who decides to switch from civil litigation to intellectual property law, the odds of that happening are slim because you will usually need to have some sort of technical degree and experience in that particular type of law. Just being a lawyer isn’t enough. Better to know that before you quit your job!
If a resume is submitted as part of an online application process but no one ever sees it, does it really exist? You may have asked yourself this question a number of times, and I’m here to confirm your suspicions. If you’ve spent hours crafting your resume and cover letter only to have no response at all to an online application, it’s a complete waste of your time — and sadly, you’re not alone.
Less than 30% of people applying for jobs using online applications ever receive a real response. This is because up to 50% of applications are screened out by the company’s talent-management software. You will probably receive an auto response that acknowledges receipt and then, if you’re lucky, you may receive a notification when the job has been filled.
Before I share with you just how to get your resume seen by an actual person, it warrants mentioning that the biggest complaint of hiring managers is that more than 50% of job applicants are not qualified for the job to which they’ve applied. When you’re guilty of this, the odds of you receiving any type of correspondence are drastically reduced. Pay close attention to the “required” versus “optional” attributes of a job description and be realistic when evaluating your skills.
If you’re certain you’re not only qualified, but also the best person for the job, the simple way to get an actual person to review your resume is to get your resume into the hands of a decision-maker.
I know, I know. I can hear the groans emanating from you as you read this. While this seems obvious (and difficult), I promise you, it’s neither. It can be done, and since so many people fail to even try, you can make yourself stand out by going this extra mile.
Here are the steps you need to take to make this happen:
Locating the Decision-Maker
What to Say When You Make Contact
If you’re thinking this process is too simplistic, why over complicate things? The fact that you’re taking this extra step to reach out to someone will differentiate you from the applicants who simply submit their resumes and hope for the best. Don’t knock it until you try it.
Not sure what to say in a voicemail? Try this:
Hi! My name is ___, and I’m contacting you because I have a strong interest in working for X company and I recently applied online to X position. I was hoping you might take a moment to review my resume because I believe that once you do, you will be as confident as I am that I’m the right person for the job.
An email would be similar:
I am contacting you because I submitted my resume for X position, requisition number XYZ, and I am extremely interested in the position. I believe my skills and experience are a great match for the job and I would like to formally request the opportunity to speak with you to discuss my candidacy.
For your convenience, I have attached a copy of my resume. Please let me know if you have some time this week to speak with me.
Remember, the object of this process is to get someone to look at your resume. Will it guarantee you an interview? No. But it will greatly increase your odds.
Originally written for the Career Attraction blog.
By Victoria Pynchon | SheNegotiates.com
Many of us shy away from asking for more and better. More money. Better working arrangements. A larger team. Better access to material resources. Higher fees. Better prices. Some of us are afraid to ask. Some of us, especially women, have been taught not to ask—we've been taught to be self-sacrificing, not self-serving. Some of us do ask, but stop short of asking for what we really want or what we're truly worth.
We're afraid they'll laugh at us, express shock and dismay, fire us or withdraw their job offer.
Whatever your reason, by not asking, you're missing out on more than just money; you're putting your long-term opportunities and earning potential at stake. If you've ever stopped before negotiating your true market value, read on for five surprising facts your bargaining partner hopes you don't understand.
1. The Negotiation Doesn’t Start Until Someone Says “No”One of the greatest inhibitions to asking for your true market value is your understandable fear of rejection. This is particularly true in the post-’08 meltdown and continuing jobless recovery from the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Our reluctance to negotiate past “no” can be quickly overcome when we understand that it's not really a negotiation if we’re asking for something we already know our bargaining partner also wants.
Negotiation is a conversation whose goal is to reach an agreement with someone whose interests are not perfectly aligned with yours.
Who has relationships with people who always want what we want? No one I know. If we want to get what we’re entitled to or capable of getting, we either have to negotiate past “no” or spend the rest of our work lives being victimized by people who are happy to place themselves and their needs ahead of ours. Savvy business women and professionals know that the word "no" simply signals an opportunity to problem-solve, to learn which of the parties interests are conflicting and which are overlapping, and how to create more value than it first appears the parties are able to exchange with one another.
2. Your Bargaining Partner Will Be Happier if You Make Several Concessions Than if He Gets What He Thinks He Wants
This is true in the same way that “the earth is round” or “the universe is expanding” are true. In experiment after experiment, social scientists have proven that people are not particularly happy when they get what they think they want. They’re happier when their bargaining partner says “no” a couple of times before he or she says “yes.”
Because negotiators are more afraid of leaving money on the table than they are about getting what they think they want.
If I ask for a 5% raise and my boss says “yes” without hesitation, I generally suffer from buyer’s remorse, certain that if I’d asked for 7% or maybe even 10%, my bargaining partner would have given it to me.
This is just one of the many reasons why it’s important to ask for more than you actually want. You won't be happy if your bargaining partner accepts what you offer on the first move. The other two reasons are equally important. One, to give yourself enough room to bargain and two, to set one end of the bargaining range ("anchoring") - a number or proposal that will influence your bargaining partner in its direction throughout the course of the negotiation.
If you’ve adequately researched your negotiation partner’s interests and your own market value, you needn’t fear making the first offer, hoping that his or her first offer will be far more than you’re expecting. Waiting for the “other guy” to make the first offer is the mark of an amateur. Anchor first and anchor high, and you’ll be playing in the big leagues.
3. It’s Never About MoneyThough we seldom reflect on our relationship with money, if asked we’d have to admit that money itself—in its tangible form—can neither sustain life nor enhance it. Cash, checks, credit, money orders, and wire transfers cannot themselves be consumed. Grant deeds and lease agreements cannot be inhabited. Stock certificates cannot create warmth in winter nor illuminate the dark of night.
That being the case, there is no relationship and every relationship between any given sum of money and what it can buy. With $20 in my wallet, I can purchase dinner for five at McDonalds or a bottle of cheap Bordeaux at a local restaurant. I can pick up a pair of sandals at Payless; subscribe to Time magazine for six months; rent a surfboard at the beach; fill half my tank with gas; hire a day laborer to do odd jobs on a Saturday afternoon; or, according to my Sunday magazine, save a child in a developing country from starvation. Sentimental pop songs to the contrary, enough 20s
can even buy me love.
There is no relationship and every relationship between any given sum of money and what it can buy.
Before negotiating any deal, take a look at the way in which you “value” money. Is it status you’re seeking? Security in your elder years? Education for your children? A meaningful break from work that takes you to a foreign country or high-end spa? Then ask your negotiation partner what she values, prefers, needs, fears, prioritizes, or desires. You’re apt to find yourself on the same page of value once you stop treating money as an objective measure of worth and start seeing it for what it is—a subjective experience that can make $1,000 act in the world as if it were $10,000.
4. Your Bargaining Strength is All in Your Head
The person who is perceived to have the least to lose from walking away from the deal on the table is the person with the greatest bargaining advantage. If you’re negotiating, both parties have a bottom line - a walkaway position. If those bottom lines don't overlap, the party who signals his willingness to walk away will have the greater bargaining power.
Many say the Los Angeles or San Francisco or New York City real estate markets are over-heated and that everything is over-priced. It’s a seller’s market. It seems as if there are an unlimited number of people willing to pay “over asking” and many of them “all cash” for every home or condo or co-op for sale. Doesn’t that mean that all buyers are in a weak negotiating position and all sellers in a great one?
Not necessarily. Every seller is selling for a different reason. A considerable number of homeowners are retiring. Their kids are gone and they don’t need so much space anymore. Some of them have already signed up for a place in a retirement village or a condo in Palm Springs. They are pressured by time. They could pay for both residences for a month or two, but if it takes them six months to get the price they want, they will have spent the extra purchase price on rent or mortgage payments or homeowner fees in their new home.
The more knowledge you have of the hidden interests and constraints under which your bargaining partner is operating, the more negotiation power you have, even in a “seller’s” market.But there’s even better news than that! If you act as if you are prepared to walk away from a deal unless you achieve your desired goal, your bargaining partner will be far more incentivized to meet your requirements or make serious problem solving efforts to create enough value so that both of you get what you most want.
5. Any Reason is Far Better Than No Reason and Nearly as Good as an Excellent One
When people estimate their value by the results their work has produced, they often hesitate sharing that information. If they can't prove it, they think they can't claim it. But here's the super secret of all great negotiators:
You don't have to prove something that justifies what you want; all you have to do is say it.
When you're negotiating, you're not in a court of law. You're rarely making statements of fact that could land you in hot water for fraud if they prove to be untrue. You’re stating an opinion, and no less an authority than the Supreme Court of the United States has said there is no such thing as a false opinion.
In common parlance, you’re puffing. You're taking credit for a result you in good faith believe you're at least partially responsible for producing. And, as several commenters to this piece has said, if you believe others also contributed, give them credit too. You're not a credit hog but you're also not a wilting violet.
The social science research confirms that appearances are reality.
In one experiment, students were asked to cut in line at a local Kinkos. One group was told to give no reason, one a nonsensical reason, and one a good reason.
Can I cut in line?
Can I cut in line? My mother's in the hospital, and I need to get these papers copied before I can go see her.
Can I cut in line? I need to.
Here are the compliance rates:
No reason: 40%
A good reason: 98%
A nonsensical reason: 97%
So, go ahead. Take credit for last quarter’s increase in net profits even if you can't prove it. You don't have to file a declaration under penalty of perjury or testify under oath on the witness stand. You're highly unlikely to be cross-examined because your negotiation partner can't prove that your causal assertion is untrue. Millions of years of "common sense" support your assertion that correlation is causation.
It's not. But it might as well be.
Feel free to try out these strategies and tactics at home with the people closest to you. Can’t agree on a movie? Be willing to walk away if your choice isn’t met. Give a reason, any reason, why your choice would be better for everyone, not just for yourself. Understand that the push-back you’re getting is just an opportunity to problem-solve in a way that satisfies your interests and your roommate’s or spouse’s interests at the same time. Do this at home, and then try it out with that raise you haven’t gotten for the past five years. Then, let me know how it went!
Originally written for The Daily Muse.
"Republished with permission from the author"