As tax specialists, you probably recognize the value of building relationships at work. But have you ever thought that every single interaction you have is an opportunity to negotiate a better career?
It's pretty simple. Our relationships can serve as a platform for us to showcase our potential. Let's say a colleague needs something to move forwards. It might be a contact, a bigger budget, a fresh perspective, or a schedule adjustment.
These are all types of negotiations - albeit soft, subtle ones. There is always some dialogue geared towards a result.
Let's have a look at this in more detail and understand how it can lead to success:
Emphasizing positive persuasion
This isn't a Machieviellian manipulative approach to career success, but instead is a way to enlarge everyone's slice of the pie.
How can you persuade others? It's a skill many don't have, but refining it can do wonders for your career. Leveraging a psychological approach to your career is an essential ingredient of getting ahead - after all, it's not so much about what you know, but what you do with what you know.
"People who can put themselves in the place of other people, who can understand the workings of their minds, need never worry about what the future has in store for them."
― Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People
There are a few secrets to positively persuading others to maximize your impact and build your tax and accountancy career. Here are seven tips to help:
Advancing your career through negotiation:
1. Find out their mutual interests
A huge part of successful negotiations and effective relationship building is about sharing common ground. If you don't have this, chances are your differences can drive you apart. But even with the most unlikely of work colleagues, you'll find that there is always common ground - it's just a matter of looking for it. Find out what's important to them and dig deep for answers.
2. Make it a win-win scenario
According to Robert Cialdini, a researcher on influence and persuasion, the concept of reciprocity is present in every culture on the planet. When you focus on your ability to serve rather than to get, you immediately pave the way to getting support in the future should you need it.
3. Reframe your situation to emphasize the positive
When trying to negotiate, it's easy for people to focus on proposed changes or new initiatives. They reactively think: "What if it fails and I'm fired?" Try and reframe it towards a positive, and see your new initiative succeeding, and how the other person will also benefit from you getting what you want.
4. Don't be afraid to release control
Let go of the minutia- it's time to focus on your idea or proposal's more significant picture issue. Please resist the urge to micromanage and learn to let them enjoy creating and designing solutions for areas that impact their area of responsibility. As soon as they're invested in helping you, there's always an opportunity to smooth the rough edges together.
5. See the world through their eyes
Those difficult people in the workplace you struggle to connect with? They often don't feel respected. Try seeing the world through their eyes.
Perhaps they've been burned by an idea before or already faced the same challenges. Please give them a sense of control and help them see that you're on their side when negotiating your concept.
6. Don't get drawn into conflict
No career was successfully advanced through conflict, even if you're passionate about your stance. Having a confrontational approach makes others shut down or go into defensive mode - and nothing positive arises from that. In fact, once you lose your cool it can reverberate throughout your career for years - people remember this kind of person.
7. Remember that people are primarily emotional
When it comes to persuading or negotiating, it's important to consider their emotional state. If someone is fearful of change, they will not respond positively to data unless you fail to consider their feelings. When a colleague perceives a situation is particularly favourable for their security or success, they're much more likely to offer support.
Negotiating the positive way
Not many individuals are likely to move from hearing your idea to embracing and supporting it for the first time. Nobody likes change, so by walking them through your idea, clearly explaining the risks, inconveniences and solutions, they're much more likely to say yes the first time.
Advancing your career doesn't have to come at the cost to others - instead, it's about being a confident negotiator and having the flexibility to see your new proposal from another point of view to turn it into a positive.
For more tips on securing your next tax role, look at the other helpful pieces on our Creative Tax Recruitment blog.