Rule Three: Never Negotiate in Anger
That never is serious advice. We mean never. You cannot negotiate something as important as your whole work life in the heat of anger. But let’s face it, this is an issue that gets our hormones going and our emotions raised.
Imagine you’ve had a really bad day, one of those days when you felt close to quitting. Your boss has kept you in the office way later than you’d like. You missed a parent-teacher conference. You missed homework. You missed your Pilates class. You missed dinner with your spouse. You missed calling your mom, and it’s her birthday. You got home too late for bedtime, and little Chloe cried, the sitter tells you disapprovingly. And to top it all off, your boss chewed you out for not meeting the deadline (which she’d only given you that morning) and turning in substandard work (even though this was a two-day project jammed into one day). Yes, one of those days. In the privacy of your car on the drive home you finally let the tears flow. You’ve had enough, you can’t bear spending this much time in the office for so little return. You’re going to go in next morning, tell her you are way overstretched, and demand a different schedule.
Don’t. At least don’t do it the next morning.
There is no point negotiating in anger. Negotiations are stressful enough, so it is worth waiting until the heat has subsided. An employee who comes in angry and upset seems out of control and unprofessional. Your boss will probably end up thinking she was quite right to chew you out.
No, you need to wait a few days, even a few weeks if necessary, and go into those critical negotiations calm and cool. You may not really feel that way, but you’ve got a better chance of faking it if there’s some distance between you and that day from hell.