So many people keep away from negotiating as a result of it appears so tough and so confrontational. You don’t need to miss out on that cash, although. One straightforward, non-confrontational option to haggle your wage? Make a ridiculous joke.

In a 2008 research revealed within the Journal of Utilized Psychology, College of Idaho professor Todd J. Thorsteinson carried out a sequence of mock negotiations and located that when topics joked about being paid a ridiculously excessive quantity, these topics had extra profitable negotiations. When requested about beginning wage within the negotiations, the “joke” group merely stated one thing alongside the traces of, “I’d love a wage of $100,000, however I’m actually simply in search of one thing truthful.” Particularly, they have been supplied a mean beginning wage of $35,385 in comparison with $32,463 for the management group.

This works, the paper explains, due to anchoring. Anchoring, as we’ve instructed you earlier than, is a cognitive bias by which we rely too closely on one piece of data to make selections. Loads of research (like this 2015 one from Columbia College) have proven that anchoring performs an enormous function in negotiations. In truth, it’s the rationale why it’s unlawful in some states for employers to ask job candidates about their present wage — if the wage is low, it may function an unfair anchor.

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Making a ridiculous joke works the identical means: you’re clearly not anticipating a six-figure wage when your incomes potential is round $35,000, however presenting the determine as “joke” is a sneaky means of tossing that anchor on the market. It ought to go with out saying that your mileage goes to range with this one, but it surely’s an fascinating (and barely evil) method to contemplate throughout your subsequent negotiation.


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