“Motivate Before You Monetize” – A Workplace Negotiation Pointer

Published on April 22nd, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“You can get everything in life you want if you will just
help enough other people get what they want.”

- Zig Ziglar

ACTUAL “CASE HISTORIES: Over the years, we have noticed a certain dynamic during the course of negotiating workplace issues that is surely worth sharing. We usually begin negotiations by addressing the employer’s concerns, but our clients want, instead, to start off by raising their own concerns, first. We have found that, when we first raise our clients’ “wants” instead of first discussing their employers’ “needs,” things don’t go as well. And, so, we often counsel our clients, before going into negotiations, this simple thought: “Motivate Before You Monetize.”

Case History 1: We had begun negotiating an employment contract for a senior executive. As is commonly the case, our client wanted a long-term agreement, which represents considerable job security. She decided that a firm 3-year term of employment should be the first item of discussion, and perhaps even a condition to the discussions going further. The employer did want to go past a 2-year commitment. Quite needlessly, that issue ended the discussions altogether, because, I believe, we “monetized” before “motivating.”

Case History 2: Another client had been promoted, and was offered increased stock options as part of his new compensation package. He felt the number of stock options was not what he had expected, and expressed disappointment. We counseled him to focus not on the number of stock options, but to begin first with a discussion of what metrics of success in his work would trigger the vesting of his stock options, because that is what his employer was most concerned about. In our discussion of the metrics of success, we ended up agreeing upon a formula for triggering options grants and option vesting for different levels of success that would ultimately give our client more options than even he wanted to ask for. Talking about success, that is “motivating,” led to an easier time “monetizing.”

Case History 3: We were negotiating a severance package for a client. We began by discussing what our client’s legal claims were, and their probable enforceability. We were focused on convincing the employer that the way our client had been mistreated during employment justified the better severance terms at the end of employment. Our client became quite impatient that our discussions were focused primarily on “why” he should be treated better, and not focusing on “how much” better severance he should receive. Acting without our knowledge, he spoke directly to his employer on the subject, and demanded a hefty increase in severance. His doing so was not helpful, to say the least; in the end, we believe, it resulted in a smaller severance package. Lower motivating so often leads to lower success in monetizing.

LESSON TO LEARN: The observation that underlies our advice to “Motivate Before You Monetize” is this: Employers are more flexible, more generous, and more understanding of your needs and desires after – and not before – they are confident that you are flexible, giving and understanding of their needs and desires.” So, before you raise your “numbers,” explore their “needs.”

And, conversely, “First impressions are lasting impressions.” That is, if employers are first confronted with requests that initially seem audacious, one-sided, larger than they had anticipated, and not directly related to their achievement of their own objectives and goals, they are often turned off from the start of discussions, and sometimes irretrievably so.

What you want, need and feel you deserve in a negotiation is surely on your mind as you enter into that negotiation. But holding that off for the moment, and addressing your employer’s wants, needs and feelings of what they deserve, is a wise move, indeed.

Monetization – that is, speaking in terms of numbers of dollars – should wait until employers are most receptive, and they are most receptive when feeling greater confidence that their needs come first.

There is a Yiddish saying that “God gave us two hands, one to give and one to receive.” I have always noticed that the “give” in that saying comes before the “receive” in that saying. Keep that in mind in your own workplace negotiating, and you may observe how well that works, as we have, over these many years.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: In your own workplace negotiating – whether it is about a new job, a promotion, transfer to a different department or location, compensation, performance reviews or performance improvement plans, the resolution of claims of harassment or discrimination, severance, or anything else – address, discuss, explore and seek to resolve your employer’s concerns, desires and needs before your own, especially when your desires and needs are set forth in dollars and cents. That is, “Motivate before you Monetize.” Here are some thoughts to help you do just that:
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on April 20th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

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“There is no one luckier than he who thinks himself so.”

– German Proverb

It’s all in your perspective. Seeing the glass half full, seeing the glass half empty, or knowing how fortunate you are just to have a glass, can make all the difference. Knowing how fortunate you are – no matter what hurdle, humiliation or horror you face, at home, at work or elsewhere – puts a lift in your step, a whistle on your lips, a smile on your face, and a song in your heart. Life sure can be tough, and work sure can be difficult, but being alive, having your health, a job and a place to call home puts you ahead of so many others who would gladly change places with you. Take a moment to consider that, because it is all in your perspective.

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at info@SkloverWorkingWisdom.com].

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on April 13th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Sing a simple song.”

– Sly Stone

Simple is clear. Simple is focused. And simple is sophisticated. At work, strive to be one who simplifies the complex, who is known for directness, and as one who people know both “where you are coming from and where you are going.” Stay away from the confusing jargon and the mystically confusing analysis. Sure, the world around you is complicated. But that is why simple is always the best song.

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at info@SkloverWorkingWisdom.com].

“Non-Solicitation Agreements – From A to Z”

Published on April 7th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

“Freedom lies in being bold.”

- Robert Frost

ACTUAL “CASE HISTORIES: On a daily basis many of our blog visitors submit questions about something more and more employees are facing: Non-Solicitation Agreements. These are agreements – or provisions in other agreements – that say, in effect, “After you leave this job, you cannot solicit business from our customers,” and sometimes also say, “Nor can you solicit our employees to leave our company.” Of course, every non-solicitation agreement is different; There is a wide variety of wording, phrases and details seen in different non-solicitation agreements.

Here is one question we recently received: “If my non-solicitation agreement has no limit on the geography it covers, and no limit on how long it lasts, is it still enforceable?”

Here is another question we received the very same day: “If my non-solicitation agreement forbids me from soliciting my former employer’s potential customers, isn’t that all of the people in the world?”

To try to explain better how non-solicitation agreements work – and don’t work – we decided to devote this newsletter entirely to them.

LESSON TO LEARN: There are basically three kinds of “restrictive covenants” – the legal term for “agreements to limit your future work-related activities – that employees commonly face.

(1) First, “non-compete” agreements, which generally provide “I will not work for a competitor of the company in a certain geographic area for a certain period of time.”

(2) Second, “non-solicitation” agreements, which generally provide “I will not try to reach out and get the business of the company’s clients or customers, or take away its employees.”

(3) Third, “non-disclosure” agreements, which generally provide “I will not divulge or use the company’s confidential information.”

Of these three basic types, “non-solicitation” agreements seem to be growing fastest both in popularity and problems, as non-compete agreements are increasingly viewed with disfavor by Courts, who are reluctant to keep people out of work in their chosen field, and non-disclosure agreements are quite simple: “Don’t share secrets.” Non-solicitation agreements, however, go right to the heart of business: access to, and control of, the customer relation.

Since “knowledge is power,“ and we seek to empower working people, we here deliver the basic knowledge you need to navigate and negotiate for yourself on this important subject:

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Read over this “A to Z of Non-Solicitation Agreements,” and you should find yourself both more comfortable and more capable in dealing with non-solicitation issues, questions and concerns.
Continue Reading. . .

Sklover’s Thought for the Work Week

Published on April 6th, 2015 by Alan L. Sklover

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“Peace of mind is not attained by ignoring problems, but by solving them.”

– Richard Hull

At work, as at home and elsewhere, don’t ignore, deny or let smolder a problem in your midst. If a situation, circumstance or dynamic clouds your vision or fogs up your focus even once a week, that is once a week too much. Address the cloud before it addresses you, or worse. Then and only then can the good in your life shine straight through all else you do.

© 2015 Alan L. Sklover. All Rights Reserved

[If you would like to contribute a favored quote, saying or proverb, please submit it to us at info@SkloverWorkingWisdom.com].

Alan L. Sklover

Alan L. Sklover

Employment Attorney
and Career Strategist
for over 30 years

Job Security and Career Success now depend on knowing how to navigate and negotiate to gain the most for your skills, time and efforts. Learn the trade secrets and 'uncommon common sense' of Attorney Alan L. Sklover, the leading authority on "Negotiating for Yourself at Work™".

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