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4 Negotiation Skills to Use to Get Promoted

By |July 18, 2023

It’s only a matter of time before workers with any semblance of aspiration start focusing on doing everything they can to get promoted. 

Because you’re reading this, you likely have your sights set on climbing the corporate ladder. Use these four negotiation skills to increase the chance you get promoted and continue advancing in a fulfilling and engaging career.

1. Tactical Empathy®

If your goal is to get promoted, you should do everything possible to be likable. People will do anything for you if they like you. When they don’t like you, they are unlikely to go out of their way for you. This is why The Black Swan Group has a recurring refrain: Never be mean to someone who can hurt you by doing nothing.

To get promoted, apply Tactical Empathy® to the situation. You should focus on the needs of the company, not your own. Find out what management wants and what you can do to make the company better. 

While you’re at it, connect with your colleagues on a deeper level. By listening deeply and using Labels™, you can stay positive while mitigating any negatives that might pop up.

Using this approach and bringing the right mindset to the office will make you much more likely to get a promotion than if you asked for one directly. Don’t sit back and wait for someone to tell you what to do. Take the initiative every time. 

By taking a proactive stance and volunteering to take on the tasks others don’t want to do, you set yourself up to be rewarded due to the principle of reciprocity.

2. Calibrated Questions™  

If your goal is to get promoted, Calibrated Questions™ will come in handy. 

For example, you might kick off a conversation with this question: What can I do to best advance the company? When you hear the answer, you can follow up with something like this: If you were me, how would you get involved in that?

You can also use a Calibrated Question to find out how the company views you: How would you gauge my impact on the company, whether positive or negative?

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3. Labels™

Labels™ are another negotiation skill that can help you get a promotion—or at least uncover why you might continue to be passed over. Some go-to Labels in this scenario include:

  • It seems like you have a reason for not promoting me.
  • It looks like I’m missing the necessary skillset needed for promotion.
  • It sounds like the company doesn’t think I’m management material.

The responses to these Labels should tell you what you might need to work on—or whether it’s time to start looking for greener pastures.

4. Proof of Life™ Actions  

The Black Swan Group coaches clients to ask Proof of Life™ questions to determine whether they’re the favorite or the fool. Out of all the companies you could do business with, why are you choosing to work with us? If your counterpart doesn’t have an answer to this question, you likely won’t win business. If they answer the question by regurgitating your value proposition, you’re likely the favorite, and there’s a deal to be had.

If you’ve taken all the advice in this article, explicitly told management that you want a promotion, and still aren’t getting one, take a Proof of Life action and seek another term. Maybe you can get more money or more days off, work on a special project, or implement a more flexible work schedule.

If management doesn’t budge on any of these items, there’s nothing left for you at the organization, and it’s time to look for a new employer.

Without Self-Confidence, You Won’t Get Promoted!

Getting promoted starts with being confident in yourself and your abilities. Without confidence, management is unlikely to be inspired by you as a candidate for promotion.

To learn more about building self-confidence and why it matters, check out our free e-book, How to Build Self-Confidence and Close the Deal.

eBook Cover for Negotiation Training: How to Build Self-Confidence