Body Language Lessons That Can Help You Negotiate a Better Salary

So much of our communication is nonverbal — we speak volumes without making a sound. 

When it comes time to negotiate your salary, it’s possible to use body language to make a strong argument for why you’re worth a bump in pay, using nonverbal communication to convey the seriousness of the moment with professionalism and confidence. 

Here’s how:

  • Talk yourself up before you go in.

    Stand in front of a mirror, if possible, and stand up tall and straight. Put your hands on your hips and think powerful thoughts. Take up space because you deserve to do so. Think of all your strengths and your abilities, the advancements and achievements you’ve had in the past year or two, all the things you’ve accomplished. Try to recall compliments you’ve received. Feeling confident and looking confident will make you appear more confident to the person with whom you’re about to negotiate, and it’s more likely to command respect. 

  • Take an angled seat.

    When you sit down at a conference table or desk, don’t sit directly across from the person you’re speaking with, but sit at a slight angle if possible. Sitting directly across from someone can result in impaired recall of what was discussed and could result in a higher chance of your ask being rejected. The conversation might also be shorter if sitting directly across from the person, so being on an angle helps to fight those disadvantages. 

  • Streamline your look.

    If you only carry one thing into a meeting, a notebook, for example, you’re going to appear less cluttered. That means you come across as well put-together, serious, concentrating and focused on the task at hand. That comes across as polished and professional and deserving of a higher rate of pay for your work! 

  • Mind your facial expressions and tone.

    We all have certain ticks when we talk with people. Some of us have very expressive faces, with eyebrows that have a mind of their own or just the complete lack of a poker face. Try, with all your might, to be cognizant of these reflexes and quirks and try to keep them under control. You don’t want to give away your whole play by appearing over-eager or, to contrast, like you don’t feel as though you deserve more pay. Keep your voice steady and at an even tone and pace, not too fast or too slow. You’ll appear even more self-possessed. 

  • Maintain eye contact and keep your hands where they can see them.

    This all speaks to confidence. Someone who keeps their hands in their lap might come across as scared or nervous; someone who avoids eye contact or is overly aggressive in their eye contact with another person can be perceived as uncertain or, on the contrary, threatening. Friendly, consistent, and steady eye contact shows you’re paying attention and carefully considering what is said. Keeping your hands on the table or desk in front of you shows you have nothing to hide and is a quiet indicator of confidence.

When you go in to have this conversation, keep a list in your mind of why you deserve a higher salary and deliver this message clearly, confidently, and concisely, with your words as much as your appearance. Good luck! 

If you’re looking for other job advice or maybe it’s time to make a change if your request wasn’t approved, call Debbie’s Staffing. We work with great companies looking for candidates just like you! Contact Debbie’s Staffing today and let’s help you find a job where you’ll be paid what you’re worth. 

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