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Money, money, money… how not losing face if your proposal is rejected

Andy WARHOL – Dollar Sign, 1982 – Acrylique et encre à sérigraphie sur toile, 25,4 x 20,3 cm.


Judith White, Visiting Associate Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, proposes a very simple way to avoid having this painful feeling of being ashamed or even losing face when the outcome of a salary negociation is not as positive as expected (litotes intended).

She observed such emotions happen when proposals reflect the personal value or worth of the requester. Such connection is so strong that fear of losing face even motivates people to avoid a negotiation.

To overcome such a fear, she suggests to reframe the negotiation. Instead of visualising the drama that would happen in case of having a request denied, a solution is to think about how good would be the feeling coming from the fact that the conversation has been initiated. With other words, focus on the intention and the process, not on the outcome. Somehow, it’s a way to develop self-confidence, taking distance from others’ perception.

In any case, I would advise to systematically reflect on your emotions… and to accept them. Beyond that, look for learnings and unexpected benefits or convert emotions such as fear or stress into an opportunity to leverage your network for a centered leadership.




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