Salary Negotiation: How to Avoid Divulging Your Current Salary

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Although I recognize that some employers and employees take advantage of each other, I’m passionate about fair pay for fair work. In the case of fair pay, the negotiating advantage usually goes to businesses, because they routinely have access to knowledge that employees don’t such as (1) what others in the organization are paid for similar work and (2) industry compensation data. Hence, it’s no surprise that many of my career coaching clients are anxious and frustrated by the thought of negotiating a salary with a new employer. They dread the thought of being asked what they currently make, believing their current salary shouldn’t have any bearing on what the new employer offers and unsure how to handle that question.

Although company culture, benefits, career advancement, commute, working from home options, and other attributes factor into a decision to join a new company, most employers try to offer prospects just enough pay increase to entice them to resign and work for them. Over the years, the workforce has come to expect offers that are 10-15% more than what a candidate currently makes regardless of whether he is underpaid for his given responsibilities and performance.

During the hiring process, prospective employers are keen to understand the current salary of job applicants in order to shape their offers. Although I understand businesses are driven to minimize labor costs, I believe it’s short-sighted to underpay candidates, who may take the job out of necessity and still feel taken advantage of.  For candidates who don’t want to divulge their salary, there are conversation strategies that can help.

Salary Expectation Conversation

Employer: “What salary are you expecting for this job?”

Candidate: “I’m only expecting to be competitively paid for the job responsibilities? What range have you earmarked for this position?”

Employer: “We have some flexibility for the right candidate. What do you make today?’

Candidate: “I’m seriously interested in the position and glad to hear you have flexibility. I don’t have access to the most recent competitive salaries like you do, so what range are you prepared to offer for the right candidate?”

Or how about ….

Salary Offer Conversation

Employer: “How much are you currently making?”

Candidate: “I’m curious. Why do you need this information?”

Employer: “We need the information, so we can make you a job offer?”

Candidate: “I’m confused how my current salary is relevant to the compensation for this job? I’d welcome an offer. What are you be willing to pay for the job responsibilities and performance criteria we discussed?”

You’ll notice in both scenarios that the candidate answered each question with a question. These two conversations can be difficult for candidates, who don’t believe they hold power in the negotiation. Don’t be fooled. Businesses are desperate for good talent. If you know you are a performer, you hold more power at the negotiating table than you might think.

If you’d like to strategize on a salary negotiation for a new position or more pay for additional responsibilities at your current company, let’s schedule a coaching session. You can reach out to me at 281.793.3741 or coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Coaching: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

With the holidays around the corner, are you struggling with finding a meaningful gift for someone you care about? Are you a manager who is looking to reward someone on your team? Or perhaps, you want to invest in someone who has potential and needs a confidential partner to take their performance to the next level. These are all valuable reasons to consider giving a gift certificate for coaching.

Gift certificate VISTA frontWhereas other gifts get used up, worn out, broken, lost, or become unfashionable, a coaching gift certificate allows the recipient to explore and positively move forward in an area of life he or she wants to address with a trusted, knowledgeable partner. If work, relationships, or financial coaching is not of interest, certificates can be used for Resume Best Practices and Powerful LinkedIn Profiles sessions. Everyone who has taken one of these sessions has come away with useful information to create a powerful resume and LinkedIn profile.

I have a mission to make coaching affordable, so people can be the best version of themselves. Let’s have a conversation and get a gift certificate into the hands of someone you care about.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon, The People’s Coach, is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com

Sales Negotiation: Set Yourself Up for Success

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The 80/20 rules applies to many situations and negotiation may be no exception. Sales negotiation can be thought of as a three-step process: (1) preparation, (2) engagement, and (3) deal agreement. Some people may say that 80% of negotiation success is in the preparation, which may or may not be overstated. However, it does beg the question: what are you doing to set yourself for success before going into a negotiation?

Key Negotiation Prep Factors

Although the objective of a negotiation should be to reach a win-win, it pays to be smart, and smart usually means being prepared. In my business tenure, I’ve negotiated long-term deals that were worth hundreds of millions of dollars, so I know a few things about negotiating, including some learned the hard way—through the experience of trial and error. I do believe success is heavily influenced by the degree of preparation and a few of my favorite preps include:

  1. Be prepared to walk away. The only way that most negotiators are prepared to walk away is if they know their drop-dead minimum and why it’s their drop-dead. Is it margin, risk, or some other variable? What’s the alternative value of the resources or asset utilization? Many people think they have a minimum position, but when the negotiating gets intense, the minimum usually moves to a lower position. When negotiators have thoroughly thought out their position, the minimum doesn’t move, and it becomes easier to confidently walk away.
  2. Brainstorm things to offer and concede. When entering into a negotiation, people aren’t necessarily wanting the same thing nor assigning the same priority to certain items. Knowing that a negotiation will likely mean trading off and giving positions to the other party, a savvy negotiator will make a list of things to ask for that can easily be conceded, because they don’t hold much value.
  3. Position yourself so you don’t make the first offer. The party that makes the first offer takes on more risk of leaving value on the table. Is the first offer significantly below what the other party was willing to pay? On the other hand, if the first offerer asks for too much, he could position himself out of the negotiation. Always think of a strategy and questions to ask that will get the other party to make the first offer. If asked to make the first offer, an experienced negotiator will answer with a question that puts the other into a position of offering first.

Many people are at least slightly intimidated by the negotiating process. What many don’t realize is they are negotiating daily with their coworkers, boss, family, friends, and kids. Any time you got your way, you negotiated. Negotiation is a skill and just like a muscle can be strengthened when intentionally exercised.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Why You Should Hire a Coaching Facilitator

Team facilitatorCoaching facilitators earn their position on the team. If you don’t have a coaching facilitator, you could be throwing money away on wasted employee hours, missed opportunities, and drawn out decision-making. When you don’t have a coaching facilitator who can float among departments or project teams, you may be missing out on one of the most powerful resources that can extract and optimize the best from your teams. Coaching facilitators add value by:

  1. Ensuring teams have clear objectives and goals
  2. Aligning and maximizing use of team resources
  3. Achieving clarity on member roles and responsibilities
  4. Preparing team meeting agendas
  5. Keeping the team on point, on task, and on time
  6. Asking challenging questions of the team
  7. Guiding the team through brainstorming processes
  8. Building team consensus
  9. Capturing and documenting meeting summaries and deliverables
  10. Holding team members accountable for performance

Some people haven’t had the opportunity to work on well facilitated teams. When teams work with a coaching facilitator, they exponentially grow their impact and enjoy the process. Coaches are also able to train others in the organization with these key facilitator skills. Reach out to learn how a coach facilitator can help your team before better.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Where Are Your Best Conversations?

ConversationsYou’ve likely heard the real estate advice that the three most important factors in deciding which home to buy are location, location, and location. In Bob Goff’s book Everybody Always he discusses the impact that location can have on the quality of our conversations with people. He asserts that “location drives content, [and] if you have the right conversation at the right place, you just had the right conversation” (Goff, 2018, p. 182).

Reflecting on this concept, perhaps I should emphasize more the location where I coach, do ministry, and have work-related conversations. Perhaps I should be as choosy in where I have a conversation as I am on what we plan to discuss. Location can calm or excite, stimulate creativity, or increase nervousness. Next time you plan a meeting or conversation, select a location that supports what you want to achieve. If you’re limited on venues, how else could you change the environment to make it more conducive to the conversation?

I know a salesman who loves to bring a variety of ice creams to his customer meetings held in formal conference rooms when he wants to break the ice and have fun. He stores a freezer bag in his trunk and stops at the local grocery store to pick up Nutty Buddies, Klondike bars, and Good Humor variety packs. He delights when his customers struggle on what colorful ice cream goodie they want and reminisce about the last time they had a Strawberry Shortcake on a stick as they lick their ice cream. You get the picture. He has everyone sharing stories and smiling—creating connection in the room—countering the formalness of the location.

Bob Goff has a lot of creative conversations, so where do you think he holds office hours? Read the book and find out.

Reference

Goff, B. (2018). Everybody Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People. Nashville, TN: Nelson Books.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, premarital/marriage, and financial coaching. She coaches individuals and couples as well as designs and facilitates workshops. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves.  You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossingsministry.com.

What First-time Managers Should Know About Leading People

Coaching ConstructionAmerican business primarily rewards younger top individual performers by promoting them into supervisory positions, because it’s the only mechanism available for substantial pay increases. The transition from independent contributor to first-time supervisor requires a substantially different set of skills to flourish. Many managers, who don’t know differently, focus on directing their teams as opposed to coaching the best from them. The best managers are coaches, who demonstrate more of and more frequently the following actions:

  1. Providing structure with appropriate boundaries
  2. Drawing attention to individual strengths
  3. Assisting with goal setting and holding the team accountable
  4. Encouraging a solution-based work approach
  5. Listening
  6. Asking questions
  7. Providing feedback
  8. Letting the team arrive and own their own solution
  9. Not avoiding difficult conversations

Although these behaviors seem simple enough, they can be difficult to put into practice on a consistent basis. I encourage companies to offer individual coaching for first time managers. It’s worth the investment to the bottom line in terms of increased productivity and reduce employee turnover.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Global Leadership Summit 2018: How to Get Comfortable with Difficult Conversations

difficult conversationsSheila Heen said it well at Global Leadership Summit when she said, “Your leadership is defined by your ability to have difficult conversations.” How many times do you shy away from conflict, rationalize away what you want to say, or intentionally avoid the tough talk? You are not alone if you said anything but never. Most people struggle with difficult conversations, but the most respected leaders get comfortable in saying things that need to be said.

Heen describes the types of conversations that challenge us: (1) standing up for oneself, (2) disappointing someone, (3) working across cultures, (4) telling a boss they may be wrong, and (5) helping peers with their self-awareness. When we’re in a difficult conversation, three questions drive the direction of our story are:

  • Who’s right?
  • Who’s fault is it?
  • Why is this person acting this way?

Difficult conversations are challenging, because our identity is at stake, and we may not know what to do with our feelings. How can we approach difficult conversations? Heen suggests shelving those three questions and finding answers to:

  • What is this conversation about? Why do we see this so differently?
  • What did we each contribute to the situation?
  • How can I separate intentions from impact? What impact am I worried about?

As a leadership coach, I frequently work with clients on communication strategies and conflict resolution skills. I encourage people to understand the other person’s worldview and values that drive decision-making. People are not irrational; they make decisions based on what makes sense within their worldview.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Global Leadership Summit 2018: Are You Playing a Finite or Infinite Game?

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Simon Sinek challenged leaders to think about the type of game they’re playing. Do you play a finite game with defined players, fixed rules, and definition of how the game comes to an end? Or, would you like to play an infinite game, where people play to continue playing, rules change, and winning is just a moment in time defined by who’s ahead or behind. When a business decides to play an infinite game, Simon provides key truths on how to stay winning. Infinite game players have:

  1. A just cause
  2. Trusting teams
  3. A worthy rival
  4. Existential flexibility
  5. The courage to lead

Does your business have one, two, or all of the infinite game characteristics? Read on for how Sinek expands on each fundamental characteristic.

A Just Cause

A vision statement for a positive business must be resilient to culture and technology change. A change in technology should not wipe out a company. A vision should be inclusive to anyone who wants to contribute. Its primary benefit should be for others and not the contributor. Although they will benefit from a successful enterprise, the vision should not be to serve the shareholders. How many times have you read a vision statement that includes “…enabling value creation and attractive returns to our shareholders”?

Trusting Teams

Trusting teams believe they can be themselves and their best selves. Leaders ask how they can create an environment where people are comfortable being vulnerable in their weaknesses. Trusting teams ask for help and know others have their back.

Worthy Rival

A business playing an infinite game welcomes worthy rivals, because they push and make a company better. Think of a rival as the pacer in a race. Tactical rivals help businesses improve their products and services.

Existential Flexibility

Will you blow up your business when the business model no longer works? Companies with existential flexibility will do what it takes to stay in the infinite game. Are you prepared to cannibalize your own sales?

The Courage to Lead

When pressures are overwhelming for short-term profits, do you have the courage to live out the first four characteristics?

My Leadership Thoughts

If you can say you’re mastering the five infinite characteristics and winning in your business or profession, don’t stop there! What about the rest of life? What does it mean to have an infinite life? An infinite marriage? An infinite fill in the blank? Human life is finite, because it has an end. However, life is more meaningful when you play it as an infinite game.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Lead With Your DISC Personality

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TAKE A DISC PROFILE ASSESSMENT TO GAIN GREATER INSIGHTS IN HOW TO LEAD YOURSELF AND YOUR TEAMS

If you’re interested in exploring your strengths and how you can use them to influence and lead others better, check out this short video on the power of understanding your DISC personality. You can then click on [Visit Our Store] to choose a DISC Personality Profile that meets your needs.

Although the reports are designed for the reader to easily understand his or her results, apply personality strengths, and mitigate blind spots when leading others, I encourage you to schedule a single coaching session to unpack the content. Together, we can then develop a specific plan on how you can grow your leadership at work, within your home, and in your community.

Personal Benefits of DISC Profiles

  • Learn how you come across to others
  • Improve relationships through understanding
  • Quickly identify personality traits in others
  • Achieve success with relationships
  • Develop amazing people skills
  • Obtain strategies on minimizing conflict
  • Identify positive traits of ANY person
  • Reduce the time required to get to know any person
  • Learn how to encourage and connect with others

Professional Benefits of DISC Profiles

  • Boost team performance
  • Unlock your leadership potential
  • Improve team building
  • Improve communication
  • Be more productive
  • Become a better manager through understanding
  • Learn to “read people” better

If you’re unsure which DISC format is best for you, reach out for a conversation. We can discuss what you want to achieve and which report best meets your criteria.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Global Leadership Summit 2018: What’s Your CQ?

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What’s your CQ? Before answering, you may ask, “What’s CQ?” David Livermore refers to CQ as Cultural Intelligence—the capability to work and relate effectively in culturally diverse situations. With curiosity a foundational characteristic of CQ leaders, their cultural intelligence can be measured on four dimensions:

  • CQ Drive: level of interest, persistence, and degree to which one can explain a situation from the other’s point of view
  • CQ Knowledge: understanding how cultures are similar and different; overcoming the natural tendency to see what we want to see and ignore other information
  • CQ Strategy: awareness and ability to plan for multicultural interactions; sketch out an interaction plan
  • CQ Action: ability to adapt when relating and working in multicultural situations

The most important dimension is CQ Action.  All the drive, knowledge, and strategy will have no value unless it’s applied. Many people focus on creating diversity, assuming it will lead to innovation, but the existence of diversity itself doesn’t create innovation. Livermore asserts that innovation is created when diversity is multiplied with CQ.

In my opinion, Culture Intelligence is a leader’s must have competency. Not only is business a global enterprise, but cultural diversity sits in the local office. I would encourage everyone to evaluate their CQ across all dimensions and develop improvement goals that would result in greater CQ Action.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She works with individuals and businesses as well as designs and facilitates workshops to empower people. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at sandra.s.dillon@hotmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com