Asking for what you want isn't always easy. Sometimes it can be a little bit scary, but you know what? Sometimes it can also be worth it. So here are my tips on becoming a better negotiator:
Know what you want and what you are willing to accept
Before you begin negotiating, figure out what it is you want to happen. Know what you want MOST and strive for that, but be willing to compromise. And know what your "lowest level" of comprise means. Don't settle for something that just won't work for you.
Figure out why you deserve what it is you want
AKA Why should you get what it is you want? Have some supporting evidence. Don't walk into any conversation unprepared. Think of questions you would ask if you were on the other side, and be prepared to answer those questions.
Even if things start to get heated or scary, don't back down. If you believed in this before you walked into that room - stay confident and stay strong. Remember your "lowest level" of compromise. If the person you're talking to JUST won't budge, you might be better just walking away. Please - don't sell yourself short. Of course, again, there is compromise. But compromised doesn't mean letting someone walk all over you.
Even if things aren't going the way you wanted them to, don't get too upset. As long as it isn't a life or death matter, try to keep that "I'm-put-together" look on your face, even if you're dying on the inside. Remain respectful during the ENTIRE negotiation, this way your point comes off as professional, and you don't burn any bridges during the process.
Ask what you can do
See if there's any ways you can help both parties get what they're looking for (you and who ever you're talking with.) Ask if there's anything you can do for them, and maybe they'll be more willing to budge for you.
Accept it and move on
If it ends up working out, feel free to give a big, loud, happy, "HECK YES!" once you get into your car at the end of the day. If it doesn't work out how you planned, don't sweat it. There's still time for change and, it's not the end of the world :).
Until next time,