Hiding in a group

As a child, I have sung in public several times as part of a group, and never faced a problem.

And then, I signed up for a solo performance. As I sat down on the stage, I noticed myself welling up with fear. Midway through my performance, my mind blanked out on the words of the song. A few seconds of awkward silence later, I apologized to the audience and left the stage with tears in my eyes.

It is much easier to sing among a group of singers. However, such group performances are never extraordinary, for there is plenty of room for mediocrity to hide. Every member of the group only needs to be better than the worst singer. And everybody in the group thinks somebody else is the worst singer.

To sing alone is to live upto the crowd’s and your own expectation – there is no room to hide. It is frightful to sing alone. Yet, facing this fear is the key to an extraordinary performance.

‘I don’t need to negotiate my salary’

Most employees don’t negotiate their own salary. Several think think their work ought to speak for itself.

Yet, in most cases, your manager isn’t aware of all the work you do. They only receive a weekly or monthly update of your work. Besides, they keep track of several things that crowd out your contributions in their minds. Therefore, there is always a gap between what you have really achieved, and what they think you have achieved. A good salary negotiation merely aims to bridge this gap.

The real reason most people don’t negotatiate their salary is because negotiation is difficult. It requires us to have difficult conversations and face the fear of failure. Most people evade this fear by not negotiating. At the same time, however, they expect their managers to fulfil their demands. Oftentimes, this demand isn’t fulfilled and they are left frustrated.

Ask, and you shall receive. To negotiate is to ask elegantly. To not negotiate is to expect to receive something without asking for it.