Negotiation shows up in almost every aspect of our work and life.
While we typically think about negotiating around money, it’s really about relationships. We have a desire or challenge and we need agreement, assistance or action from someone else.
Sounds simple, right?
What makes negotiating complex - especially when we want or need something badly - is that it pushes our buttons. We’re uncomfortable with confrontation, we feel like we need to manipulate or we worry that our wish is in someone else’s hands.
While you can’t control everything in a negotiation, you can absolutely control your approach.
Start by connecting
When we get wrapped up in having what we want (the salary, the day off, the help we’re asking for or the space we need), we often make up that the person on the other end is going to say no. So we head into the conversation like we’re going into BATTLE.
While those you negotiate with may not share your point of view, the more you show up in fight mode, the more likely there will be a fight.
It helps to prepare for resistance so you can think through how to respond, but do your best to stay calm and connect, rather than argue. This sets the tone for both a positive experience and a positive outcome for everyone.
Your job in any negotiation is to enroll people in your idea or desire. Instead of “making” them do something, you’re there to help them to see a perspective.
When done properly and with integrity, negotiating is about sharing an idea or solution with others in a compelling way – and helping them see the benefits from their point of view.
When I started out as a coach, I negotiated a four-day work week at my (then) job so I could have more time to dedicate to my business – and I did this by focusing on why it would work for the company, not just for me. I thought through how my new position, my new schedule and my new salary would work for THEM and did my best to be both empathic and empowered as I shared my thoughts. Fortunately, they said yes and the transition went smoothly for all of us.
Expect a happy ending
No matter what you want, trust that it can work!! If you go into any negotiation assuming the best, real magic can happen.
Like visioning, getting clear on what you want and holding it as truth is as important as any other preparation. Set your intention and show up as if things will actually go your way. If they don’t, you can always have a plan B, which may just mean negotiating with someone else.
When negotiation doesn’t “work” right away, that actually gives you the chance to settle down, strategize further and get more aligned with your desired result.
If you’re prepared, your words are powerful and your belief is strong, you give yourself the best possible chance for that happy ending. Using this approach consistently will help you create a career and life you truly love.
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