Hi Everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend! We are now in week two of The Workplace Challenge and thanks to all of you who are participating and sharing your stories. This week I wanted to focus on the skill of negotiating. Oftentimes this is solely aligned with business. While it is, we negotiate across every facet of our life, including our relationships. There are some things I wanted to share that I thought would be helpful in being better prepared to handle situations where this comes into play. Try one, try a few, try them all. See what you think works best for you and try to pinpoint how the specific exercise have made you better at negotiating.
Day 6: Monday, January 8th
Get a sales book and begin reading or listening to it. I’d recommend Spin Selling or Beyond Reason: Using emotions as you negotiate. While looking at new negotiation books, I also came across Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation, seems applicable in this situation. Some of the content will go beyond what’s necessary for our daily lives but read/listen to it through. It’s a complex skill that can be perfected over time. You know the saying, “That person is just born with it.” Well, it may be true with some but the reality is that every skill can be learned. With experience, you become better at that skill and if you choose, you can be great at it.
Day 7: Tuesday, January 9th
Find someone at the office who is great at negotiating and ask if they can give you a few tips throughout the month or even mentor you. Come prepared and ask them purposeful questions. They’ll be flattered and should be more than happy to help out. Be mindful of their time. Build the relationship and you will have a mentor to lean on throughout your career.
Day 8: Wednesday, January 10th
Think back on a situation where the answer was “no” at work. A harsh no. A no that left you feeling defeated, where you wanted to give up. Think back on that moment, the process leading up to that decision and really pick it apart. Bring that deal/situation to the same person from yesterday or select another. Role play and ask for feedback. Get their take, understand their angle and then compare with some of your most recent “yes’s”. You’d be surprised at the similarities.
Just understand that “no’s” happen. Don’t take it personally. You don’t always know what’s happening on the other side. The no might have nothing to do with you. But learn from each instance.
Day 9: Thursday, January 11th
Understand the stages of negotiation. There are typically three “bids”. The first bid is crucial. I always want to make the first move and set the bar where I want it, typically leaving some wiggle room. They counter and then you counter. Practice with a friend, family or colleague.
Also, understand that negotiation isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about leaving everyone at the table feeling happy with the final outcome. Be tough, but be fair. Remember that negotiation is not a time to be bullish, arrogant or rude.
Day 10: Friday, January 12th
Test out your negotiation skills on something small at work. Practice it in a real scenario. It can’t hurt and it will be another learning situation.
Day 11: Saturday, January 13th
Practice hearing no. This is tough. I’ve been in sales my entire career, including in school. I use to knock on people’s door to get them to vote (yep, that was me). So I’ve heard the word “no” so many times. SOOOOO many times. At first, I’d get frustrated and feel defeated, but I quickly learned to not take things personally. It has helped shape the way I approach business.
Important learning… we need thick skin, ladies!
Day 12: Sunday, January 14th
Read or listen to your selling book. Pick up where you left off and see how far you get. Highlight lines or sections that you find most valuable. I love being able to go back to a book and get to a quote or lesson I had marked off.
Good luck and can’t wait to hear how things go for you! Have a great week!