8 Things to HATE when you Negotiate

There aren’t many activities like negotiation, which is almost PERFECTLY optional:

You always can negotiate, but you never have to. It’s up to you.

There are obvious benefits to negotiating, but many of us feel strong resistance to it. In fact, there are things about negotiation that we HATE, and these sometimes lead us to sit on the sidelines instead of pursuing more value. What do we hate?

Why We Sometimes Don’t Negotiate

  1. We hate to ask for more
  2. We hate talking about money
  3. We hate being manipulated
  4. We hate being on stage, performing





Negotiation is Legitimate

I won’t try to untangle the psychological roots of the first two items. But if you relate to those ‘hates,’ here are two concepts that might help: First, it is fully legitimate, wise, and appropriate for you to be a careful steward of your finite resources (or those of your company). No one else will have the same interest in or commitment to your well-being.

Secondly, just because you are seeking more does NOT mean that you are wishing less upon someone else. That dangerous notion stems from a scarcity mindset: the idea that when one person gains, another has to lose. Instead, consider that in almost any “negotiation,” most of us have far more to gain by better understanding our own requirements and value drivers than by extracting more from the other party.

Authenticity is More Effective

Number 3 and number 4 (being manipulated and performing) relate to authenticity. When we feel others are inauthentic and trying to use us, we recoil. Yet there’s a stereotype that negotiation is a performance, and we are both audience and actor when we take part.

Bluffing, misleading, and other histrionics are sometimes used in negotiating, but they are not correlated to long-term, repeated success. You’ll have better results if you skip the acting class and spend that time figuring out what you want and why you want it. Well prepared authenticity out-negotiates a great performance nine times out of ten.

Also, note that authenticity is easier if you are confident that your interests are legitimate, and if you don’t hold the mistaken belief that your advancement will come at someone else’s expense. So looking at the first four ‘hates,’ the antidotes are interwoven. Let’s consider a few more things we hate when we negotiate:


What we Hate when we DO Negotiate

  • 5. We hate being surprised
  • 6. We hate being cornered
  • 7. We hate feeling out of control
  • 8. We hate getting a bad deal

Negotiations are risky. But we have more control over the outcomes than most of us realize. When we prepare correctly, we are rarely surprised. When we develop good options, we are never cornered.

If we have a defined process and we stick to it, then we remain in control and make decisions on our terms. That means we’ll almost never feel duped or get a bad deal.


Moving Ahead

How do you and your team feel about negotiating? Do you consistently embrace opportunities to get more value, more money, and more time? Or do some of those ‘hates’ slow you down? If you want to talk about it, send me a note or give me a call.

If you’re looking to develop an integrity-based, process driven approach to negotiating on your team, send me a note or give me a call 703-944-9676. You might also consider the course Negotiate Value, centered around two strategic skills:

  • Understanding what drives your Benefit
  • Identifying and Developing your Options

In addition we cover numerous related tactical skills. There are 20 video lessons, over 3 hours of content, exercises, and a thorough text provided in hard copy. There’s more about the course at the site www.NegotiateValue.com.

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