Learning to Love Negotiations

January 20, 2021
Shari Steinbach
Business SkillsCommunications

By  Shari Steinbach, MS RDN, RDBA Contributing Editor

For many people, negotiating can be a very difficult thing to do and something that is often avoided. Suzanne de Janasz, a professor of management and conflict resolution at George Mason University has researched negotiation for more than two decades and found that whether it comes to a higher salary, a promotion, help at home or a better car deal, women find it harder to ask than men because they simply don’t think they deserve it, can’t possibly get what their asking for, or will experience some sort of backlash.

The costs of not asking, however, can be high… especially on your bank account. For example, if you accept a new job at a salary that could have been $7,000 higher – if you negotiated for it – this difference could compound over time and you could end up earning hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of your career. 

One way to start loving negotiations is to prepare and practice. Call your cable company, or talk to your car insurance provider for example. 

Professionally state what you are asking for and have examples of better offers you have received. Then, be quiet, and don’t start back pedaling. You may be surprised by what is offered. 

Another way to practice negotiating is by role playing. Enlist a friend or family member to act as your counterpart and record your interaction. Pay attention to your body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. This type of practice can help you improve your skills and increase your confidence to negotiate. 

Another way to ease your negotiating fears is by reframing your thoughts. Tell yourself that you have what it takes to succeed in negotiations and you’ll actually be better. Put your listening and verbal skills to work and let yourself know that “you can do this!”

Look at those areas in your life where you would like to negotiate, believe you are going to be successful and practice. By just “asking for it” in a prepared manner you may just get what you want.