I don’t see myself as a negotiator
OK, so you might never find yourself playing liars' poker on Wall Street, shuttling
Tel Aviv-Washington-Belgrade-Beijing, or bargaining for the lives of hostages.

For normal life, the key is not to become a negotiator, but to have a negotiator
within you - a "sub-personality" - just as you might have a gardener sub-personality
that you mobilise in the spring.

There are two common "non-negotiators": the weakling and the bully.
  • If you tend to give up too easily, get a coach to talk things through with
    before and during your negotiation. Choose a coach with common-sense
    balance and experience of winning some, losing some. Do not choose a
    bully: your goal is not to become aggressive. As you experience the
    benefits of assertiveness, you will outgrow your coach.
  • If you are prone to aggression at times of stress and anxiety, then plan
    what you will do when you feel your teeth clench and hear the blood start
    to roar in your ears. Practice in advance the form of words you will use -
    like "I'm disappointed, but I can see your point-of-view, so let's see if we
    can find another approach to this…" A litany against snappishness.
Your negotiator sub-personality is a planner, a talker, a listener and a bit of a
game-player. Work out which of these areas you are weak in, and work on that.
Click around the other advice sections for more tabloid tips, or
go to Books or contact us for a fuller treatment.
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