If you are a mother, you are a negotiator. If you are a daughter, you are a negotiator. If you are a caregiver and not an only child, sharing the responsibilities of looking after your parents is a negotiation. Picking a restaurant is a negotiation. In fact, even small encounters at grocery stores can be a negotiation. You don’t have to take our word for it. Award-winning negotiator, Donna Hughes, founder of Launch Negotiation, believes that we negotiate each and every day about something. Donna is passionate about empowering others to harness their innate negotiation potential and we turned to her to help us learn how to negotiate in our new reality in our latest 4-part series on DIVINE.
What is Negotiation?
In very simple terms, negotiation is a discussion that leads to an agreement. Nothing more, nothing less. We complicate negotiations because we don’t see how it plays into every day life. Negotiations on TV shows, for example, are often power struggles where one character comes out on top. We see high level negotiations between governments when we watch the news. Negotiation, at it’s core, however, is not complex.
A Growth Mindset
According to Donna, having a growth mindset is key to negotiating. In her work, she has seen a lot of people say that “I can’t negotiate”, “I’m not trained” or “I’ll never be good at negotiation. I’m not skilled at it”. It is a growth mindset built around recognizing the word yet. You might not be a skilled negotiator yet, but that’s something that you can change by redefining how you look at negotiation.
Instead of looking at it as this big boardroom negotiation, where you may be inexperienced, understand where it plays into your daily life. If you are working from a shared household, for example, it’s where you start one of these every day conversations where you are trying to do is reach an agreement over what room you are going to have a Zoom meeting. It could be negotiating the time for a call or if it will be audio or video meeting with your colleagues. It may also be a discussion around domestic duties or childcare duties. According to Donna:
“All of these small, micro-negotiations are all great practice for the higher stakes conversations that come to mind when we think of negotiation. It’s the accumulation of all of these smaller conversations that shape the life that we live, work-life balance and the life that you have outside of work as well.”
If you are nervous about negotiating, remember that you can try it in your everyday life. Donna gave a great example to start with. When people make appointments, they often take the first one available and work around that. They take the time off of work, arrange child care and their entire day is scheduled to make this appointment. What if you could simply ask if there was a better time that would work with your schedule? That is a negotiation! Having those conversations can really shape your life because it means you won’t have to re-arrange everything. View everything as negotiable.
Summing It Up
Negotiation is beneficial to everyone. It doesn’t have to be a struggle – you just have to practice it every single day. Think about it in basic terms and it isn’t that scary. Donna will teach us to “Negotiate Like a Child” in part two of out our series.
Follow Launch Negotiation on Instagram @launchneg