4 Things to Do When You’re Negotiating

Daniella Kahane is the Executive Director and CEO of WIN (Women in Negotiation) Summit and an award-winning filmmaker. She sat down with Jessica Aboc to share the four things to do when negotiating.

Daniella, why is negotiation so important?

kahane: Most people think of bargaining as this very hostile activity that they may have to do once a year or once a month, something that doesn’t really apply to their day-to-day lives. And that kind of perception of bargaining often holds us back because when we don’t like something, we tend to avoid it and don’t practice it. And then we don’t get any better.

Negotiation is critical to our day-to-day interactions. Anytime you have a conversation where you care about the outcome of that conversation, where you have a need and want to have that need fulfilled, that’s a negotiation. And so if you’re able to zoom out on negotiation and see it as something you do every day, all day long, you can be more mindful about it, practice it, and grow into it.

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And why is your work with negotiation so meaningful to you?

kahane: I have seen too many times over the years, be it my peers, friends, etc., that women feel uncomfortable standing up for themselves. And yet we are born with the knowledge of how to ask. We are born and know how to meet our needs as babies. And then something happens when we get to a certain age and we’re told to back off. We are told to work around our own needs and put someone else’s needs ahead of our own. We are told to take up less space.

It has become a passion of mine to help expand the frame for women. To help women see themselves as rights holders. To help women align with their strengths, align with their worth, align with their worth, and then articulate that better to the world. And whether I do that through WIN, or through my movies, with a new company that I’m super excited to be able to share that becomes a women’s media company founded by women to bring more diverse stories of women through the history or in the present to the screen, i feel really privileged to do the work i do. And I am grateful to all my female predecessors before me who paved the way.

You have your big WIN Summit coming up. Tell us about it.

kahane: WIN (Women in Negotiation) Summit is the premier women-focused negotiation training and leadership development event. We are planning our sixth annual summit to take place virtually on June 1. So you can participate anywhere in the world. It will be a day full of learning, skills development, connection and growth. We really hope to see you there.

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And finally, what are the four things you think people should do when negotiating?

kahane: Number one, know your worth. We often think that negotiation starts when we sit opposite a counterparty, but in fact negotiation starts with the self. We are our first adversaries and we have been conditioned to give away our power as women, but we must regain that power. We need to get in touch with our value. And to do that, we need to get rid of impostor syndrome. We need to get rid of the negative self-talk.

There are two strategies I recommend for getting in touch with your self-esteem. First, write a statement about your self-esteem or self-esteem, but ask your best lawyer, your best cheerleader, to help you write it. Talk to your mom or your best friend or your spouse and come up with that statement about your self-esteem that goes beyond the accolades of, “I went to so-and-so college.” Or, “This is my title at work.” Get to the heart of the value you bring as an individual. Then read that statement to yourself in the mirror while looking at yourself, as if you believe it. The second strategy would be to keep a “Win Journal” so that you actually record and track the things you accomplish every day or every week. It forces you to come into a space of what you have accomplished as opposed to anything you have not done. And as humans, we are conditioned to see the lack, or to see the things that aren’t there, instead of recognizing that it’s all what we achieve on a daily basis.

Number two, do your research. That also has to do with preparation, but to enter into negotiations armed with facts, you really have to take the time in advance to do the work. If it’s a salary negotiation, ask your colleagues what the fair market value is, what they earn, ask. Also, research the company you are negotiating with. You interview them as much as they interview you. And you have to remember that. And also do your research in terms of yourself, in terms of where you want to go. And this is related to your worth, because if you don’t know your worth, then you won’t necessarily be able to answer those questions for yourself in the best mind space. To steer the conversation you want to send yourself, what would a win look like for me in this conversation? What would a win look like for my counterpart in this conversation? And how can I marry the two?

Number three, bring your best self into conversation. When we’re stressed, we go into flight or fight mode. And when we’re in flight or fight mode, our brains literally shut down. And during a negotiation you want to be in a state of mind of openness, of possibilities, of creative problem solving, of finding solutions. And all of that works in the opposite direction when we’re in flight or fight mode, and when we’re stressed. You want to do things before a negotiation and during a negotiation that can help calm your nervous system so you can stay in that open frame of mind, such as diaphragmatic breathing, which has been scientifically proven to lower cortisol in your body. body and to increase oxygen flow to your brain. Another thing you can try is Power Posing. People have been shown to feel more confident and powerful after taking a power pose for 30 seconds. Combine the two prior to any negotiation. Also, use mirror neurons to your advantage: the neuron in your brain that actually lights up when someone smiles at you and makes you smile back. We want to demonstrate or model for our counterparties what we are looking for from them. And if we want someone to be open-minded and positive towards us, we want to show that towards them.

Finally, number four, embrace the no. We are terrified of being told no or of being rejected. And that’s all normal. But much of the time, new can really be our friend. I want to challenge us to see new, not like everything ends where you throw your hands up and say, “I think it’s over.” But actually use it as a very important gift that your counterpart is giving you. ‘Cause if you hear newyou understand there is a problem and you can then ask Why behind the new, or around it. Use it as a tool to then ask the right questions to discover where the new comes from. And if you’ve done that job and you’re still running into a wall and the… new is still a newand then see it as the next opportunity. NO equals Next Opportunity. And know that not every door is meant to open for you.

But hopefully that closed door will lead you to the right open door, the right next opportunity.

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