Negotiating with Nutjobs
(6 min read | unless you're distracted)
Texas is coming back, y'all, and I haven't been this excited the begin a new month since... last month. I've lived in Houston for my entire life and haven't ever witnessed any weather storm that rocked us as hard as the winter storm did.
It rocked us so hard that even Ted Cruz thought a family trip to a sunny Cancun, MX would be a great idea. Also, I'm not sure why Gregg Abbott thinks that lifting a mask ban is a good idea while cases of COVID-19 are still pretty high, but ok. Our medical professionals have all recommended to wear them, so I'll continue to trust their judgment. All that clout chasing is gonna harm the state, Gregg. Please stop. Ok, I'm done being petty for the day...
Happy March to you all and Happy Women's History Month!
I am SO excited to have relaunched this professional development blog focused on confidence, happiness, and intention. Oh! Shout out to my hater of the month, Jake, for making sure that I knew using the word f*ck was something he frowned upon. That it wasn't professional. Jake, I literally don't care. Please stop reading my blogs if you don't consider them professional. It really is that simple. Haven't you heard of boundaries? Ok, seriously finished being petty for the day.
Onto the topic of the month … Negotiation!
Before I get into this topic, many of the references to money mindset, corporate-speak, and examples may offend you if you are not working in a corporate environment. Please do not take any of this personally. I'll ask that if anything I say strikes a nerve with you, that we have a conversation about it. I'd love to know what's going on and how I may be able to understand things from your perspective.
Why Care About Negotiating?
You may be wondering why this blog is titled with the word 'nutjob'. Well, let me explain.
Have you ever received a promotion, but not a raise to go along with it? Have you ever felt like someone was completely undervaluing your skills? Have you ever walked away from a deal where you knew you could have negotiated a better price, but let your fear get in the way? Well, I hate to break it to you, but you probably could have done a few things to be a bit more persuasive and get (closer to) what you want. Either they were a nutjob, or it could have been you. It stings, but it's happened to me. I've been boo-boo the fool and I'm sharing this / praying that you don't make the mistakes that I did.
As we celebrate Women's History Month, I can't think of a better topic to discuss. I've heard from many that this is a common thing in 2021. The ongoing pandemic has created financial unrest across the world and within the US, people have taken pay cuts, received no bonuses, and have even lost their jobs altogether. If you've been fortunate enough to keep your job, it's important to know how to negotiate. Even in these COVID times, you cannot be undervalued if you're deemed valuable enough to remain on a team and even take on additional responsibilities.
It's important to note that not EVERYTHING should be a negotiation, but in most cases - it's possible. Negotiations usually mean that there will be some give-and-take or compromise between everyone involved. However, negotiated agreements do not necessarily involve both parties meeting in the middle, because one may have more leverage than the other. Don't confuse this with getting played or made a fool of.
Negotiation is a critical, underrated skill
To become a more effective negotiator, or to become a negotiator at all - you have to become emotionally intelligent. The best negotiators check their emotions at the door and are prepared for essentially anything. A few strategies that I love to test out are from my favorite new find "Never Split the Difference" by Chris Voss. The image you see here sharing these tips thanks to ReadinGraphics shares a few strategies from the book in a beautiful summary here.
First, establish rapport ... aka CONNECT. You can learn more about that in my Connecting with Confidence webinar. Next, try showing empathy. Once you have a connection with someone, you build trust by showing vulnerability and opening up. When you want something from someone, you must also be able to give folks the chance to say no and not (seemingly) force them to agree with you. It's best to actually agree with the concerns expressed because after all - they are THEIR concerns, not yours. It's important to remember their emotions are more important than yours. Encourage them that they're making a good recommendation even if it's your solution. Egos are not always checked at the door in this situation, so play with them nicely.
NEVER SPLIT THE DIFFERENCE! Make sure that you come to a great deal that works for you, that is realistic for you.
If there's something that leaves you wondering what you may be missing ... you probably are missing something and need to assess risks that you may not have considered. Depending on where you are in your ask - be prepared to play hardball with others who practice negotiation as well.
Three (3) negotiation tips
to increase your confidence, happiness, and intention personally & professionally this month:
Check your emotional intelligence. As mentioned, ego probably won't be checked at the door no matter how hard we try. It's that one thing that seems to make it past the metal detectors when it's time to leave emotions behind for the sake of others. Though we all want to 'win' and ultimately wish to get what we want, be prepared for anything and do not walk into a situation so tied to the outcome that you may lose control of your emotions.
Practice your persuasion skills. We all want something, right. When you ask a favor of someone, chances are they've asked something along the lines of "what's in it for me?" to bargain a deal on something in exchange. If you can help someone else see the benefit of accepting your deal or meeting you in the middle, you'll be able to reduce the risks and concerns that they have with accepting your deal. YOUR deal. I didn't say A deal. YOUR deal. YOU value YOU. Persuasion is sexy when you can help show the mutual benefits. Let them know upfront why they should take your deal, without creating this sense of urgency. That's not sexy. At all.
Spot the risk and plan accordingly. It's usually safe to assume that sh*t may possibly hit the fan if a negotiation doesn't work out in your favor, or if someone steps away from a deal feeling dissatisfied or second-guessing their decision. If you can spot any risks in advance and consider how you may be able to mitigate, transfer, or avoid them; your entire negotiation can be much smoother than having to consider this on the fly. Hopefully, you won't need to worry about it, but it's better to be safe than sorry. No one goes into a boxing match without practicing a few different combos and scenarios first, right? Well, maybe Jake would. :)
I truly appreciate you being here and know that 2021 is going to be an incredible year of recovery and growth for our world, for our economy, for our businesses, our careers, and for us. My ask is that you take the time that you need each month to focus on what boundaries you need to set, which goals you can realistically tackle, and how you can continue adding value to this world while protecting your personal boundaries. Don't forget to love YOU first.
Supporting Women in Business
WORKOUT - Glute Camp has quickly become one of my favorite new workouts in Houston. Destinee is an amazing fit mama with such a big heart. Go check her out!
NAIL DRIP - Diamond Reine can provide you with salon-quality nails in the comfort of your own home. Danielle is my soul sister. Save yourself some $$ and go check it.
INSPIRATION - Marie Forleo has a podcast that really pushes me to think outside of the box. HIGHLY recommended.
I'm forever grateful for all of the connections that have come from my beautiful network of friends. You guys will never know how much joy it brings me when we can share our passions with the world and support one another.
If you have a business that you'd like me to shout out, support, share, or feature … PLEASE send me a message :)
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I do hope that you'll share this with a friend or colleague who will benefit from giving it a quick view. I look forward to hearing from you soon and hope you like the blog, the content, and the flow. I'm always open to any and all feedback on how to make this blog most helpful to you.
Oh, and if you didn't know - I have a FREE webinar to help you connect more confidently in your business and life. Be sure to check it out at your own pace or share it with a friend/colleague that would enjoy some professional development resources! :)
Brittanni Below, MBA is a coach, speaker, and trainer based in Houston, TX that provides services to help fierce and self-driven women to live a more balanced, healthy, and more fulfilling life. By fully understanding your unique talents and gifts and what is distracting you from being successful, Brittanni helps you transform fear, lack of confidence, and life challenges, into lessons that push you to crush the goals that you've set for yourself. If you're interested in business or career coaching, book your FREE coaching session with Brittanni here.