I had a particularly intense negotiation recently. I wanted to make a deal with the person on the other side of the table. I wanted to be a part of their business and I wanted it to work. I am a strong advocate of using feminine power to help me achieve my goals. This does not mean flirting over the negotiation table or rolling over.
It means shapeshifting when beneficial, following the lead of my heart, and letting my intuition inform my process.
I am big on self-observation and as I scanned myself for the places I might need to adjust my thinking to something more supportive, I found that in addition to the wants above, I wanted the other side to be happy.
This was a problem.
We, especially women, often tie how good we feel to how pleased others are with us. Stop it.
I’m not advocating that you seek to make others unhappy. What I’m promoting is that you let them handle their own feelings and you do the best you can to advocate for and protect your interests.
Here are some tips to support you in taking care of yourself when you’re negotiating for yourself:
- Aim. Before you enter into negotiation, know what you want. Base it in reality and be fair.
- Ask for more. If you’re a woman, chances are you’ll need to gross your ideas of fair up at least ten, perhaps twenty-five (or more) percent. Women are notorious for not asking for what they could have gotten. Everything is negotiable. Make asking for more a rule. Over a lifetime, this could mean millions of dollars and so much more.
- Honor Yourself. Ask yourself: What do I need to achieve here to feel that I’ve done a good job taking care of myself? You must earn and maintain your self-respect.
- Stay in your center. When bombarded with analysis and persuasion it is easy to get pulled out of the centered space of your core. Watch for this. When you feel uneasy or less than fortified, remind yourself to return to your center. Connect with your heart. Let it tell you the truth about you: This is your life, you deserve to do your best and you matter. When you come from your heart energy, you will speak to theirs. This does not mean talk about emotions and your heart. It means hold that energy.
- Mind your business. Don’t take on the other person’s/entity’s problems. While this information is interesting and may be valuable in helping you assess the risk/solvency/efficiency of the entity you’re negotiating with, do not try to help/solve/compensate for their challenges. Let them come up with a solution and ask you for what they want, do not negotiate against yourself by offering solutions that take from you. Feel free to offer solutions that benefit you or do not impact you.
- Slow down. Situations can become intense and sometimes even frenetic. Ease the tension by slowing the pace of the conversation down. You don’t have to think fast on your feet (and risk making an impulsive decision). Do not allow yourself to feel pressured. You can slow everything down by taking as much time as you need to respond, slowing your rate of speech, and being comfortable in silence.
- Make silence your friend. Ask for what you want and be quiet. This is one of the biggest traps we set for ourselves. We ask for what we want and then talk ourselves away from it. Ask and be quiet.
- Be non-reactive. It’s okay if the other side gets upset. Sit back and let them. They’ll either implode in their own chaos (something you’re blessed to discover before you’re involved in any sort of committed business relationship) or they’ll work through it and then you’ll move on. Pay close attention to how the other side behaves. This is like dating, you’re getting an idea of what your professional marriage will be like and how they will interact with others. This matters.
- Let go. Be willing to agree to part on good terms with no deal. If you cannot reach an outcome that upholds your sense of integrity with yourself, let go. Share your unwillingness to fail yourself with the other side, most people will understand and respect this. If they have room to move your way, they usually will.
- Do it for someone else. I don’t like this one, but even I do it. Women can often negotiate for their children, family, or friends more easily and better than they can for themselves. I would prefer that we all feel so empowered, confident and deserving that we negotiate that way for ourselves, but until you’re there, dedicate your negotiation to someone or something else that you feel protective over. In my negotiation, I dedicated it to you, my sisters. I had no choice but to stand in the place of calm confidence and steadfast advocacy of my best interests because I refuse to live with the knowing that I rolled over and failed to uphold the values I promote to you and the good I believe we deserve.
At the end of the day, I came away feeling that I’d done my best given the circumstances. My ego still haunts me saying I could have done this or that differently, but my heart says we can live with this.
This came at the right time as today I will meet with a lady who is looking for someone to help her get sponser/donations for a project. I want this to turn into a job with a paycheck!! right now she is looking for a “volunteer”. I do not want to come across desperate for a job….although I would like to start earning a paycheck. I want to walk in there confidently and focused. Centered, yet opened. Anxious, but excited!! I derserve the best because I give my best. I will let you know what happens. Thank you Cynthia for posting this today <3
Wonderful! Be open to opportunities in your meeting and in the world. Work under the premise that they are EVERYWHERE so you’ll recognize them and come up with leads to find more. <3 to you. I'm with you today. 🙂
This is excellent!
Everyday u motivate me, as a business woman , mother and wife I face new challenges daily. Thank u.
Awesome article! Loved the part about ‘asking and be quiet’…really resonates
love the vid, will read all text another day … eyes tired … night night! congrats!
very cool. words of wisdom that speaks to me and some I have learned to use, probably comes with a woman’s natural aging cycle. all the best to your book launch Cynthia.
Thank you, Toni. I agree that some things do require maturity to grasp. That’s one of the many great aspects of growing older.
I always enjoy your writing. Many times they speak to me & this one came in loud & clear! And with exact timing, as if you wrote this personally for me. Thank you. I wish you could feel how much I needed this & how the fact you provided it with God’s perfect timing, makes me stronger & relaxed. You are quite a gift. Thank you.
I am so glad it came at the right time, Lisa. Hugs to you, I hope everything went well.
‘Stop it!’ love you girl ;). You say it like it is! As a graduate from my share of co-dependent support groups, I celebrate you in walking the talk. You invite us to engage in this dance of Life, with genuine and practical insights that inspire and empower.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m too harsh. I hope not. Thank you for hanging in there 🙂
These are great tips for everyone. We need to treat each other with love and respect !!
great article Cynthia. I left a comment for you too. all the best.
Have shared your article. Shiva Shakti to you lady 🙂
Excellent post Cynthia. This is exactly the area I have been working on lately. I am almost there with some of your points but I especially needed to hear #6, #7 and #9. Reading this has made my intent to improve these points about myself so much clearer. Thank you x
Emma – I’m so glad you’re aware. For me, I have to sort of stand beside myself and monitor what I’m doing. If I stop paying attention, I’d just keep talking and trying to help (them at my expense). It’s one our gifts to be healing, helping, and happy making, but in this context it can really harm our interests. Keep me posted on how you do.
This is exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you for the great tips. I will definitely be utilizing them as I make negotiations with myself – as I feel like I do this quite often!
Thank you for this! Great points, especially about negotiating up, from our traditional instincts!
Dear friend, You are highly inspiring. Keep persons motivated who have written to you in past or shall write you in future. Your personality is a source of inspiration. I am also doing something, but the task appears too vast..and i get slowed down..now gathering courage to finish it. When i finish then only I can offer to the customers and to the world. Regards.
Asking for more has always been a challenge for me. I know this is something I must overcome if I’m to live in as much abundance as I desire. AND if I’m to get paid what I’m worth. I’ve seen men do this with so much ease, and yet it’s so difficult for me to do it myself. I know it’s probably one of those things that once I do it the first time, it will continue to be easier for me to ask for more, but that first time is scary because you don’t know if the people on the other end will think you’re delusional!
Ashley, you are absolutely right, it’s gets easier as you do it. Do a market study of three people/businesses that do what you do (look for a good match in service, location, and client) and price yourself at fair market value. No one will think you’re delusional. If you do more than others offer, then price that in too. Also, the goal in sales is not to get the client. It’s to come to the right/best solution for both sides. When you view it this way, every no becomes an appreciative referral source. 🙂 GO GET EM’
Thanks, Cynthia. So hard to get altitude on evaluating myself- especially because I judge myself more harshly most of the time than I judge other people. I’m thinking this will definitely be a rich discussion topic in the Beautiful Life School…
Thanks Cynthia for these words of awakening…..The minding your own business is where i get stuck……I am learning that I am enough. What I am bringing to the table is enough and the offer of helping with their personal life is a bonus for them not for me….Thank you for this practical application of how to walk in feminine power.
Hi Cynthia! On a 3×5 card answer this question 3 times: How will my work meaningfully, or materially improve my customer’s life? The three answers are your focus and reason you MUST share your work with them. <3
Wish I had seen this a year ago; I learned the hard way what you are now telling me for free. Can I just tell you from experience that what you say is true? Once you give away your advantage – it’s difficult if not impossible to wrest it back.
I also learned a most important lesson: We should never try to negotiate in our own strength but remember that with God all things are possible. We should take him to the negotiating table and let him take charge. The gentle strength that comes from that cannot be overwhelmed by the greatest strategies or the most powerful threats.
Any solution that truly involves God is right and any outcome he brings about cannot be bettered.
This is very appropriate for me…
I was just recently terminated from a job that i could not physically handle… I was hired for it, and was also presented with other positions-cross training entering the job.
The job was pots n pans in a huge kitchen for Assisi Heights Franciscan order and Mayo clinic branch.
I’m 55 and it was too much for me.
So they trained me in another position (which i absolutely loved)and gave me shifts, but they also added on to my shifts a weekend of the pots n pans.
The very next day after i said thank you for the new position etc
I was told if i can not work the pots n pans i couldn’t have the job.
Long story short i tried everything i could think of to present my case.
But it was decided… I was terminated.
I am working thru this but i was devastated for four days..
This of day five, I’m dressed and out of
Wondering where, what, why, how
And Will i ever find the place four me.
Thank you this is good for me to read.