You Negotiate What?

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“Am I comfortable negotiating in this situation?”

“Will negotiating meet my need?”

“Is the expenditure of energy and time on my part worth the benefits that I can receive?”

Almost everything is negotiable.  Therefore, you must develop a negotiator’s mindset.  Look around you and see all you can negotiate because it is how you use information and power to create an outcome.

You have one or more of the three crucial negotiation variables you can control.  The three variables are:


  • Title – your ability to use your position for official standing
  • Reward – your ability to reward others
  • Coercive – your ability to punish
  • Charismatic – your ability to use charm and appeal to generate respect
  • Expertise – your ability to use your subject matter expertise


  • Deadline – your ability to control time
  • Strength – your ability to sustain tension
  • Patience – your ability to be calm


  • Knowledge – your ability to know when, where and how to share information

You need to first and foremost prepare for negotiation by asking the following questions of your position and the position of the other party.  The questions are:


What is your goal?

What are your needs?

What is your power?

What is negotiable?

What is your bottom line?

What are your concessions?

What is your feeling?

What pressures?

What time variables?

What options?


What is his goal?

What is his needs?

What is his power?

What is negotiable?

What is his bottom line?

What are his concessions?

What is his feeling?

What pressures?

What time variables?

What options?

Check the box that best describes you.

  • A. You feel competitive, blaming and intimidating others.
  • B. You feel powerless and guarded.
  • C. You gloss over conflict.
  • D. You search for common ground, concerned about satisfying both.

Positional negotiation is about locking yourself into one position, egos flare, less attention to underlying concerns and harms the relationship [unknown author].

Principled negotiation is about separating the person from the problem, focusing on interest, not positions, generating options for mutual gain to benefit the ongoing relationship [unknown author].

This unknown author spoke about four things that hinder inventing options: premature judgment; searching for a single answer; assumptions and thinking that solving “their” problem is “their” problem.

Your negotiation style can be either adversarial [A], play-it-safe [B], harmonizer [C] or participative [D].

Here are three steps to effective negotiations:

Step 1: commit to personal integrity and positive outcome.

Step 2: exchange information, clarify issues by focusing on interests, not positions.  Recognize and uncover (if necessary) any emotional issues to be able to find options agreed upon.

Step 3: commit to a formal approval process for agreed upon option and follow-up to assure option is working as planned.

In summary, apply effective negotiation to the case study below.  Feel free to email your answers at my email address [email protected]

Case Study:

Leader A and Leader B is working on new job procedures for two departments.  Both Leaders have met several times to make sure implementation of new procedures will be a smooth transition for both departments.  They have been struggling over making this smooth transition happen.  Leader A is a play-it-safe negotiator and Leader B is an adversarial negotiator. 

Describe how Leader A and B should negotiate a win-win outcome.    


Carrie Van Daele is president and CEO of Van Daele & Associates @ and  She also is the author of 50 One-Minute Tips for Trainers, published by LogicalOperations.