TIP: If it really was a partnership, you wouldn’t need to tell me.

13 Sep

"You might be a more effective negotiator if you didn't use the 'f' word so frequently."

I can’t provide too much back-story here without compromising the anonymity of the other party (and no, it’s not Alan!), so I’m just going to offer some seemingly obvious bits of advice that  occurred to me in the midst of an unfortunate exchange with another person today:

  • When negotiating, it is generally best to NOT let the other party know they have nothing left to lose before you’ve arrived at what it is you’re seeking.
  • Try not to shriek – unless you would like to perpetuate the notion that women are too emotional to be trusted in Corporate America.
  • When I’m in the middle of summarizing my understanding of the situation and on my way to proposing a solution, don’t interrupt me unless you don’t want a solution.
  • Don’t say “legally” unless you have a J.D. or – barring that – can pronounce “fiduciary” without sounding like you’re hooked on phonics.
  • If you DO say “legally” and I know you don’t have a leg to stand on, don’t act insulted when I ask if you have a law degree or suggest that you conference in your counsel so that we can get a valid interpretation of the contract.
  • If you have to state (repeatedly) that, “We are all adults here. We are MATURE adults here. We are grown-ups. We behave like grown-ups,” then you probably aren’t. Act it, don’t say it.
  • And if you find yourself saying, “I’m not trying to be unprofessional by yelling at you,” then guess what? You’re not only trying, you’re succeeding!
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