The Brilliant Negotiator Within


I saw this young kid at the bike shop trying to convince his parents to get him a bike. He was a brilliant negotiator. His dad finally agreed to his complex proposal for a new set of wheels. This made me think that negotiation is an innate skill that we all possess but, with time, lose touch with. We supposedly “grow up” and in the process become negotiation wimps. Think back to when you were a child and tried to convince your parents to let you do things. You probably had a good success ratio.

It’s a common misconception that either you’re born to negotiate or you’re not, but I think that negotiation is a mindset and skill we all possess and need to reconnect with. When we were kids, we were authentic, we knew what we wanted and we knew what buttons to push so our parents would cave. As an adult, we struggle to be authentic, are often confused about what we want and treat everyone the same.

Brilliant negotiators are born inside us all, they just tend to die through the process of growing up. If you can overcome this irony and reconnect with the mindset and skills in your mental storage locker, you will be well on your way to becoming a great negotiator … AGAIN.

The mindset and skill children have are the same as the framework that Stuart Diamond, author of Getting More, says should be used for each and every negotiation.

  • Be authentic and know the desired goal(s)
  • Understand the other side and act accordingly (each person is different we must figure out how to connect with them versus overpowering them – focus on them versus yourself).
  • Figure out what it will take to persuade the others in this deal.

We all negotiate 20 to 40 hours a week. In fact, the value of your life is the sum total of the deals you negotiate. Why not reconnect to your brilliant negotiator within and kick some ass. Connecting to your natural brilliance comes from focus, practice, desire and persistence or, in simpler terms, from acting like you did when you were a kid.

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Getting to "No" You


I have recently learned getting to "yes" is often proceeded by saying "no." A couple months back I was offered what I considered to be a dream job: great pay, international travel, the ability to work from home. Naturally, I jumped on the opportunity. I told my boss, my friends, my family – everyone – about my new gig. I purchased fancy clothes so I could be more businesslike. I spent all the money I knew I’d be getting before I saw a dime of it. After days of indecisiveness and tiring debates with myself, it hit me like a brick in the face: this job wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t quite voice why not, but I knew I had to say “no” to this seemingly unbeatable offer.

Saying "no" to that opportunity lead me to something that felt right: WieseLaw Contract Studio. Here I am surrounded by business-igniters and thought leaders, jokesters and geniuses. Though I bid adieu to the prospect of designer clothes and trips around the world, I said hello to something even better. And look: after just a few weeks’ time, they taught me how magical it can be to say “no.”

This concept may seem a bit strange at first, but it’s something we should all try to embrace and find comfort in. Nobody gets ahead by being a pushover, and they shouldn’t. What gets people far in life is having opinions and making definitive decisions. Here are a couple pointers to help you say “no:”

- Get over it: saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a decision-maker.

- If you go into a negotiation and are slightly uncomfortable with it, get it out on the table. Let the person know right away that you’re leaning towards no.

- Remember what “no” often times leads to: an opportunity to say “yes.”

So next time something does not feel right, have the courage to say "no." And remember, when someone says "no" to you, don't sweat it -- they may be trying to open a different door down the road.