You can get what you want in 2008 if you resolve to say no early and often. To what? You name it — a lowball job offer, your needy teenager, the asking price on a home or car, and more. Here are 7 steps to get you started.
By Jim Camp, author of
No: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home
Most of us have been taught that if we want others to cooperate with us, we have to compromise — that is, to get something, we have to give something. There’s a better way, however, to getting what you want: Start with no. So, if your New Year’s resolutions for ’08 include being more assertive, standing up for yourself, and reaching your goals, the “No System” can be your ticket to success. Seven steps to get moving:
1. Start with no. Resist the urge to compromise. Instead, invite the other person to say “no” to your proposal. (Hint: Don’t tell him or her what it is — at least not yet.) And be clear that, personally, you don’t take no as rejection, but as a candid start to an honest discussion.
2. Dwell not. Dwell on what you want, and you blow your advantage. Throughout the discussion, focus instead on what you can control — your actions and behaviors.
3. Do your homework. Learn everything you can before you begin. This way, you prevent a minefield of surprises, whether you’re dealing with the boss, a car dealer, or your own teenager.
4. Face problems head-on. Identify the “baggage” — both theirs and yours — and bring these issues out into the open. Facing, not avoiding, problems gives you an edge.
5. Check your emotions at the door. Exercise self-control, and let go of any expectations, fears, or judgments. (And, whatever you do, don’t be needy.) Sure, this is easier said than done, but it gives you an edge.
6. Get them talking. Ask open-ended questions that begin with what and how. Find out what the other person wants and needs, and then show him or her how your proposal actually benefits them.
7. Build a vision. Create a story that presents your proposal as their solution. In helping the other person see exactly what he or she will gain from your plan, you spark decision-making and action.
Jim Camp is a leading negotiating coach and author of(Crown Business, 2007, $23.00). Founder and president of The Camp Group, he’s coached individuals, corporations, and governments worldwide through hundreds of successful negotiations. Contact him on the Web at .