As I work with people of all ages on their career goals, there is one skill set that determines just how successful they'll be: Their ability to negotiate. In my observation, most people simply hate it. They avoid it like a loud, drunk friend in a public place. Here's why... From the day we are born, we are conditioned to avoid creating uncomfortable situations with other people. Here are some the rules we learn: Don't make people cry. Don't embarrass people. Don't insult others. Translation: Don't create situations where people feel bad. Sound familiar? And yet, negotiation by its very definition is the act of two people with different viewpoints and goals working together to come up with an agreement they can both be happy with. In other words, both sides are going to feel bad until they can come up with a solution each is satisfied with. So, for all of you who have been avoiding negotiation because you don't enjoy it, I've got a news flash: Nobody enjoys it until it's over! And, I'll tell you something else... the smart folks are sucking it up, negotiating, and reaping the rewards while you stay miserable.
January 19, 2012