YWSE June Dinner: Negotiations

Our June event was an extraordinary affair. We had a short training session on Negotiations, and then a Networking Cocktail thereafter which included each member attending the event to come with two MALE members for the purpose of interacting and networking with other members of the YWSE.

The training session was conducted by Kathleen Vaughan, a credentialed Executive and Team Coach, and a Leadership, Collaboration & Conflict Specialist. She does a number of training for corporate, and even embassy through Xponentially, and had traveled the world conducting training sessions with companies in the USA, Thailand, Switzerland, South Africa, just to name a few.

Her training this session was on Negotiations, and tackling the four major mistakes that inexperienced negotiators make. She was going to arm us with the skills needed to better our negotiation traits and how to walk away with, a “Good Deal” if not the “Right Deal”.

Kathy began her session by asking what turns any negotiation into a BAD one? Obviously, poor planning.

Any negotiation requires Planning that would ensure that all parties are happier with the outcomes/choices and we must not look at the choices as obstacles but as a leverage to turn into our own benefit.

We started off an exercise with group introductions, where each member had to introduce themselves by who they are, what they do, and what was their biggest negotiation fear.

According to a survey, it was discovered that Women were not that inclined to negotiate, especially when they were forced into such a situation. It was stated that Women would negotiated if there was a Choice presented to them, and not forced to, or triggered by emotions.

It was hence important to create an environment with Ideal Choices. We performed the following exercise:

How many of us (women)would engage in typical negotiation behavior by:

  1. Asking questions
  2. Testing the understanding of parties involved (everyone is on the same page)
  3. Summarize what was said so the terms are clear
  4. Express feelings and/or emotions about the Negotiation.
  • Which one do we tend to use most often when negotiating?
  • Which ones do people who think that they are Good Negotiators use most often?

It stood out that the main elements of any negotiation was Patience and Understanding.

Preparing Mindsets

When faced with a situation that entails a negotiation, one must consider the following before stepping into the negotiation:

  1. What are the ALTERNATES? – If not “X” then what can I REALLY do? (Process the outcomes, is there a better way to negotiate these?)
  2. What is my RESERVATION? – The Bottom Line? What is it that I will not Negotiate, what is the thing that I will Walk-Away with/from? (requires being Aware on oneself)
  3. What are my ASPIRATIONS? – There are always Trade-offs in any negotiation. One needs to understand one’s NEEDS verses LONG TERM OBJECTIVES.

When it comes to preparing mindsets, it also helps if one:

  • Understand Who we are talking to, who is the other person on that table, what he is like as a person
  • Get insider information – speak to people associated with this person to find out more about his values, his nature, anything that can help you get in better.
More steps to Negotiation successfully


  • Do benefits of the negotiation outweigh the risks
  • Can you realistically influence the negotiation?
  • Do you jump in, or not?


  • What are my interests (be clear on your priorities such as reputation, experience, money, relationships)
  • Are you clear on the interests of the other person. What is important to the other person, all contents are important to them (this is where the Insider-Information will come in handy)


  • Is there another way to get What you Want?
  • Look at all other options
  • If you are clear, that this negotiation will result in something that you do not want, WALK AWAY.


  • The location makes a huge different. It is best to meet at a “mutual” place
  • Have a GOAL for the conversation
  • Remember, there can me more that I conversation before you close the deal.


  • What language do we use: “I’d like to”, “let’s talk about”, etc
  • Always advisable to use INCLUSIVE ENGAGEMENT.
  • How much do you say
  • How do you say it
  • What are your Values


  • Here is where you can pick up on a lot of information
  • What are you trying to get more information on? Maybe they say they have very high overheads. This would be your chance to say, “I can Save you XXX if you agreed to let me have XXX”.
  • What UNIQUE information are you looking for


  • Based on the information that you get, can you create a right package? “If I do this, will you……”


  • What are the shared options? Is it time? money? quality? You can never have all three. One will have to be compromised for the other two, so you need to decide which is of more value.
  • One of the above is always Non-Negotiable.
  • If you consider this…. then maybe I can consider this….
  • Give less information to avoid anchoring ( do not put price tags just yet, otherwise you will be anchored, ” i can maybe consider lowering my cost by X”)
  • Link the trade-offs, being more inclusive of the other persons need, giving the illusion that they are getting more than they need.

So, the basic keys to a successful negotiation are:

  • To Asses
  • To Ask
  • To Prepare
  • To Package (create something both can negotiate on)

So, remember, in your next negotiation, be strategic and always be prepared!


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