I’m admittedly not great at negotiating but Director of American Negotiation Institute, Kwame Christian, sat with me for Coffee With Kim to help turn that around. The LinkedIn learning instructor and lawyer believes the best things in life come on the other side of difficult conversations. He gave us tools like understanding our negotiation style, managing emotions and using the Compassionate Curiosity Framework to navigate them successfully.
Our convo will leave you with the tools you need to negotiate, have difficult conversations, and close deals confidently. – P.S. Get all the notes for future conversations here!
I have a theory that there are two types of people in negotiations – those who ‘plague’, or run away and avoid it, and those who ‘pool’, or jump in without hesitation.
Kwame says one response isn’t better than the other, but the key to winning a negotiation is knowing which category you’re in. “We all have a blueprint that affects how we respond to situations, negotiating is easier when you understand how and why you respond and apply the skills accordingly,” he says.
Kwame gave two hot tips that work in any difficult conversation or negotiation:
He explained the end result should be a decision that’s best for both parties.
“The book ‘Negotiating in 3D’ explains that negotiation is the art of letting them have your way.” You want your opposing party to know they had complete autonomy in their decision making process and they weren’t forced. Once people feel that way, your deals become stickier,” he says.
Kwame and I agreed, your negotiating style aside, honesty will make or break a deal! He gave us the Compassionate Curiosity Framework to help us stay ethical every time.
This framework can apply to any negotiating situation from business partners to spouses!
I imagine removing emotions like Spok from Star Trek would make it easier to negotiate for something you really want. But according to Kwame, that would actually make it more difficult.
“Emotions are a critical part of decision making. Even if we could remove them, we shouldn’t because we wouldn’t be able to function. The key is to manage emotions, don’t get too hot or too cold,” he says. “Both negative and positive emotions impact decision making. It’s best to not commit to something when you’re ‘drunk with emotion’ because you’re not thinking as clearly.”
Setting expectations upfront is key when you’re in a time crunch to close a deal. This helps move the conversation forward without the other party feeling rushed.
Kwame says micro-negotiations are also an option. When you can’t come to a full conclusion in the time frame, try agreeing on one or two things instead. Find ways to do so with free guides from the American Negotiation Institute.
Kwame unpacks negotiating with yourself in his book Finding Confidence in Conflict. When I hear ‘negotiation’ I always envision another person, so I was curious to learn more about the concept. He suggests using the Compassionate Curiosity Framework because it’s also designed for introspection and emotional regulation.
When you’re able to talk yourself through, you can more easily make rational and pleasing decisions. Learn more tips on his top ranked negotiation podcast Negotiate Anything.
When you’re a service provider in an industry where the numbers aren’t publicly disclosed it can be difficult to negotiate pricing. You’ll have to accept the reality that there’s going to be a lot of experimentation. Researching the going price in the market or hiring a coach to give the answers could help. However you define your prices, Kwame suggests it’s better to miss by going too high than going too low, because that becomes your new market rate. This advice plus what you’ll learn in my Career Capital Course will give you a game plan to take your business to the next level.
Do you feel like you’re spending so much of your valuable time creating content for social media? Are you seeing results? Alex is joining us next week to share how he turns content into paying clients.