B085: How to negotiate anything with grace

By October 25, 2019The Simplifiers Podcast

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Do you need to negotiate something really big in your life right now? Whether it’s your pricing with a prospective client or navigating a difficult conversation with a co-worker, let’s talk about the three key things you’ll need in the negotiation process. And how to do it with grace.

Earlier this week, I spoke to Celeste Headlee all about how to have better conversations and one big AHA that stood out was the power of cultivating your listening skills. To be a great conversationalist, it’s actually all about being a great listener first. 

So, what are the three things to consider while negotiating? They are:

  • Prepare
  • Listen & gather 
  • Aim high


Here’s how to negotiate anything with grace – three things to consider:

1. Prepare

In a study done by WomenDontAsk.com, they found that “men are 4x more likely to negotiate for themselves than women. And that when women do ask, we ask for 30% less than men.” 

That’s shocking. 

We simply just don’t ask and are nervous to be seen as pushy or creating conflict and difficulty. Men don’t have a second thought about this… they are more likely to just go for it. How? By doing our homework beforehand, so we need to gather as much pertinent information to equip ourselves in having this powerful conversation. 

TRY THIS: Want to negotiate anything with grace? Pretend you’re a detective and gathering the facts. What are the needs of the other party? What stresses them out or causes pressure in their lives? What options do they have? When you know the details on both sides, you are a stronger negotiator because you are prepared. And this is where your Intuitive super powers start to shine through. What baggage are they bringing to the table and how can you come to a mutually equitable agreement that helps lessen their load?

2. Listen & Gather

The very best negotiators know that they do very little of the talking… instead, they are the listeners! The other person across the table will tell you everything you need to know… if you listen. So, gather the facts, see how it stacks up to your pre-conversation preparations and ask lots of open-ended questions to fully understand where the other party is coming from. Remember, open-ended questions are ones that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.

TRY THIS: When listening, take note of the verbal and non-verbal clues they are giving you with their body language. If they want to do a phone call, offer to do a video call instead, so you can both truly see each other. This helps you better discern their tone of voice, the moments they get triggered and foster a space of shared empathy and deeper understanding. 

Also, consider saying, “okay, I want to make sure I heard you correctly. Did you say ______?” And let them clarify as needed. This helps solidify the fact in their mind that you truly are listening and you care. Remember, when the other person feels heard and understood, you’re more likely to come together with an agreement that works for both parties. And that is the truest form of showing grace.

3. Aim high

Remember, when you go in with an optimistic outlook, things will turn out better in the long run. A strategy that’s proven to help you achieve higher results is where you open with an extreme position. 

Aim high, ask for the stars and the moon, settle on something in the middle. As the saying goes… “sellers should ask for more than they expect to receive, and buyers should offer less than they are prepared to pay.” Bottomline, people who aim higher do better. This is the very best way to negotiate with grace. Your optimism will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Conversely, if you have low expectations, you will probably wind up with a less than satisfying outcome.

One final whisper


Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Sure, they could say no. That’s always a possibility, but one that isn’t known unless you put yourself out there, did your homework, listened with grace and empathy and simply ASKED. This is how you become more assertive in your work and life. But also, this is how you stand true to your core values and desires. 

Negotiating with grace means that it’s not about intimidation or threatening the other party. I’m not suggesting you use tactics that make the other party feel belittled or full of shame. Just the opposite, really.

Negotiation is all about understanding the other party’s best interests and standing tall in your own as well, so you can meet in the middle, collaboratively. 

You must always be willing to walk away… no harm, no foul. The whole world won’t come crumbling down (even if it sorta feels like that, at times.) But remembering what your boundaries are and not accepting a deal that just doesn’t stack up with them.

This is a tall feat, especially if you’re a notorious people pleaser who puts everyone else’s needs and desires before your own. Remember, you can unlearn this bad habit… it just takes a bit of practice and repetition.

When you stand up for yourself, do it with poise and grace and show the other party how their needs will be met once you both come together on a deal, this is where the magic happens.

Don’t take things personally when you hear a “no” – instead, consider this a growth opportunity to explore a new avenue that you hadn’t previously considered. Say thank you all along the negotiation path and know that the confidence you need to #dothething is totally already inside you.

You’re brave, you’re full of grace and you know what you want and desire.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

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Thank you!

Show credits: Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Show Notes Editor, and Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills, our advisory board. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for joining us.

As always friends, keep things simple.

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