Who Enjoys Negotiating?

Negotiation Coaching

It was a normal Thursday in my office by all accounts.  There were calls to be made, calls to be returned, talent to recruit, emails to be written and emails to be returned, job descriptions to be written and more.

One special event on this particular Thursday was a scheduled call with a large company’s in-house counsel.  Lawyers are all bad aren’t they?  Well, I’ve run into my share of not-so-good lawyers but on this particular Thursday, I had a contract negotiation experience with a lawyer that I just have to share with you.  She was outstanding!

I’ll call the lawyer Sue. Sue called at our agreed-upon time and the call was in motion.  She asked me to talk to her about the issues I had with the contract she’d sent over.  I started at the top and quickly got to a place in the contract where she was asking for 6 months and I offered 1 year.  This move on my part threw Sue for a loop. 

In her mind, I knew I’d just confused here logical thinking process.  I offered something in a negotiation where I’m pretty sure Sue’s brain was ready to play defense.  Instead, she got to say “Yes” and accept a concession she wasn’t expecting.

The next issue we got to was an issue where she was asking for $3,000,000 in coverage and I only had $1,000,000 to offer.  We got through this part of our discussion in 5 minutes and the final number was $1,000,000. 

Then we moved on to a “Guarantee” topic.  Sue argued that my competitors were offering much more than I was willing to give.  I suggested that her competitors (other companies in need of Cybersecurity talent) were offering much better terms than she was willing to give.  This topic took a little bit more discussion than the previous topics but at the end of the discussion, we agree to terms and minutes later, a revised contract landed in my Inbox.

Did I “Win” this negotiation?  Yes I did.  Did Sue get to “Win” this negotiation?  Yes she did.  We both approached the negotiation with the mindset that a fair and balanced contract was our goal.  This negotiation energized me for Thursday and I got to carry the energy into Friday. 

Negotiation can be fun and energizing if you learn to approach the experience with the right mindset.  Negotiating so that one party wins and the other party loses generally is not the best choice.

One more thing I’d like to share about my experience with Sue.  An hour or so after our negotiation, I was surprised when Sue sent an invitation to me for us to connect on LinkedIn.  I think the negotiation went well.

I love to negotiate!


Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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Successful Negotiation Professionals Possess Specific Strengths & Emotional Intelligence


One of the many skills employers expect in executive level technology professionals includes the ability to negotiate. While negotiation might be a necessary skill for a technology leader to possess in order to gain sponsorship backing and budget to drive projects, where would a technology leader have been trained to negotiate? Are technology leaders even qualified to negotiate?

Let’s assume that technology leaders generally have a high IQ. Sometimes, people who have a high IQ like to prove that they’re right and want to win at all costs. Technology leaders who negotiate to be right and who negotiate to win at the expense of the other party to their negotiation losing may not be aware of the environment they’re creating.

If a technology leader is buying a widget and they get the lowest price possible and there is no further relationship required with the product vendor, this is one scenario where their natural tendency to need to win might work out in their favor.

However, if a technology leader is negotiating a contract with a service provider and there will be an ongoing human relationship and ongoing interaction with the service provider, it is far better for the negotiation to leave both parties to the negotiation standing rather than one party winning at the expense of the other party losing.

Given that most technology leaders are gifted with deeply Analytical strengths and they are typically not deep in Relationship Building and Influencing strengths, negotiating very likely does not come naturally to most technology leaders. This is not to say that negotiating skills can’t be learned, but the core skills required to effectively negotiate may not naturally be skills that a high IQ gifted technology leader possesses.

In order to negotiate in a manner than leaves both parties to a negotiation standing, skilled negotiators will possess Relationship Building strengths, Influencing strengths and above-average Empathy. Empathy allows a person to briefly step into another person’s shoes to see the world from their vantage point. Empathy is an Emotional Intelligence skill.

People who negotiate from the perspective of only relying on their deep Analytical Strategic thinking skills will very likely miss the boat when it comes to negotiating a well-balanced solution. Negotiators who possess the ability to consider other people’s needs along with relying on their strong Analytical strengths will be much more likely to create an environment where a win-win solution can be achieved.

The good news for technology leaders who are not naturally gifted negotiators is that their natural strengths can be identified, measured and objectively understood. Their Emotional Intelligence skills can also be identified, measured and adjusted through coaching.

The most successful people in the world in all disciplines of work have been found to understand precisely who they are, how they're built and how the can deliver their best performance.

These same people have also been found to be some of the most emotionally intelligent people in the world. They understand themselves and how they come across to other people.

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