5 Ways to Beat Negotiation Nerves

Are you a nervous negotiator? If you’re a woman, it isn’t surprising if you are. Around 70% of women feel nervous preparing for negotiation scenarios. So what do the remaining 30% of women do differently to the rest of us?

The most important action they take is being well prepared. Here are the top five ways that you can be like excellent female negotiators and beat negotiation nerves through great preparation.


Build a strong back-up plan

The best way to nip negotiation nerves in the bud, is to know exactly what you’ll do if you’re not happy with where the discussion is going. This is why you need backup plan. Your backup plan is your plan for what you’ll do if you walk away without closing the deal.

Having a strong back up plan is the best way to get yourself off to a smooth start in negotiation. It only takes about 10 minutes to develop a plan, so don’t skip this important stage when you’re about to start negotiating. More practical steps to doing this are outlined in Beat Negotiation Nerves. Download this free podcast now.


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Be clear about your walk-away point

The name says it all. Your walk-away point is the stage at which you’ll leave the negotiation if your needs are not met. Write down your walk-away point and make sure you keep it clearly in front of you during the negotiation.

If you tend to give too much away during negotiations—its particularly important that you keep your walk-away point in sight during negotiations. Remember you have the right to say ‘no’ to a deal.


Know what you will and won’t concede

A concession is something you give in return for receiving something back from your negotiating partner. Many women have a habit of giving too much away and forgetting to ask for concessions in return. So always use the phrase, ‘If you give me this, I will give you that’ when exchanging concessions.

Keep your list of concessions in front of you throughout your negotiation. Remember that negotiation is about exchanging concessions, not just giving them away.


Prime your mind with a mental rehearsal

Confident negotiators have clear action plans. To develop your action plan, mentally walk through what a successful negotiation will look, sound and feel like from your perspective. Mentally rehearse two versions of the negotiation scenario. One is your ideal scenario, where everything happens in exactly the way you want it to. The second, perhaps more important rehearsal, is encountering blocks or barriers to success and confidently overcoming them. Discover more in my free podcast on Beat Your Negotiation Nerves.

There are solutions to all difficult situations. With a bit of mental rehearsal, you will be able to handle them competently and confidently. If you need more tips on how to be a successful negotiator as a professional woman, come along to my Negotiation Skills for Women workshop. I look forward to seeing you there.


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About the author of this tip sheet

This article is brought to you ‘the glass ceiling smasher’, Eleanor Shakiba. Eleanor specialises in helping women in high intellect fields – such as academia, education, engineering, finance, project management and health – to move beyond three common barriers to women’s success. Eleanor’s qualifications include degrees and diplomas in Social Anthropology, Applied Psychology, Adult Education and Neuro Linguistic Programming.