Do you wonder if you are a decent negotiator or if you are not? How can you tell? Look at the outcomes of the person you negotiate with most in your life – yourself – and that will give you a clue. Your negotiation tactics are strengthened by your own self-perception.
Ask yourself, in your own life, do you open as assertively as you can, without being aggressive (known as the BAM, or Best Agreement to Make)? Are your expectations for yourself in all aspects of your life assertive, aggressive, or mediocre?
For example, your family life. Is your goal that your children make it to the age of 18 without getting seriously hurt, in jail and on the Ten Most Wanted list at the post office? Or is your goal to have a harmonious, close, loving and supportive home life where everyone thrives and reaches their potential? Will you achieve that goal? Not every day, maybe not even most days, but that is an assertive, not mediocre and not aggressive, goal. We have to start with that or we certainly won’t reach it.
What about your health? Is your philosophy that every day above ground is a good day or do you strive to find the time to eat healthy, exercise and make time to relax?
What about your goals for your own career? Do you want to find a way to fully utilize all your skills and talents or do you want to find a way to get out early without anyone noticing? Do you such have minimal expectations when you negotiate with yourself that you end up creating a mediocre life?
On the other hand, are your goals too aggressive? You want every child to earn a Ph.D. and perhaps a Nobel prize? That is probably unattainable and will cause a lot of strife in your home.
If you are wondering, when you begin the negotiation process, if you are asking for what you should – no more, no less – look at your own life and that will give you a clue.
Remember to Negotiate Smart™ (and “like” this post!)