Negotiating is a skill that’s often associated with C-suite executives finalizing big business deals behind closed doors. But in reality, it’s something we all do every day. From discussing who gets to wash the dishes to getting a better deal in the annual yard sale, we negotiate on a regular basis, except (quite ironically) in the one place where it matters most: the office.

Skillful negotiating can be learned, and it’s wise to study the suggestions of those with experience. We asked 15 members of Forbes Coaches Council to share their top strategies for becoming more adept at negotiations.


Part of the reason why most people have a hard time saying no is because they’re not aware of their real value to the company. If you’ve ever wanted to counter an argument or disagree with a colleague but thought. I can’t say that! I’m only an XYZ’, then you’re probably underestimating your worth.

One of the key elements in negotiation is knowing what you have to bring to the table. The more confident you are in your skills and experience, the more you’re able to leverage yourself.

For example, if you’re negotiating for a higher salary, show how you were instrumental to the company’s growth by listing down the projects you’ve spearheaded or helped lead. Also, make sure to include instances when you stepped up and took initiative so that your employers also see your Leadership potential.

2.Discover The Other Person’s Interests

Instead of focusing on the position of the other person or what it is that they are saying, really ask questions to learn about the real interests that they have. Get under the surface and really understand what it is that they really need out of the negotiation so that you can find a win-win solution. By getting to win-win, both parties will feel good and get what they need.

3. Don’t Be Adversarial

Don’t have an adversarial, competitive mindset about negotiating. Instead, approach it with the goal of achieving a mutually satisfying outcome for both sides. Conduct yourself as though you’re certain that a great result can be achieved if you and the person on the other side of the table work together as members of a team. Maintaining positivist and an affable demeanor throughout is critical.

4. Believe In The Value You Bring

If you go into a tough negotiation feeling like someone will be doing you a favor by giving you a raise or investing, you’ve already lost. Going in knowing the value you deliver will give you the confidence to advocate for yourself. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself what would impress you about that person who is asking for the money. is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches.

5.Study And Practice

It’s important to recognize that if you don’t negotiate for a living you likely aren’t aware of all the things you might negotiate, their dollar value and the opportunity for upping your salary. No one wants to excitedly take a job and realize they shorted themselves tens of thousands of dollars annually! So, be sure to find a resource, such as a well-rated book or coach, and learn and practice

6.Manage Yourself First

Becoming an effective negotiator in any situation begins with ego and mouth management by the negotiator. A good negotiator knows his/her triggers well so that nothing said or done can derail his/her objectivity or goal of win-win for the parties involved.

7.Role Play The Other Side

If you practice or rehearse, do what is taught in school through improve and additional techniques. Understand, articulate and play out the role of the person you intend to negotiate with. Understand the points of the so-called “opposition” during or even before you intend to argue your case for a raise, for investment or for any promotion. This will allow you to build your case convincingly.

8.Conquer Your Fear First

Most of the time when you have trouble negotiating it is either fear of conflict or fear of being told “no” that stops you. First, identify what you are afraid of. Then ask yourself, “If that happens, will I be okay?” This calms your brain’s automatic amygdala hijack and allows you to be present in the conversation. Then, before you go into the negotiation, write out the case for your deserving the money.

9. Make More Eye Contact

Make more eye contact. By looking them in the eye and holding their gaze, you will signal you are serious and committed to your ideas. Eye contact also helps you analyze the other person’s body language and gestures to determine how they perceive you so you can adjust how you deliver your message.

10. Remember Negotiations Aren’t Personal

People often worry that they will be perceived as greedy, demanding or ungrateful when they go into a negotiation, but negotiations aren’t personal. Negotiations are an opportunity for everyone involved to get more of what they want. Ask for your desired outcome confidently, with no attachment. Once you find out what the other person wants and has to say, you’ll be able to meet in the middle.

11.Know What You’re Willing To Lose

A key for any negotiation is being able to know not just what you want, but what you are willing to lose. Are you willing to lose an investor to keep a greater share in your company? Are you willing to lose a chance at a promotion if it means you can get more vacation time? If you know what you are willing to lose or give up, you will be better prepared to push for what you are unwilling to yield.

12.Be A Good Listener

Negotiations require two sides working together to arrive at a compromised outcome. The best negotiators present their request and then listen, really listen, for feedback from the other side. They listen for clues and cues and use the information to structure and negotiate accordingly. When both sides feel they have received benefit, the close comes easier.

13. Make It more Convening

We’re negotiating for things all the time — where we want to go to eat for lunch, or how much time we should spend on a project. We have these micro negotiations with ourselves and others all the time. To become more comfortable, remember that you are simply having a conversation to come to a consensus on what “right” will look like for you and the other person.

14. Stay On Top Of The Latest Tactics

I highly recommend podcasts, books and even classes to stay on top of the latest  negotiation and sales tactics available today. My team trains every Tuesday for an hour and then another hour one-on-one with a professional sales trainer who knows sales and negotiation techniques. We currently us but there are many to recommend.