go back to basics and negotiate with yourself first

Published on by Lisa Gates.

We've been at this thing for a while. This thing being waking women up to their power and possibility through the lens of negotiation.

What we've noticed time and again is that most of us come to the negotiation table (if we do at all) with a sense of uh-oh or dread. We put ourselves on the path of wanting something, and pretty soon we notice our palms are sweaty and we're losing sleep about a looming conversation we know we need to have.

small steps

Sometimes our dread, our fear of conflict, is so great that we stop wanting. We acquiesce. We tolerate. We tell ourselves it's not important; what we have is good enough. The dread turns into resignation and we start to believe the story we tell about why we're not where we want to be.


Our definition of negotiation is "a conversation leading to agreement." And no matter what the issue, want, need or desire, the entry point to that conversation is this question, "What do you want?" To that we often hear, "I don't know. I'm just so confused."

If this is where you are, take heart. You are not alone, not by far. And you're right where you need to be, because, well, it's where you are.

A small step you can take right now is to download our Negotiation Preparation Worksheet and start at the beginning with some of the opening questions: 

  • What do you want?
  • What drives you crazy?
  • What will you regret if you never do it?
  • Are you good at something you never get to do?
  • Have you stopped doing something that you love? 

Once you've done that, take a look back over the recent Tuesday Muse archives for the  6-Week Asking Challenge and start at week one. Start asking.

Little successes added to little successes create a body memory. A habit. A new story will begin to emerge. From there, anything is possible.

Lisa Gates is co-founder of She Negotiates and a consultant and professional coach who works with high potential women to design and negotiate powerful livelihoods. She dovetails her eclectic background in journalism, public relations, and the arts with coaching and mediation skills to help women harness new narratives that improve their communication, leadership and career opportunities.


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Published on by Lisa Gates.