In life, we don’t always get what we desire. However, we have a far better chance of receiving a raise or finalizing our dreams if we have strong negotiation skills. I decided to take a course in negotiation because I often feel uncomfortable when I am thrown into negotiation scenarios.
I signed up for a two-day comprehensive negotiation class under the leadership of Dr. Chester Karrass. He has built a thriving business on his eponymous negotiating system.
I am also fortunate to live with a top-notch negotiator, my ultimate concierge and husband Sheldon Good. He has built a thriving real estate auction business on his superb negotiating skills. Shelly goes one step further than Dr. Karrass’s teachings. His feeling is everything is negotiable. And, darlings, that suits me just fine.
Negotiation Is Part of Everyday Life
I did not negotiate with my ultimate concierge when he told me everything is negotiable because I believe he is correct. Everyone negotiates every day. What time do you want breakfast? Who takes out the dog? What to wear today—this is a silent negotiation I have with myself every morning!
Daily negotiations transpire between parents and children, husbands and wives. Whether we eat chicken, steak or fish for dinner, where we dine and what movie we see all require negotiating.
These are different types of negotiating but nevertheless, these tête-à-têtes can occasionally escalate into real arguments.
Keen Negotiation Yields Stronger Communication
While it’s easy to negotiate most of the small stuff, the big things can kill us. Well, not literally, but definitely metaphorically. Difficult family problems, relationships glitches, service issues that involve products gone wrong, employers and employees and closing deals all depend on keen negotiation skills.
Truth be told, I find myself blurting out yes when I want to say no and I bet you have too. I get so annoyed with myself because, after the fact, I realize what I should have said. I should have told whoever I was speaking with that I will think it over and get back to them.
For all of the above reasons, I signed up for a course in the art of negotiation.
Advice From A Friend
I discovered the course a few weeks ago while chatting with a friend on an entirely different topic when he brought up the word negotiation. He mentioned his wife took a remarkable course entitled How To Be An Effective Negotiator.
His words were music to my ears. I bombarded him with questions. Is the company in Chicago? How long is the course? Is it expensive?
This is what I learned, dear readers.
- The company is Karrass, a world leader in teaching the art of negotiation. Dr. Chester Karrass, who founded it 47 years ago, has an engineering degree from the University of Colorado, an MBA from Columbia University and a doctorate from the University of Southern California. He was a negotiator for the Hughes Organization before founding his namesake firm.
- Karrass is located in 95 cities globally, including–lucky for me–Chicago.
- The cost for a two-day seminar is $1,195 including lunch and refreshments.
I sat quietly with my pooch America and thought about how my life would change if I learned how to be a learned negotiator. I decided I would challenge myself and take the course because I wanted to feel confident in dealing with my family and other relationships.
Here are a few reasons I felt a class in negotiation would benefit me:
- I want to feel comfortable with my decisions, rather than guilt-ridden.
- By understanding all parameters and consequences that go into processing a decision before I negotiate with friends, acquaintances and in my business, I want to be thoughtful and strong in the decision-making process.
- I want to be able to negotiate fairly yet firmly with my children when they confront me. Family emotions range from love to rage and everything in between. Becoming a skilled negotiator may help me prevent a future family skirmish from getting out of control.
- I want to be a more astute negotiator in business transactions.
On a lighter note, I have no problems negotiating with Shelly, a skilled negotiator, because he always puts my interests above all else. I am blessed. He does not have to negotiate with me because I put his interest above all else too. He is blessed.
I Took the Course
In truth, I negotiated myself into taking the course! Good for me that I made the decision. I assume my personal feelings are similar to yours. After all, we are mothers, wives, grandmothers, businesswomen, and girlfriends. We wear the same hats and field the same problems with confrontations that require daily negotiation skills.
I believe that becoming skilled in the art of negotiation adds to our strengths. I’m a firm believer that a woman’s essence, her ability to negotiate fairly and squarely, is an attribute.
Taking the course at Karrass was very challenging. I was the oldest in the room. There were three other women and 40-some men, all in their 30s. The course was business-oriented but nevertheless, I did learn tactics and strategies.
I came away with this: all of life is give and take. In negotiation, it is important to fair yet reasonable, firm yet knowledgable and last but not least, to remember my ultimate concierge’s words, “Everything is negotiable.”