The Negotiator Magazine

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  1. Don't be afraid to ask. To negotiate you have to be aware that the possibility exists. Research shows that many women miss negotiating opportunities because they think a decision is final or the situation does not lend itself to negotiation. Even within peremptory decisions there usually is room for a bit of give and take. Before going along with imposed solutions and shutting down your options, try to discover the reasons behind the decision. To uncover them you have to get the discussion going - so don't be afraid to ask!

  2. Be aware of your inner critic. Often the biggest obstacles in a negotiation are created by your own inner critic. The most common and debilitating acts of self sabotage are bargaining against yourself, trying to ensure that the other side is happy, and seeing only your weaknesses. All of these ways of thinking cause you to reduce your expectations and lose ground even before the negotiation begins. Often you are not even aware you are having this dialogue with yourself - it is so automatic. By becoming aware of what your inner critic is saying you can consciously and purposefully deal with the negativity.

  3. Don't confuse tough with effective. The image of the great negotiator that has been sold to the public is that of a tough guy who wants to win at all costs. Thus a lot of women think that in order to be an effective negotiator one has to be tough, and they are uncomfortable with acting that way. Although there are circumstances where a tough "take-no-prisoners" strategy is appropriate and winning is important, the risks with this approach can be substantial and in most circumstances it is not the most effective type of negotiation strategy. So to be an effective negotiator does not mean you need to be a tough.

  4. Practice, practice, practice. There is no magic to being a good negotiator. As with any skill, the more you practice at negotiating, the better and more comfortable you will be. And the more you practice, the more opportunities you will see for using your negotiating skills!

DELEE FROMM is both a lawyer and a psychologist. She is a former partner of McCarthy Tetrault LLP, the largest law firm in Canada, where she practiced commercial real estate for 17 years. While practicing law she also lectured and conducted workshops on negotiation and mediation for the firm as well as for the Rotman School of Management, the University of Toronto Law School, Osgoode Hall Law School, Insight Conferences, Atlas Information, the Ontario Bar Association, and the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Prior to her career in law she was a senior member of the Department of Neuropsychology at Alberta Hospital, Edmonton as well as a private clinical consultant. During her eight year career as a neuropsychologist she presented and published extensively in the area of brain and abnormal behavior.

Now as a partner of Fromm & Goodhand and a consultant in the areas of negotiation and leadership, she lectures, gives speeches and conducts workshops for a variety of organizations including major corporations, charitable organizations, universities and law firms. She continues to conduct McCarthy Tetrault's national workshops on negotiation and mediation advocacy, and also teaches at Osgoode Hall Law School, at the undergraduate and graduate levels. You may contact Ms. Fromm by e-mail at

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September 2005