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The Secret Good Negotiators Know

by Tammy Lenski
November 2013

Tammy Lenski's Conflict Zen Blog

Tammy Lenski

Good negotiators know this secret: Persuade with your ears, not your mouth.

Instead of trying to persuade by telling and then telling some more, lead with your curiosity. Good negotiators listen for:

The reasons behind their position.
What they care about most.
Ways you can help them get more of what they care most about.
The standards they use to judge the quality of your offer.
Why what you’re proposing isn’t resonating.
Practice in low-stakes situations every day in order to master your listening skills and be better able to listen well in high-stakes situations. Build muscle memory for when you need it most. You become a good negotiator with regular practice.


Dr. Tammy Lenski helps people resolve conflict in ongoing business and personal relationships and bring their "A" game to difficult conversations. Since founding her NH-based conflict resolution firm Myriaccord LLC in 1997, Tammy has worked with individuals and organizations worldwide as a master mediator, executive coach, speaker, and educator. Author of the award-winning book, Making Mediation Your Day Job, she recently received the Association for Conflict Resolution’s prestigious Mary Parker Follett award for innovative and pioneering work in her field. Her second book, The Conflict Pivot, was released in 2014.


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