A good leader can engage in a debate frankly and thoroughly,
knowing that at the end, he and the other side must be closer,
and thus emerge stronger.
Negotiating. Just the mention of this word may make you squirm. It oft en conjures up images of sleazy used-car salespeople, awkward conversations about salary, or the fearless Priceline negotiator! Negotiating doesn’t have to be sleazy, awkward, or combative. Negotiating isn’t bad; it’s just that most of the negotiating you see in the movies is negotiating gone bad. Negotiating—in and of itself—is actually positive and essential in business. While working at Leo Burnett in account management, I was constantly negotiating. I would negotiate the timeline with the client, and then I negotiated how quickly the creative team could deliver. I would negotiate who is responsible for what among our team members, and then I negotiated what the priorities were with my boss. Sometimes, our team meetings were just one, big negotiation— What route should we go? What idea is best? How can we deliver? Now, did I think I was “negotiating” in all of those scenarios? Probably not.
One thing I want to do is reframe your thinking around negotiating. Done right, there isn’t a winner and loser, and it doesn’t always revolve around money. I also think the topic is important enough to deserve its own chapter. Many people think that negotiation training is for more