Next month, I am launching a course on Mindful Negotiations. It will be a three-part series on how to incorporate new skills into your negotiation practice in order to keep you calmer and more centered during (what might otherwise be) difficult conversations.
In an article for the American Psychological Association, Daphne M. Davis, PhD, and Jeffrey A. Hayes, PhD, defined “mindfulness” as a “moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment.” On a very basic level, it is the ability to live in the present, not worrying about what happened yesterday, or what might come up tomorrow. This is important because empirical studies have shown that mindfulness promotes stress reduction, focus, enhanced decision-making abilities and empathy for others – key factors in successful negotiations.
Cultivating mindfulness, much like refining your negotiation skills, is a choice and not a trait that you receive at birth. Mindfulness comes with a commitment to practice every day, and to recognize that slowing down and breathing are good things. The same is true in negotiation. To do it well, you need to practice and be thoughtful about how you do it. Breathing is good here, too...
Negotiation skills development programs for women almost always center on the issue of pay disparity and salary negotiations. And while this is important, having a singular focal point when it comes to women and negotiations misses the mark. Yearly reviews should not be the one and only negotiation event that you annually agonize over.
Most of us are negotiating every day – whether at work, at home, or in your own head. But we’re not identifying those events as “negotiation” so the lesson learned and successes earned can go unnoticed. Combining mindfulness practices with negotiation helps to shed light on your negotiation abilities and to recognize your negotiation style. It also helps to prevent one from dwelling on past experiences and cultivating a positive attitude towards negotiations.
More details on my Mindful Negotiation course to follow in the coming weeks, along with a series of in-person events for the New York crowd.