Think Like A Negotiator

Creating Win Win Results and Understanding the Pitfalls to Avoid

Live life with no regrets – Negotiation is not just about business deals

When I hold my training events or go to associations, organizations or corporations and do training events, sometimes people are surprised that I have an element of personal development inserted into the training.  Negotiation is simply discussions to agree on a deal, but it’s not always a business deal. It can be employee to employee, parent to child, spouse to spouse etc.  Everything is Negotiable.

The number one thing you need in order to be a good negotiator is confidence, confidence in yourself and your negotiation position.  The self confidence comes from doing the inner work.  The power is in the work.  So how do you get to that level of confidence.  You have to work on that person within and find peace within yourself.  That means relaxing in grace, remember what matters most, get to know your higher power better, review where you need to grow, forget what can’t be changed and focus on the future.

Too many times in my past, I lived in the past.  I worried, I wanted to do something to change the past.  Thinking about how silly that sounds now makes me laugh.  Really?  I spent time on thinking about how I could change the past?  The “what if’s” and the “if only’s.” I lived with regrets, I held unforgiveness, I was stuck in the tradition of “it’s always been done that way.” Enlightenment comes from doing the work to let go of all that mess.  I did the work, I let it go.  That doesn’t mean that life will never give me a punch to my gut.  It happens, that’s part of life.  I may regret poor choices I’ve made at some point but if I did something to make those choices or wrongs right and keep moving forward, that’s all I can do.  I have to forget what can’t be changed and focus on the future.

Many things have happened to me over the last year.  Some good, some bad.  Some that made me very happy and others that made me very sad.  If I chose to stay in yesterday and regret some of the things I’ve done, choices I’ve made or experiences I’ve had, then I will be stuck in those events and day to day life will pass me by.  It’s challenging sometimes to move on after a loss or when life’s challenges knock on your door.  How you negotiate through those challenges and where you come out on the other side is the true test of courage and faith.

Inner peace is the thing in life we should strive for the most and is priceless beyond any possession or level of success we can possibly achieve.  It doesn’t mean we will never be rocked to our core by life but going down that path with peace as our foundation gives us a better place to deal with life’s challenges from.

As you become a better negotiator in professional life, remember also the personal side of your life is also an area to achieve negotiation mastery in.

Note: Some of the concepts were adapted from the message from Saddleback church/Pastor Rick Warren’s message on Five Daily Habits for Happiness


5 November 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Verify The Facts

One of the tips in my upcoming Think Like A Negotiator book is “Prepare In Advance.”  Part of the preparation includes another tip, which is “Verify the Facts.”

When you are preparing for a negotiation it is always best to verify the facts.  Verifying what you have been presented is a way to ensure you have the truth about the information given to you.

Many times we take things at face value and later find out that what we thought to be true actually wasn’t true at all.  Perhaps we have some information that is factual and we make a decision about those facts without looking further to uncover the rest of the story. Maybe you made an agreement for a fee and when the charge came in it was much higher than what you agreed to or you got double charged for something on your business or credit card statement.

Whether it’s a multimillion-dollar deal or simply some information you’ve gathered from a friend, before you decide to take the data as factual, you may want to consider doing some further research to ensure that the data is accurate.  If it’s a large contract and either the numbers are wrong or the proposal has an error, it could mean a large loss of funds or time.  I once managed a contract where the bid was submitted missing a $300,000 cost.  It was a fixed price bid so we had no oversight into the costs submitted.  The bidder didn’t verify that all the facts were accurate before they submitted the bid and ended up losing the funds to cover that portion of the work.  They realized it after the fact and brought it to my attention over 2 years into the contract.  At that point we were unable to do anything to approve that cost due to the amount of time that had passed.  Verifying the facts before they submitted the bid would have caught that error before the bid was submitted.

What about in our personal lives? Often times we get some information and go on those facts without further verification.  It can be something that may cause unneeded stress in our lives.  I know of someone who was told his wife was cheating on him with another man.  They told him who the man was and he went straight to the man and beat him up for being with his wife.  He didn’t verify the facts first and later found out that it was not true.  Had he taken the time to verify the facts before he acted, that unnecessary assault would have been avoided.

You might have made a payment with your business card for a hotel room.  It’s important to verify the charges on your bill to ensure they are accurate.  Someone I knew recently went to a hotel for an event.  She was going to originally stay 3 nights and changed the reservation to only one night due to some work she had to take care of before going to the event.  When she got her bill there was a one night “no show” charge plus the charge for the one night stay.  She had to call the hotel to have the charge credited. She caught it by verifying the facts on her billing statement.

In whatever area of your life, business, employment, personal, be sure to take the time to verify the facts.  It will save you in the long run.


29 October 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Friends Reminder Gives a New Perspective

I was chatting on the phone this morning with my friend Cat Hammes known as the “One Legged Blonde.”  She has been riding motorcycles for 31 years long before women riding became popular.  In fact it was odd for a woman to be on a bike back then.  I’ve been riding for 18 years myself.  We still didn’t have a lot of women’s riding gear when I started riding. 

In our conversation, she reminded me that I was in the military long before it was popular for women to be in the military.  I enlisted in 1980.  The military was only about 8% women at that time.  There was starting to be a push to get more women into the military and into nontraditional jobs.  I actually scored high in the mechanical area on the aptitude test and I was being pushed to get into a mechanical career field.  Although I am a bit mechanical, can fix stuff if I need to, change my oil if I have to etc, I wanted to work with computers.  Computer programming was nothing like it is today.  It was considered an administrative career field back then.  I really wanted to work with computers so I enlisted in the “open administrative” career field which meant I would chose my job when I got to Basic Training.  When I went to choose my job, computer jobs were nowhere to be found on the list.  I ended up picking a job I knew nothing about or even what it was.  The job was called “Contracts Specialist.” I only picked it because it had the highest required score to get into it.  I figured you had to be smarter to do that job than the rest of the others so I chose Contracting not know what the job was about.  

I basically stumbled into the Contracting career field by accident and 30 years later I am teaching and helping people be better negotiators and ensuring they have the tools to never be taken advantage of again.  If you want to be a better negotiator, my Think Like A Negotiator course 11-13 October is guaranteed to help you do just that.  Check out the online store for more details.

I never thought of myself as a trail blazer.  You hear about a lot of women that flew planes, helicopters, drove tanks etc.  I flew a desk.  Not very interesting compared to some of the others.  I am proud of my service and don’t discount it.  That’s not what I’m saying.  In fact, I have inserted a rifle drill routine into my speaking presentation in order to stand out from the herd so to speak.

I realize from talking to Cat that I am a trailblazer and I achieved a lot more than I realize at times. Sometimes it takes someone on the outside looking in to remind you of just what you’ve accomplished.   I retired as a Master Sergeant, not an easy rank to get to, especially when I had to prove myself in a man’s world with sexual harassment and assault as part of the journey.  It was the extreme harassment I received in the Middle East the made me decide to retire after 23 years of service.  I wanted to be a Chief Master Sergeant but couldn’t handle it anymore after that deployment.  I had had enough. 

What does one of your friends need to do to remind you of all you’ve accomplished?  You may not have been in the military but don’t discount what you’ve done to get to where you are today.  Call up one of your friends and ask them what they see in your journey.  The reminder will brighten your day. 

Today I am excited about the release of my upcoming book and my upcoming event.  The military gave me the training to persevere in the face of adversity, the discipline to stick with it when I wanted to quit and the strength to carry on.  Thanks Cat for the reminder! You totally rock!

Check out Cat at

17 July 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Negotiation Language – How You Say It Affects It

Negotiation is all about how we communicate and it’s one of the areas to consider when preparing for a negotiation. Language is so important. The words we use can often be construed in different ways to have different meanings depending on who is doing to receiving. In negotiation, you must be sure the language you are using conveys the appropriate message to gain the appropriate response. How you say it may ensure you win or lose the deal.

Most of you who have been following me have noticed my shift to showing people how to Think Like A Negotiator. People often ask me why I have made the focus on negotiation vs my Pink Biker Chic brand. I have responded by telling them that it’s negotiation is my genius and I never thought to teach it. I tell them about a good friend of mine who is a business strategist was having some contract challenges with a client; I shared some of my contracts knowledge to help her resolve the issue. Her response was “I get this Pink Biker Chic thing, but where did all that come from and why aren’t you teaching it to others?” I share that I thought why would anybody want to learn that? It’s my genius, I do it in my sleep and take it for granted that everyone has that knowledge.

Well, recently I was at an event and passed someone who said he knew me but couldn’t remember where from. I knew him too from somewhere and told him he probably knew me from my Pink Biker Chic brand and explained the story above. He immediately launched into this idea that I don’t value myself and have issues and need to resolve those issues with him so I value myself and my genius. Then he attempted to hard sell me into doing a session with him to fix my issues within myself so I will be successful, basically implying I am not successful because I don’t value myself. It was much more than that but you get the gist. WOW! Really? Thankfully another friend walked up and started talking to him so that provided a pattern interrupt for me to depart which I did.

What that did for me was enable me to take a look at my language and evaluate whether that was a message I am projecting when I share my story. I certainly don’t have the serious issues that he implied. Of course we all have some kind of doubt about ourselves but he was attempting to tell me I was broken and that I really needed serious help. This is without even taking the time to find out anything about me.

Be careful of the language you use. I’m not talking about being politically correct. Chances are we will offend someone with what we say, but if we evaluate our normal “shtick” to make sure we aren’t projecting negatively onto ourselves or others, we will be better off in day to day communication as well as our significant negotiations. Take the time this week to pay close attention to the things you say. You may need to make an adjustment based on feedback and results. I sure did.

30 April 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Negotiating A Transition

Transition means movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another. It is fluid although often times feels like movement has halted. I have gone through many transitions in my life. The biggest transition I would say is transitioning from the military to civilian life. It has been 10 years and to this day I can see something that reminds me of my military service and tear up over it.

Recently I started to go through a transition with my business. If you have been following me since I created the Pink Biker Chic brand you may have noticed in the last month a transition to my focus on negotiation. I have been teaching negotiation over the last couple of years under the Pink Biker Chic brand somewhat sporadically while still focusing on the Pink Biker Chic empowerment brand and clothing line. I have had several thought leaders in the Entrepreneur space strongly suggesting I should focus on negotiation since it is my genius for 30 years. It would mean splitting off from my Pink Biker Chic brand and transitioning my focus to my negotiation and contracts expertise.

I fought this for a very long time. I didn’t want to stop my focus on Pink Biker Chic, I’d worked so hard at it. Many people love the brand. It’s a great brand but its a hobby brand as it’s not producing enough income to sustain me and wasn’t moving in that direction. I didn’t go into business to have a hobby. I went into business to be a sustainable business that would help people. It hasn’t been working and after much resistance I made a conscious decision to shift my focus to the new positioning of “Think Like A Negotiator.” With this shift I am totally focused on this positioning.

Making the decision isn’t the end of the transition, it’s just the beginning. As I move through the transition it now requires a whole new platform which will take some time. This is why you are seeing this simple blog site as my temporary website until I get a new site, look and position footprint out to the world. In the background I am working on my 50 tips book, marketing my next event and speaking at several venues on negotiation.

Transition is never simple. It’s not usually easy. It takes focus, work and determination. In a sense I feel like I’m starting over but in essence this is just the beginning of a whole new way to share with people and help them be a success while being a viable business.

Keep following the journey. This is just the start of something really big.

19 April 2013 Posted by | Negotiation | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: