You know how it feels.

A flame in the pit of your stomach for that corner office.
A nearly physical desire for a loft to call your own, high above the city.
A constant craving for a partner and a baby and a life full of minivans and sports practices.

And you know how it sounds.

That voice in your head saying:

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if.....
I’d really love to …..
I would probably levitate with joy if....

But we grown-ups know that life is frequently a series of compromises.

So how does one walk that tightrope between craving and compromise?
Diplomacy and desire?

Is it really possible to ask for anything you want?
And negotiate?
And not piss off your boss/BFF/boyfriend?

Yes. And I’m going to tell you how.

How to Negotiate

Let’s start by asking for what you want.
You deserve what you want. So speak up.

Few people are mind readers. We can’t expect others to just “know.” When you cease to express your needs, wants, and desires, you suspend the right to be disappointed when you don’t get what you want.

Ask your manager, the universe, your lover, the saleswoman, the barista behind the Starbucks counter.

Asking for what you want will make today easier on you. And on everyone.

The recipe for getting anything you want:
  • be brief 
  • be genuine 
  • be passionate.
1. Be brief. It shows respect.

Be concise: short email, a paragraph or less.The perfect phone call sounds like this: 

"Hi, my name is Danielle and I’ve admired your work for over a year now. I’m interested in getting your perspective on a creative idea I have. Would you have 15 or 20 minutes to listen and provide feedback on whether it sounds viable and valuable?"

Bam! Concise and to the point.

2. Be genuine. No shady-ness, yo.

Know your strengths. Your weaknesses. Don’t tell half-truths. Start with the whole truth – anything else gets us off on the wrong foot. This also means knowing what you want. Do you know what you need? Think about it before you approach someone. Be genuine and specific with your request.

3. If you care, they care. Passion is a magnetic force.

Don’t give a 10-year history of your project. All you need to say: 
“I do this because I have too. I have no choice. It’s my calling.”

Shockingly easy, right? 

Now let’s talk negotiation.

Ask for AnythingYou Want

When you ask for what you want — kindly, passionately —you will surprised by how often you get it.
But sometimes that “yes” comes with conditions.

Or you’ll get a “probably.”
Or an “I’d love to, but....”

Negotiation is like a muscle — use it daily, and it’ll get beautifully toned and powerful. But neglect it, and it’ll be weak and useless when confrontation strikes. Strengthening your negotiation muscle leads to deeper self-awareness, angst-free communication, and a greater appreciation for others’ perspectives.

To prepare for a round of hardcore negotiation, start with a warm-up stretch. (Or maybe a mani/pedi. They do wonders.)

Grab a pen and a pad of paper and answer these questions.

1. What do I want?
2. How important is this to me?
3. Am I asking someone to make a sacrifice?
4. How am I willing to bend, in return?
5. How can I make it easier for this person to say YES?
6. What’s the worst-case scenario if they say NO?
7. If we can’t reach a resolution, how will it affect our relationship?

When you’re ready for negotiation, it’s amazingly painless — and strengthening, even! 

The people in your life feel valued respected listened to. 

And you feel thrilled because you’re that much closer to living the life you want.


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