Developing Your Own Negotiation Style

Apr 11, 2024


We each have to find our own approach to contract negotiations.

The evolution of my negotiation style reminds me of the fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You remember - one chair was too soft, one was too hard, and one was just right.

As a new lawyer, I had a lot of fear about negotiations. I knew I'd screw it all up and embarrass myself in front of my client. I was so anxious, and that made me less effective. This approach was too soft.

After I had some experience, I became more aggressive. I went into the sessions with my guard up. I might be smiling, but I was ready for battle.

Eventually, I realized that didn't work great. I was too quick to argue and too slow to compromise. This approach was too hard.

At some point, I settled into a more conversational approach, which is what I use now.

I talk to my counterparty as I would someone at a social event. I don't yell, I don't insult, and I don't get angry. I try to make it a pleasant conversation, even when we disagree.

This approach is just right for me.

My point is that we all evolve in how we approach negotiations.

Watch how others do it.

Explore different techniques.

Continue experimenting until you find the style that is just right for you.



Here's a link to the original LinkedIn post and the updated version with a cartoon that I posted later.

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