Negotiating Success

by | Nov 22, 2016 | Finance, Negotiation, Pay Equality

Effective negotiation is one of the most critical skills to business success. Yet when asked to select the metaphor that best describes negotiation, most women chose “a trip to the dentist.” Ouch.

Last week Carol Frohlinger, an internationally known speaker and negotiation consultant, led Momentum’s leadership class through negotiation training. What we discovered is that with a new perspective and practice, negotiating can be a rewarding experience.

Some of the top stumbling blocks to negotiating identified by our group were:

  1. Overlooking the opportunity to negotiate
  2. Fear of rejection
  3. Worries about how negotiation will be perceived by others (pushy, needy, greedy)
  4. Difficulty obtaining “buy-in” from stakeholders
  5. Lack of confidence


Carol had the class work in groups to role play real-life negotiations using the framework she published in her book Her Place at the Table using three types of “moves”: Power Moves, Process Moves, and Appreciative Moves.


“Power moves encourage the other party to recognize the need to negotiate in the first place.

Process moves shape the negotiation agenda and dynamic so you can be a more effective advocate.

Appreciative moves engage the other party by fostering both trust and candor in the negotiation.” — Carol Frohlinger


sandy_margaret-annThroughout the day we examined how to gain agreement on the value of the thing being negotiated, and to create understanding that the value cannot be obtained without negotiation. Carol emphasized the importance of enlisting support and owning the process, both essential to managing what she calls the “shadow negotiation.” Finally, we explored ways to frame the talks so that our negotiating partners can “save face,” how to keep a stalled dialog going, and how to gain new perspectives that lead to agreement.

One interesting observation from the class is that women tend to find it easier to negotiate on someone else’s behalf than for themselves. Carol asked the class to imagine the opportunity to negotiate on behalf of someone we really care about:  a sister, a team we manage, a co-worker we respect. It was amazing to see how quickly some women outlined value, owned the process, and clearly stated their case when going to bat for someone else.


Negotiating is complex and highly situational. Having a framework to follow, some practical guidance, and time to share experiences definitely helped this Momentum class up their game.

Attendee Ira Hodges, from HealthSouth, shared these takeaways:

  • Negotiation takes place in every area of our lives
  • It’s okay to negotiate for yourself
  • Find the negotiation strategy that works for you; there’s not no one right way.

For additional tips and resources on negotiating for women, visit Carol Fohlinger’s website


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