“Take It Or Leave It”: Negotiating Like An 8 Year Old & Winning

All of us feel like we are masterful negotiators…until we go up against our kids. Somehow, some way, they manage to wrangle stuff from us that we had absolutely no intention of providing.

What are their negotiation secrets and how can you make them yours?

Lucky for you, I am a child at heart.

So here are the 10 tips that you need to know:

  • Always have control over your surroundings (kids know that they always get more when they are talking to you in their room than when they are in yours).
  • Quickly identify the weakest link of the opposition (Daddy is more likely to buy crappy, sugary food than Mommy is).
  • Your opening is important and sets a tone (”You know that I love you more than anything, don’t you?”)
  • Synchronize your attack (once baby sister joins in on the crying, the ‘rents are putty in their hands).
  • Listen carefully (usually, the more the speaker talks, the greater the likelihood that they will reveal a weakness).
  • Try to have a “win-win” option available (”if you buy me the bike, I will throw the garbage out every night”).
  • Be prepared to call their bluff (”go to my room because I am punished?” …”I love my room!”).
  • Assess what the other side’s priorities are and seize the opportunity that is provided (”Oh, you want to have a quiet dinner?…order me the chocolate cake or they will hear me in Australia plus I do feel a bout of massive bathroom needs coming soon”).
  • Be creative in coming up with a solution (”You don’t have to buy us both Wiis. Just buy one console, but let us each pick our own games.”).
  • Never burn the bridge because you will need to go back across in the future (”Thanks for the secret sweater Mom. I promise not to tell daddy how much that you spent.”).

    Today’s Tip: Negotiation is a skill that we master when we are kids and then forget once we have grown up. Unfortunately, we knew a lot more in our formative years than we do now. So, take a step back. It’s OK to regress. Set your goal, size up your opponent, plot a course to success and use emotion and logic whenever necessary. If none of that works, you could always just spit up and cry out for “Momma.”

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