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Four Myths About Negotiations

It was crunch time. Natasha* just received the offer letter for an exciting new job. It was the night before her phone call with the recruiter to negotiate compensation.

The salary they offered was okay, and she would have been willing to take it, but she could really use a little bit more. Natasha had familiar feelings in the pit of her stomach – fear, nervousness, and uncertainty. So, she procrastinated.

She watched her favorite series on Netflix, played a quick game on her phone, anything to get her mind off the nerve-wracking conversation waiting for her. Finally, she called me for help. “Ching, I know it’s late at night, but I have this big negotiation tomorrow morning and I’m stressed. What do I do?!”

“Relax,” I said, “You’ve got this.”

Step by step, we got her ready for her phone call. We made a plan, strategized what questions to ask and how to respond to the recruiter’s answers, and practiced what she was going to say.

The next morning, she launched confidently into the conversation. After a little small talk to build rapport, she said, “Thanks for your time today. I’ve gone through the offer, most of it looks good. I did have a few questions around salary, bonuses, and the 401(k).”

She followed the plan we practiced: she asked questions, empathized when the recruiter responded, asked more questions, and politely yet firmly held her ground. Finally, the recruiter paused. He said, “Let me talk to Finance and the hiring manager. I’ll get back to you.”

Two days later, he called back with a significantly increased offer, which she happily accepted. She told me excitedly, “The amazing thing is the difference between a 20% increase and nothing was just asking for it.”

What stopped Natasha from negotiating confidently right from the start?

The Four Common Myths

Many of us believe myths and misconceptions about negotiation, which hold us back from getting the results we want and deserve. Here are four common misconceptions… and what you can do about them:

  • “I’m just not a negotiator. I can’t do this.”


Negotiating is a skill, just like learning to drive or ride a bike. If you can learn how to ask questions, you can learn to negotiate.

  • “The other person has all the power. How can I ask for anything?”


The fact that they’re even talking to you is proof that you have some leverage. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be having the conversation. Your challenge is to discover what your counterpart truly values, and learn the right way to give them what they need so they can give you what you want.

  • “They won’t like me if I negotiate.”


When you’re a great negotiator and you know what the other person really needs, your counterpart feels good about giving you what you’re looking for. They genuinely want to work with you again – that’s a sign of a successful deal.

  • “Negotiating is scary.”


Yes, like any new adventure, negotiating can be scary. We’re human, after all. We worry that we’ll damage our relationships, that we’ll say the wrong thing, that we’ll be too assertive, or not assertive enough.

At the same time, there’s a science to negotiating. Just like Natasha did, you can learn a process and techniques to build your confidence and help you get better results every time. You’re not alone. I’ll help you.

“I’m ready to give it a try. Let’s do this.”

On June 21, 2018 in San Francisco, join me for an engaging, practical workshop on the Six Steps to Successful Negotiations. You’ll learn how to:

  • overcome fear and nervousness when you negotiate
  • understand the six stages of negotiation - how to plan, and what to say
  • identify valuable “currencies” you can trade to get more of what you want
  • adjust your approach so you can collaborate and be flexible while getting what you need
  • get results without burning bridges


My clients and friends have used what they’ve learned to land promotions, get raises of over $10,000, and win senior executives’ approval for two million dollars of funding for their projects.

To learn more and register for the workshop, click here.

So...what fears hold you back from negotiating? What keeps you from asking for what you need? Share your big, scary, crazy, or silly negotiating fears in the comments below. I’ll read every response and we’ll dive into the most common challenges on June 21.

* Name and certain details changed to protect privacy.

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