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The first step in becoming a good negotiator is to develop a negotiation mindset. Everything can be negotiated, but we have to ask.

As validation for the above statements, I turn to research by Professor Deepak Malhotra (currently at Harvard Business School), whose video I featured in my post on www.facebook.com/negotiationfox last Tuesday. 

The research stems from a negotiation class that Professor Malhotra was teaching at the Kellogg School of Management, to students who worked during the day and took classes at night. Professor Malhotra asked the students to negotiate something in real life and turn in a written report about the experience. Thirty-five of the 45 students negotiated something for themselves; the remaining 10 negotiated something work-related. The results were impressive: for those who negotiated something for themselves, the median savings was $2200; those who negotiated something for their employer produced a median savings of $390,000. These results are testimony to the power of negotiation training. But even more illuminating is the students’ response to the question of what tactic they used to attain this success. The students reported, “Choosing to negotiate at all.”

If you don’t ask, you won’t get. Negotiation opportunities present themselves on a daily basis, but if you don’t adopt a negotiation mindset, you may not be aware of them. You can choose to seize these opportunities or ignore them and get less in life. Often these negotiations do not take much time. They require only that you have a negotiation mindset.