Feb 092015

It is always a challenge when you have to negotiate with someone more powerful than you.

I recently received an e-mail exchange between a young employee and his manager. Most of the mistakes the young employee could do were done and the result is that he had no other solution but to leave the company after what he wrote. So I would like to share with you the principles to remember found in Carolyn O’Hara’s article published in the Harvard Business review. There could be more in the list but it would be quite helpful should you at least apply these.


  • Put yourself in their shoes — it’s crucial to understand what’s important to the other side
  • Remember your own value — you are at the table for a reason
  • Ask questions — you’ll get valuable insight into their motivations and interests


  • Wing it — nothing beats good preparation
  • Depend on a single strategy — develop a range of responses to push the negotiation in your favor
  • Copy aggressive behavior — if they make threats or demands, stick to your goals