Dear Non-Negotiators – How’s That Working For You?

How the misconception of what negotiating really is, holds you back from getting more of what you want, in work and life.


Becoming a better negotiator can be a game-changer for you in so many aspects of your life. If you’re like most people, you’d rather avoid negotiating altogether, but you probably don’t realise what you’re giving up as a result.

Being a better negotiator will help you save money on your household bills, get a great price of a car, a home, or smaller items like electronics or furniture, ensure your kids finish their chores without complaint, or confidently enter your annual review meeting to discuss your worth at work, and so much more.

The reality is you’re having conversations that are actually negotiations, countless times a day.

Like most people, you probably never learnt this skill at school, so it’s no wonder you’d rather avoid it. 87% of people are apprehensive about negotiating – because they consider themselves to be bad at it, find it uncomfortable or are even afraid of it. BUT we want you see that you don’t need to feel this way any longer.

You can learn to ask for more of what you want, without conflict, confrontation or changing your personality. WHATHA? It’s the truth, with a fresh mindset and simple framework you’ll feel more comfortable to get involved in these types of conversations with confidence.

With some small changes to the way you currently negotiate, you’ll start to understand where you’re already doing a good job and learn simple tactics to tweak other aspects of your approach.

The good news is – anyone can learn to negotiate – YES even you – and in this article we’ll show you how.


d. Non-negotiator: 


A person who identifies as being uncomfortable with negotiating, typically they prefer to avoid it as much as possible. Some non-negotiators even fear the thought of negotiating.

Classically, non-negotiators do not consider themselves to be a negotiator at all, despite the number of times they do it each day – from navigating requests from kids, conversations with friends, sit down meetings with colleagues, and everything in between. Each of these interactions are negotiations.

If you’re a non-negotiator you might find yourself:

  • wanting to ask for something, but not speaking up – instead you complain about it with your best friend,
  • negotiating over email to avoid the awkwardness of a frank conversation,
  • thinking you’re being ‘nice’ by not saying exactly what’s in your head, because you don’t want to appear pushy.
  • going into conversations unprepared, letting it unfold and then feeling shocked or disappointed by the outcome.

If you relate to any of the above – don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be this way. By understanding what a negotiation really is (hint: it’s not a fight!) and how to prepare yourself for one, you’ll feel more confident to get involved in more negotiations.


As a non-negotiator, your belief that you aren’t good at negotiating, and your dedication to avoiding it, means the results you create will typically be underwhelming or disempowering.

For example, you may leave discussions:

  • feeling deflated and frustrated that you weren’t heard,
  • defeated because someone ‘borrowed’ your good idea and they got credit for it – knowing it’s your damn idea, but you just didn’t say it out loud.
  • feeling as though you got the short end of the stick in important decisions,
  • continuing to not get recognised or feeling under-valued for the effort you put in,
  • felt railroaded by louder people taking over and not getting the result you wanted.

It doesn’t have to be this way and it starts with your mindset.


As a non-negotiator it might be hard to imagine yourself walking into any situation, feeling confident to negotiate a good outcome, with ease. This is probably due to your current mindset needing a little adjusting.

Most non-negotiators carry beliefs that are misconceptions about what negotiation is and what they are capable of. Do you believe any of the following:

  • successful negotiators have a certain kind of personality – they’re loud, gruff, pushy and ruthless.
  • negotiating is about having an argument with a win at all costs approach.
  • I’ll probably never get what I want, so why try.
  • I don’t negotiate that much anyway, so there’s no need to get better at it.

These thoughts aren’t serving you and importantly they aren’t true.

You can become a good negotiator, by investing in yourself, focus on shifting your mindset and putting in time to practice these skills, you’ll be able to see some big changes quickly.

Here are just some of the real-life benefits you may experience:

  • save money on your household bills (gas, electricity, phone bills, your home loan, etc),
  • get a great price for a car, a home, or smaller items like electronics or furniture,
  • ensure your kids finish their chores without complaint,
  • confidently enter your annual review meeting to discuss your worth at work.
  • work better with colleagues to achieve your targets.

 A shift in your mindset towards negotiating can help you achieve so much, in so many aspects of your life. You can do this without changing your personality so it becomes just part of how you do what you do. You’ll also feel pretty proud of what you can achieve, simply by embracing a little discomfort and investing time in your preparation.


Unfortunately, negotiation skills aren’t taught in schools (yet – we’re working on it). This usually means that as we grow out of our naturally curious childhood years, we tend to stop testing boundaries with a ‘but why?’ mentality. Sadly, this puts us at a disadvantage, as it’s a habit that follows us into adulthood.

Take a moment to think about how often are you’re actually asking, ‘but why?’ – if we were to encourage that voice to speak out a little more often, non-negotiators would transform organically.

Add to this, that Australians are very polite – so we don’t want to appear pushy, and we don’t like confrontation. Let’s be clear, transforming into a better negotiator will not force you to embrace either of these.

There’s no need to morph into a hard-nosed, heartless negotiator – instead you just need to know how to ‘do it your way’. Having helped hundreds of non-negotiators to transform, the key is to understand the process and tailor it to each situation you’re faced with.


Here are five steps you can take today to say farewell to the non-negotiator mindset and start to experience the game-changing impact of negotiating for yourself.


  • Spend a few days being conscious of how many times opportunities to negotiate come up.
    • Notice how many times you engage in the negotiation – when you ask for what you actually want.
    • Notice how many times you don’t – when you let the opportunity pass you by.
    • Also, notice how you feel in each of these situations.
  • Take a moment to decide that you’re willing to start going for more of what you want and know you deserve. If you’re ready then it’s time to ACCEPT, like learning any skill, that this may not always be comfortable, but you know it’s worth it.
  • When reflecting on what you NOTICED, think about one or two situations you could approach differently. What’s a small thing you could change about what you say or do, then commit to putting this into ACTION.
  • It’s time to take the ACTION you PREPARED for. For example, if your situation was that when you’re in a meeting or discussion with your partner and you normally remain quiet (even though you’re clear on what you’d like to say inside your head), take a deep breath, and say those words out loud.
  • Consider what your ACTION will be, then go for it.
  • After you’ve taken ACTION, spend some time to REFLECT on how you felt it went. What went well, what did you learn, how did it feel?
  • Don’t be discouraged if you only see a slight change or if it doesn’t go exactly to plan – you’re practicing a new skill, at this point it’s about getting more comfortable entering these conversations.
  • From here, it’s time to continue walking through these steps, time and time again and seeing your transformation slowly, but surely begin.

Most importantly – celebrate every success, from the tiny ones to the greatest of them. By consciously taking time to do this, it will become clearer about how much you’re already good at negotiating, and how making small changes to your approach and mindset can build your confidence and enthusiasm to get involved in more and more negotiations.


You’re not really a non-negotiator, you’re just a negotiator in waiting and once you start, you’ll realise how empowered you can be to get more of what you want. Hopefully you’ll start to enjoy yourself too!

At Other Side of the Table, we love what we do…our Mission is to empower people to confidently negotiate in any situation – from the classroom, to the living room, and in the boardroom – in ways that suit them.

We see non-negotiators transform all the time, and the common denominator between them all, is that they’re open to learning a new skill.

So, if you’re a ‘negotiator in waiting’, and would like to transform into a better negotiator check out our coaching / training programs or book a discovery call to chat about how we can help you learn to love negotiating.

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Negotiator Profile Quiz

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  • This tool will give you an understanding of what type of negotiator you currently are.

    The questions will take just a few minutes to complete, and you will receive an outline of your negotiator profile at the end.

    To complete this free questionnaire, please fill your details into this form.

Negotiator Strengths Self-Assessment

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It’s time to identify where your negotiator strengths lie, and to discover where you should focus your energy to improve your business negotiation capabilities.

This self-assessment is about the negotiator you are today, not the one you want to be, so as you work your way through each statement, sit in it, take your time to reflect on your typical response and give it a true assessment rating. It may be challenging but be honest.

Assessment Scale

Read through each question then think about how much the behaviour or situation sounds like you.

Consider if this sounds: least like you; a bit like you; or like you most of the time – in most situations around and at the deals table.

Take your time, but don’t over think it.

Below each question select how you score it on this scale:


1 = Least2 = A Bit3 = Mostly