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Challenge of the Week: Negotiate a Better Deal

A hands on challenge to get you practicing your negotiation skills.

Arrow going upward over increase amounts of stacked bills.

This week, in the normal course of daily life, we encourage you to identify an opportunity to negotiate for a better deal. Once you successfully open negotiations, use the tactics we've discussed to work your way to an improved outcome.

This doesn't have to be a major negotiation, such as a salary bump or a vehicle purchase. It might involve simply negotiating for a better bulk price on peas and carrots at the local farmer's market. Places such as these are excellent places to engage in a bit of negotiation.

These low stakes encounters help you become comfortable with the process of negotiation. You'll become more familiar with the natural rhythms of a negotiated exchange. You'll also cultivate the ability to read your negotiating partner. Overt and subtle clues will show you when you've pushed too far - or when there is still room to maneuver. With enough practice, you'll lose the anxiety or jitters that might accompany your initial forays into negotiation.

When you're ready for a higher stakes negotiation involving a large purchase or a salary package, the lessons gleaned from this practice will be invaluable.

And getting a bit of a discount on peas and carrots isn't bad, either.

The important thing is to challenge yourself. Step outside of your comfort zone. Put the information you've learned into practice.

By doing so you'll become a more confident, perceptive - and ultimately successful - negotiator.