Negotiating This Side of Crazy

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My new housecleaner looked at me with dismay. And not because of the drifts of cat fur.

We had just walked through my house and she offered a reasonable price to clean my bathrooms and floors. I happily accepted.

That’s when she’d looked at me with dismay: I had accepted her first offer.

“Having your counterpart accept your first offer almost guarantees that you’ll feel less satisfied than you would have if you and they had negotiated a different outcome — even one that made you worse off,” according to “Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life.”

This rather dense text by Stanford business school professor Margaret A. Neale and Thomas Z. Lys, an accounting professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, should probably be required reading for anyone doing any negotiating in their life.

By jumping at her first offer, I signaled to my new housecleaner that she had underbid on the project. She was left with the worrying feeling that she could have negotiated for more.

Don’t let that be you when you’re negotiating that job offer, raise or promotion…

(Read the rest of the story at The Seattle Times.)