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Six Common Misconceptions of Negotiation

We recently sat down with Jacqueline Twillie, Founder of ZeroGap, Master Negotiator and Women's Leadership Strategist. She is a two-time best selling author of the books Navigating The Career Jungle and Don't Leave Money On The Table. Jacqueline coaches women in male dominated industries and shared some of the misconceptions women have when it comes to negotiating. She breaks down the myth verses the fact. Here are the top six that she frequently encounters.

MYTH: Good Negotiators Are Born Not Made
FACT: This myth assumes that good negotiators are born with an innate ability to persuade others. In truth, their skill is the result of much effort and hours of preparation. Negotiation is a learned skill. It can be acquired and improved.

MYTH: Negotiation is Competitive
FACT: Negotiation skills can be used to create collaborative partnerships and help dispel potential conflicts. Creating mutually-beneficial outcomes is the mark of an expert negotiator. Think collaboration over winning.

MYTH: You Must Lie to Negotiate
FACT: It is crucial to negotiate with integrity, which precludes the use of out-and-out lying. When you lie your opponent will eventually lose trust. However, being truthful doesn't mean showing the other party all your cards. The omission of facts isn't lying, it's just common sense.

MYTH: Never Show Emotion When Negotiating
FACT: Recent research indicates that if you appear favorable your opponents take positive cues from you. Emotions are contagious, so it is wise to form them into a positive mindset. When humans are in a positive frame of mind they are more likely to think creatively and ultimately expand the pie.

MYTH: Nice Guys Finish Last
FACT: The best negotiators are those who communicate effectively with the other party. Collaborative, integrative deals are much more likely to form with a cooperative rather than a contentious approach.

MYTH: There's a Winner and a Loser in Every Negotiation
FACT: This one is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If one goes into a negotiation with a transactional, "win-lose" mindset, that's precisely what's going to happen. By bringing other issues to the table, both parties can end up with more than what they started with, resulting in a win-win negotiation.

To learn more about the work of Jacqueline and her team at ZeroGap, visit their website. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn by searching Jacqueline V. Twillie.

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