How do you assert yourself while still maintaining good working relationships and without compromising your future? The key is a a healthy win-win negotiation.

When we hear the word “negotiation” we automatically feel pressure and negativity; when all it really means is an agreement to move forward. Rather than going for the “hard” win taking the collaborative, integrative and equitable approach-based agreement is a much better way to get what you want while keeping the other happy too.

The best way to achieved this is by separating all involved from the problem and focusing on interests - not position. Then offering a variety of alternatives and solutions to broaden the scope of conversation and different strategies to choose from.

But what happens when you are put in a situation with a request that you do not want to negotiate?  This is what would be called a defining moment. “What happens to me if I say no?” “Am I jeopardizing my future?”

How do you turn down an ask without altering your relationship, position and future?



  • Do I have time to this request?
  • How urgent or important is this?
  • Am I the right person for this task? Is someone else better suited for the task?
  • Does the request fit my goals and objectives?


If the answer to these questions is “no” you have a strong platform supporting that you might not be the right person for the task.



  • How can this person’s needs be met?
  • What does this person really need?
  • How can I support this person to make sure their needs are met?


This deeper thought processes helps you say no with a solution.

By doing this type of analysis, you are in fact saying “yes” to being helpful but saying “no” to the responsibility of doing the task.


Before you say no, map out your response in a thoughtful manner and you may be surprised at the response. You will probably be applauded for your win-win approach and avoid a negotiation all-together.

You don’t need to figure it out on your own.

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