Blog Archive

The Subtle Art Of Negotiation . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I've been going through an interview process for the past month, and last week I received an offer which has led to a negotiation that is ongoing and unrelenting in scope.

The art of negotiation is a subtle one. It takes nerves of steel, and the soft touch of a craftsman to be successful. Basically, a cross between Genghis Khan and Ghandi is needed to ensure you get exactly what you're after, and yet leave everybody feeling good about the process.

I'm not there yet, but I'm trying.

One problem is that I've been conducting this negotiation over the phone as the recruiter is in California (office is in Austin). It's difficult to read your opponent when you cannot look them in eye, and then exploit any perceived weakness. So far, I've upped my salary, stock options and there are only a few minor points left to cover.

One advanced tactic to employ is to start asking for outlandish things, and hope that the shock value could distract them from what you really want and terms you will accept. I didn't quite have the cojones to ask for things like:

1) A Swedish administrative assistant to handle my affairs

2) A fully stocked wet bar in my office
3) Bi-weekly lobster deliveries not to exceed 14 lbs

4) Season tickets to UT football
5) An on-call masseuse - #1 could double in this capacity - I'm not greedy
6) A Gila Monster to keep in my office and intimidate subordinates

These are just a few requirements I have in mind, and like anything else, you only get better at negotiations with time and experience. And the next time I experience one, I will have at least half of this list - I feel I'm worth it.



  1. I would try reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu if Ghandi and Genghis don't work out as well as you hoped. It offers great tips for winning at negotiation (sp?). Good luck on getting all you want.

  2. Wendy Says:
  3. California, huh? Did you want me to knock on their door and kick their ass? Oh, wait. You WANT this job, right?

  4. Sarcastic - That's one of those books I've always meant to read, but haven't. Maybe it's a good time to knock that off my list.

    Wendy - I don't think we're at the knee-cap breaking phase yet, but I appreciate the offer. Sometimes you have to "think outside the box." Ha.

  5. BostonPobble Says:
  6. Hold firm on the gila monster. That really should be your deal breaker. And there in Texas, you should be surrounded by the most effective, subtle negotiators of all time ~ Southern Women. Have your wife take the next call and you'll get everything you ever dreamed for, except maybe the Swedish assistant.

  7. Gordon Gekko would be so proud.

  8. Miss Ash Says:
  9. I would ask for someone (a hot man preferrably) to stand behind me all day long and massage my back and shoulders...perhaps my front as well :)

  10. Bostonpobble - A fine idea on both the montster & the female accomplice. I'm just not sure I"m willing to trade the assistant for the monster. I'll give it some thought.

    Anonymous Boxer - It's funny, but I wrote a line in my orginal draft that read "I felt like a mini-Gordon Gekko." Honestly. Then I took it out for fear of hubris.

    Miss Ash - Let's not confuse your negotiation list with mine. Ha. That requirement is certainly not on mine.

  11. You do know that not all Swedes look like that. Awh, who am I kidding? They're a nation of tall leggy blondes. How am I and my Italian genes supposed to compete with that?

  12. SymplyAmused Says:
  13. Good luck in with the whole process!

  14. WhatIgot - You see - I know what I'm talking about with this admin thing. Ha. But we can all compete in the game.

    Symplyamused - Thanks. We'll see how it all turns out, for good or ill.

  15. vivavavoom Says:
  16. great list!! hey if they pay enough, I predict you will be getting a version of #1 to help you out with those tight muscles. best of luck. be Gordon Gekko...and remember the "greed is good speech.

  17. cats Says:
  18. when i interviewed for my job one of the people on the cmmt that hired me was a massage therapist. she suggested that i make weekly massage part of my contract, but for some reason no one else at the table though she or i was serious.

    good luck with the negotiations!

  19. Vivavavoom - Thanks, and who doesn't love that "Greed is good" speech? Everybody loves that one. I just need the slick hair and suspenders and I'll be in business.

    Cats - I appreciate it, and you definitely should have worked that into your contract. There's nothing trivial about massage. Ha.

  20. Melissa Says:
  21. You should make them throw in 41 virgins. Or something.

  22. Good idea. I could sacrifice half to the Gila Monster on the second day to throw a scare into the rest of the office and the other 20 or so I could find other uses for as well. That's going on the list.

  23. Anonymous Says:
  24. I have the job I interviewed for tonight, if I can get released from 'The Corporation'.
    They will now negotiate my release.

  25. Drive a hard bargain for your release and accept nothing less. Make 'em pay.


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