Last month, we sat down with author Mori Taheripour to discuss her book, Bring Yourself: How to Harness the Power of Connection to Negotiate Fearlessly. Help in the Home Co-founder, Stacy Derrick, met Mori while part of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program earlier this year. Through the program, Mori taught how the power of negotiation is really about authenticity in every negotiation, honoring our voices and understanding what our counterparts are looking for. Her book has made an impact at Help in the Home and we can’t wait to share our top moments from our conversation with Mori. Let’s dive in!
Mori Taheripour is a globally recognized and highly sought-after speaker, award-winning educator, and negotiation expert who has worked with some of the most iconic sports leagues and Fortune 100 corporations over the past twenty years. She teaches Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is a seven-time recipient of awards for excellence in teaching.
Mori earned her B.A. from Barnard College of Columbia University, her M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University. In March 2020, Mori’s first book, Bring Yourself: How to Harness the Power of Connection to Negotiate Fearlessly, was published by Penguin Random House.
BRINGING VULNERABILITY INTO NEGOTIATION
Often an overlooked factor when negotiating, Mori teaches how vulnerability is the key ingredient in a negotiation. Successful negotiations are not accomplished by aiming to be right or aggressive. Instead, they seek to find solutions, finding agreement and looking for the opportunity to collaborate with the other person. When looking at the long-term benefits and the relationships, your negotiations take on a different form.
“But honestly, if you really think about this being an honest, open, not transactional, but really sort of relationship based conversation, that level of openness and vulnerability is really what will feed the honesty and overall satisfaction.” – Mori
BE AUTHENTIC TO YOURSELF
Mori’s book is for everyone and anyone. Her book contains the tools needed to have an effective negotiating conversation. But what about the so-called difference between how men and women negotiate? Society tends to put a blanket over it and make it appear as if men respond one way and women another. But as you read the book, we learn that the power of negotiation is about being your authentic self and not feeling like we need to conform to what society tells us about gender norms.
Mori suggests that we lean in heavily into who we are which allows us to see negotiations for what it really is, a learned skill that can be mastered. Knowing that takes the pressure off and makes it less intimidating and transactional, and more of an opportunity for self-expression of who you are and what you bring to the conversation.
NEGOTIATION IS ALL ABOUT PERSUASION
It’s easy to tell ourselves a narrative that diminishes us as opposed to a narrative that empowers, strengthens, and builds us. Being conscious of that is another key take away in entering a negotiation because the value we place on ourselves directly correlates with our ability to enter a negotiation with confidence. More simply put, if you don’t value yourself, no one else will!
Negotiation is all about persuasion. You have to first persuade yourself and define what you deserve, what you’re made of, where you are, and then be able to communicate that to other people. Oftentimes we think it is the other way around.
KNOWING YOUR WORTH
Mori gave us some important tips on how to know your worth and see what you are bringing to the table:
- Sit down and think about your accomplishments.
- Write them down because you will soon realize they did not happen by accident. You worked hard for those accomplishments and rarely take any credit for them.
If you routinely go through this exercise and think about how you felt in those moments (the satisfaction, joy, happiness, etc), you allow those thoughts into your psyche and they become a part of the way you speak to yourself. In turn, you become more confident in who you are and what you bring to the table.
“It seems like it’s a complicated practice, but it isn’t. It’s sort of like a muscle that you have to exercise. And that becomes the sort of dominant voice that becomes the dominant practice that becomes the dominant truth.” – Mori
WHY HAVING DIFFERENT OPINIONS AND PERSPECTIVES MATTER
Everyone’s voice matters and even if their opinion and voice creates discord, it brings diversity of thought. Intentionally surrounding ourselves with people that have differing perspectives and experiences, amplifies our conversations further and the level of problem solving is enhanced. The real rule is to show up as your best self, be engaged, efficient and be effective. That can only happen when you allow for people to fully show up as themselves as well.
HOW COVID CHANGED THE WAY PEOPLE NEGOTIATE
A virtual world completely changed the way negotiation happens in 2020. All of a sudden we found ourselves in people’s homes as their personal spaces became their office and there was an element of connection that didn’t exist before. We had the privilege of getting personal with the people that were a part of our daily lives. COVID taught us that humanity needed connection, and allowing that personal connection to take place left room for us to listen to each other. Mindful listening requires you to be attentive and not just listen with your ears but also with your eyes. Keeping these new practices in mind makes your negotiating skills even better in person.
RISKS IN NEGOTIATION
There are two big risk factors in negotiations.
- Regrets. Never asking in the first place or never knowing of an opportunity for you to negotiate.
- Not being objective. This is an important factor because you are aiming to change somebody’s mind or even just open their minds and hearts to what you’re presenting. This does not happen subjectively. The exchange of data and information brings objectivity. This is key in helping someone understand where you are coming from.
NEVER LOSE WITH KINDNESS
It’s a saying we hear a lot but how true is it in negotiating? Having conversations that are connected with kindness is always a win in the end.
In doing this, you are left with the opportunity to:
- Lead with empathy
- Take into account the other person’s perspective
- Find a solution together
IS NO REALLY A NO?
No is a two letter word that we give so much power to. Why? Because we think it’s a hard stop. Preparation in negotiation is key. Present your negotiation in a way that allows for the person to sense your needs. Have multiple positions figured out beforehand and be ready to present those. When doing so, present them in a way where your end goal is to solve a problem. When you do that, you’re far less likely to hear a no. If you do hear no, it’s not the end of the conversation, but perhaps the start of a new one.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Mori and learning more about how you can master the art of effective negotiation. Asking for what you need can literally change your life.