Negotiating for a higher salary or a higher paying job takes a lot of understanding of yourself. You have to really know your worth and whether you’re ready to walk away from an offer that doesn’t meet your standards. A successful negotiation takes preparation, active listening skills, stress control, and more. Join Rosie Zilinskas as she talks to Tina Greenbaum, M.Ed., LCSW, the Founder and CEO of Mastery Under Pressure. Learn why you need to prepare yourself physically and mentally before a high-stakes negotiation. Find out how you can lower your stress levels before a negotiation. Discover why you need to listen and be on the same wavelength with whomever you’re talking to. Learn so much more about negotiating tips and advice in the last part of the How to Negotiate in the Corporate World series.
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Understanding Your Worth Before A Negotiation With Tina Greenbaum
How To Negotiate In The Corporate World Podcast Series – Episode 8 Of 8
I am so excited to be finishing the How to Negotiate in the Corporate World series. This has been an eight-episode series on negotiating from different perspectives. I had seven incredible conversations with amazing women that will help you position yourself for a fantastic negotiation conversation. From the series, I have created a document with some powerful phrases that you can use throughout.
Before I tell you about my guest, I do want to remind you that I have some free resources on my website, which is NoWomanLeftBehind.com. You can either go on there and do a free quiz. You can do the Corporate Kickstart course, which is giving you some ideas on how to kickstart your career and what you want to do next. I also have the Corporate Kickstart consultation.
If you are ready to have a conversation and you want to chat with me about where you might be stuck in your career, you can go on my contact page, send me an email, and we can certainly set that up. I want to remind you that there are a few more resources on my website as well. Go on there and browse through my website.
Let me tell you a little bit about Tina Greenbaum. Tina is the Founder and CEO of Mastery Under Pressure, a management coaching program for high-performing executives who need to refine and master their interpersonal and interdepartmental skills. Mastery Under Pressure gives CEOs and senior-level managers additional professional and personal tools to not only excel but to empower their teams and their associates.
My conversation with Tina was a little bit of a therapy session for me because I was going through some stuff at the time of my conversation with her. It turned out to be the perfect close to the series on How to Negotiate. With everything that she shared on how to become a confident negotiator, that’s what I want you to do. That’s the whole reason why I had all these conversations.
Becoming a good and confident negotiator takes time and practice. Everything that we’ve talked about will get you to where you need to be in order to have a powerful negotiation. The main reason why I wanted to go through all these conversations is because I help women articulate their worth with massive confidence, conviction, and credibility. I’m going to give you some tools to do that. Stay tuned for my conversation with Tina Greenbaum.
Really quick, before we get into this episode, I just want to remind you that if you go on my website, NoWomanLeftBehind.com, there are some awesome resources on here. First of all, on the homepage, on the top right-hand corner, there is a Kickstart Your Career radio button. The Corporate Kickstart course is about 45 minutes. If you don’t know where to start in your career, that’s a great course for you to start with.
Next, there is a radio button that says I’m Ready For My Corner Office. If you are at the point where you want to talk to somebody, you want to have a consultation with me, you can click on this and it’ll take you to my calendar and you will be able to insert a short questionnaire. You and I can talk for about 30 minutes about where you are versus where you want to be in your career.
If you continue to scroll down that same page, there is a section that says, “Let’s find out where you are in your career.” There’s another radio button that says, Take the Quiz. This is the Corporate Kickstart Quiz. It’ll take you about ten minutes to take that quiz, but it’ll give you some great information.
If you scroll all the way down on that main page, you will see some additional freebies that you can download, which are the Believe in Yourself and it says 3 Steps for Woman in Corporate to Stop Being Left Behind. You click on that Learn More button. You can download that one. There’s also the Conversation Starters Checklist. You can click on that Learn More button to download that one. Finally, The Productivity Strategies Workbook that you can figure out how to be more productive. You can download that one by going to the Learn More. These are just some awesome resources that I wanted to make you aware. Now, we are going onto our episode.
Tina, thank you so much for being here on the show. I appreciate you being here. You and I spoke a little while ago. This episode is going to be specifically on negotiating for women in the corporate world. You mentioned to me that it’s important to figure out what happens emotionally when you’re going to be negotiating. That’s where I would like to start.
Thank you, Rosie, for having me. What happens emotionally inside when we’re negotiating? For everybody, it may be a little bit different. We’re going to talk about being aware of what’s going on inside because it’s that level of awareness that gives us personal information about what’s happening. What kind of face do we have on? How is our body? Are we nice, comfortable, and relaxed? Do we have eye contact?
All of those things, I’m sure we’re going to talk about them and what’s going on within me and how am I preparing myself to be able to be the best negotiator that I know how to be. It’s not a one-shot thing. There are a lot of elements. I have a program we’re going to talk about. It’s how to be a confident negotiator. It’s being able to manage what’s going on inside, at the same time, being able to manage what’s going on in terms of content.
To be a confident negotiator, you have to be able to manage what's going on within you. – Tina Greenbaum Click To Tweet
What I’m hearing you say is that before you even get to the negotiating venue, it could be anything. It could be negotiating with your boss, with your spouse, or sometimes your children. Primarily for women in the corporate world, preparation is key. Let’s talk a little bit about what your experience is. I know you’re very experienced and you have psychotherapy as your background for your training. What are some things, in your opinion, that we need to start preparing for that negotiation? One of the other things is how to be a confident negotiator. Maybe that’s two parts, but let’s start with the preparation piece first.
I’m going to start with a story because I think it sets it up really well. A number of years ago, I was at a conference, I did a talk, and somebody approached me afterward. He said, “I would really like to work with you. Can we make some time and set some time up?” I said, “Sure.” In my preparation, I was thinking about how much I was going to charge him.
I knew a lot about his background. I knew what he was looking for. I knew I could help him. I had way more experience than probably most people that he was approaching. All of this, I was calculating. I thought about I’m going to charge him $2,000 a month. I thought that that was a fair figure given his position, my experience, and so on.
I know how I set a contract with somebody. I ask them what they were looking for, whether if I can provide it or not, and so on and so forth. I had a good sense about how to handle the rest of it. It was the first time I was going to charge that much money to anybody. The next day, we have this conversation, we’re sitting, we’re talking about all these things, his problems, issues, and so on. He says, “How much do you charge?” I said, “$1,500.” This is a true story. I swear. I start kicking myself under the table.
He said to me, “$1,500? I would’ve paid you a lot more, but sure, let’s go.” What happened was the question that I asked myself. It was actually the genesis of the course that I created, this Mastery Under Pressure. How did I go from being so sure what I was going to charge him to caving? I caved on what I said that I was going to do.
I would say that owning your power, owning your weight in gold, owning your education and the level of training that you have, it’s important to acknowledge that to yourself. I know we’re talking to women. I’m a woman and you’re a woman. I know the issues that women get into. Many times, we don’t do what men do. We underplay a little bit.
“Are you sure? Our boundaries sometimes are not as tight as they need to be.” These are all kinds of things in terms of what’s going on internally. I started to recognize that what I was doing was I was changing based on what I thought somebody would be willing to pay. If I thought that you were well off, then I would give you a higher price.
This would get me into all kinds of trouble. It wasn’t until I started to pay attention, “What was your thinking, Tina? How did you get there?” where I started to look at some of the issues that we’re going to be talking about that women fall into. It’s not that men don’t, but we have different sets of whatever. We do things a little bit differently.
In my course, I have a whole bunch of roleplaying and things. When I do this live, we look at this issue of what’s your price? When will you give up on your price? Why will you give up on your price? If, in fact, you’re going to walk away, what does that entail to be able to confidently walk away? Not being afraid to risk losing in order to gain. There’s a whole bunch of mindset things that jump in here that you want to be able to pay attention to and know the answers to your own questions. It’s critically important.
That is so interesting that you already headed in your head that you were going to charge $2,000 a month, and then when you were right in front of the individual, sporadically, you were like, “$1,500.” Afterward, you were like, “What happened? Why did I do that?” That probably happens more often than not to women. That’s so great that you were able to explore it and recognize it. I know you said you found yourself changing the price based on the person, but is there one dominant thought that happened to you during that one specific story?
I chickened out. I was reaching another level and I had not tried it out before. I didn’t want to lose the client. That’s what I’m saying. You have to be willing to risk losing in order to gain. It’s a shot in the dark. When you’re negotiating and you’re looking for a higher salary or all these different things, it’s like a blank sheet of paper.
That’s why negotiating is so difficult, because we don’t know where the ranges are. I don’t know whether it’s in California, where I live now, or New York, where I used to live, I saw that they’re requiring companies to put the salary range. It’s a lot easier to negotiate if you know what the range is. If you don’t even know what the range is, you have to prepare and do your research. What are people paying for something like what you do? My ex-husband was in the art business. That’s a business. It’s kind of, “How much do you think it’s worth?”
First of all, I’m glad that we’re having this conversation, obviously, because this is actually the last episode in my negotiating series. I had eight episodes. I started it with emotional intelligence. I’m glad that we’re having the conversation of bringing it back to how you feel and your emotions. The recognition of the thought process that goes on in your head is so critical.
That’s the only way that you’re going to identify those boundaries and those limiting beliefs that you think, “I don’t want to lose this client” or “I don’t want to lose the promotion or the job offer, so I’m going to undercut myself.” Another one of my guests, we talked about women oftentimes start negotiating with themselves first before they even start talking to another person. Do you have any examples of that?
Yes. I think a lot of that, we’re going to stay with preparation.
Yeah, I think preparation is so key.
It really is the whole thing. My son and I listened to a guy talking about negotiating. He was calling it the factor. When somebody goes, “I couldn’t possibly afford that.” You know you’ve hit the limit of what their limit is. Basically, we want to have a bottom line. I do a lot of speaking, and sometimes the bottom line is not always in the price of what I’m going to be paid. It could be in-kind services.
I heard something not too long ago. They said, “We can’t afford to pay you your fee, but we’ll buy your book.” They bought 60 books, which then ended up to be a pretty good fee and so on. There are all kinds of ways that you can be very aware that it’s not always the dollar figure. Let’s just say that you have your walkaway price. No matter what, I’m walking away.
You hold onto that because you feel that that is your integrity. All the things that we talked about, what you’re worth and so on. We get very scared that this is the only job that’s available to us. This is the only house that I’m ever going to see. We get caught into giving away our power. Recognize that it’s not the only. Can you walk away? If you think it’s the only and you’ve been looking for a year and a half, and this one fits all your criteria, what are you willing to negotiate on?
It may not be, they’re going to pay you this salary, but they’re going to give you more sick days or they’re going to give you other benefits. You have an opportunity to weigh. This piece about, “This is my walkaway piece,” and being able to hold onto that and feel good about it. If it’s not this one, it’s going to be something else.
This is where the mindset comes in. I happen to believe that life works in a certain way and spiritually, there are certain spiritual laws. If we follow them, life works. If we don’t, we buck up against ourselves all the time. One of those things is things do happen for a reason. This is my belief. You may not believe it, but it helps to guide me that if it’s not this one, then it wasn’t right.
If it’s so hard and we’re fighting over minutia, maybe this isn’t the person that I want to work for. Maybe this isn’t the job. Maybe this isn’t the client. The challenging thing about negotiation, coming back to what you were saying about your first speaker, we have a whole set of emotions that are happening and we want to look like we’re calm, cool, and collected. There’s not a lot going on. That takes mastery.
With preparation, mindset, knowing your bottom line and practicing, that’s how you become a confident negotiator. Practicing is going to be key. What are some of the internal skills that you think are the most important to build up as you are trying to become a better negotiator?
Before I leave preparation, there’s one other piece that I want to add, and then we’ll come back to that if that’s okay. I have a soft heart. There are certain people that I feel sometimes called to work with and they cannot afford my fee. I have a choice. I can choose. That’s why it’s so great to be in charge of yourself. I can have my bottom line and I’m ready to walk away.
I can’t even explain it. I can only use this term, I feel called to work with them. There’s something in them, I know that I can help them and I want to, so I can give up my price. I can choose to do that, but it’s conscious. It’s not for all those other reasons that I’m scared they’re going to walk away and then I’m going to lose the whole thing. You do have permission to go against your own rules if you choose.
Coming back to the other question in terms of what are the things we need to train, and I call this body-mind, I call it an instrument because when we learn how to manage it, we’ve become very fine-tuned. We pick up the nuances. We pick up people’s discomfort. We pick up their energy. I just had a conversation with a colleague of mine.
Your body-mind is an instrument because when you learn how to manage it, you'll become very fine-tuned. – Tina Greenbaum Click To Tweet
He was saying all the right things, but I could feel he was under a lot of stress. He was doing his best to tell me all the right things, but my intuition and my experience tell me there was something else going on here. How do we train this instrument? We have what they call a window of tolerance for stress. As long as we’re in our nervous system’s window of tolerance, we’re good.
You say this, you say that. I’m not throwing off my game. I’m good. When something comes along that hits our nervous system’s window of tolerance and capacity, we go into the stress response. Our fingers get tingly, our heart starts to race. We get sweaty, sweaty palms. Most importantly, for those people who are into high-pressured situations, we can’t think clearly. The brain goes offline, literally.
If you think about the brain and the primitive part of the brain that gets triggered by certain patterns that we have in our history. In this middle range is where the emotions and memory get processed and all these other kinds of things. There’s this very quick circuit that goes over the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of our brain that makes good executive decisions.
We want this all working even if we get triggered that this part stays online. When we’re over our capacity, honestly, the wiring gets lost. “Where was I? I can’t remember.” We start to hesitate and then we lose ourselves. That may happen, but there are tools to bring yourself back. Let’s start out with the tool that we want first. It’s to increase our nervous system’s tolerance for stress.
The way that we do that is through meditation, breathing, focus exercises, where you can begin to take in 3, 4, 5, 6 breaths and let them out, then we can work up to 10, 12 breaths and let it out. We can work up to 15 breaths in and 15 breaths out. It takes time because we’re expanding our lungs. We’re expanding the amount of oxygen that our body can tolerate. At the same time, we are quieting down the nervous system. We’ve got the sympathetic nervous system, the stress response one, and the parasympathetic one.
First of all, I want to go back and say that I love the fact that you recognize when you connect with someone. You, like myself and a lot of people that are doing the work that we’re doing as coaches, get into this work because we want to help first, before we even think, “I want to start a business.” I got into this work because I saw a need to empower and encourage women, more than anything, to advocate for themselves.
I want to thank you for recognizing that with your clients. When you have that connection, I feel it, too. It’s nice to be able to be guided. I totally believe that things happen for a reason and all that stuff. By the way, I’ve been in a little bit of a tizzy. That’s because my son told me that he’s moving from Chicago to Scottsdale. I live in Chicago.
It’s funny, as you were describing everything that you were saying about the prefrontal cortex, I’ve been in a haze. I have to say, emotionally, it’s been tough. I haven’t been present. I’ve been off my game. I’ve been starting to come back to me, but it’s going to be difficult for me to have my son live in Scottsdale versus Chicago. He’s going to be 25, so it’s fine.
I’m thinking of the same process as you are trying to go for that job promotion, and you don’t earn it and you’re disappointed. You have to go through all of the emotional loss of, you’ve thought you had this job, and then it turns out that you don’t. I think it’s important for us to not only prepare for the negotiation but also prepare for the aftermath.
Whether you get the job or you don’t get the job, we still have to prepare for that. One of my guests that talks about confidence says, “You have to be able to allow yourself to sit in the suck for a day or two to feel the emotions so that you can continue to move forward.” Everything you described makes so much sense with any process we need to get through.
Use the word process because that is what needs to happen. When we have an expectation that’s over here, and the reality is over here, what do we have in between? Nothing but frustration and disappointment. For something like your son, a job, or something that we want to happen in a certain way, we have an expectation that it should, it takes us time to get over here, “This is the reality. Now, I got to move forward again.”
For me, with my son, it’s the loss of me seeing him on a day-to-day basis, regular basis, because he’s graduating from college. Just coming home from work. I’m like, “I can’t have that anymore,” but it’s alright. Part of being a parent is letting go.
We have all the logic in the world and our kids, we raise them to be free agents.
It’s not like I’m a young parent or anything. When you’re in that emotional state, it’s so hard to rationalize your thoughts and to think, “He’ll be fine,” or, “It was no big deal. I was supposed to get that job and I didn’t.” It does take a little bit of having to feel those feelings to be able to get on the other side. Even if you did get the job, say you’re stepping into a more senior role and executive role, and then you realize that you now have the job and you have to perform. That’s another thing of, “I prepared so much up to this point, but then what’s next?” It’s a process.
I think what you’re also saying, Rosie, is that the one thing that we can depend on in life is change.
The only thing that is constant is change. You talked a little bit earlier about role playing and practicing. Why don’t we talk a little bit about your course? What are the components of your course? If you can tell us what the price is because having a course and a directive of a step-by-step process would be important to our readers.
This course came from that story that I told you. I started to look through all the different pieces of what I then needed to focus on. Preparation is number one. This course has four little modules. They’re about 10 to 15 minutes, maybe at the most. Another one is being an active listener. One of the things that I pride myself on, honestly, is I call myself a professional listener because that’s what I am.
I do remember when I first started paying attention to this. I’m pretty intuitive, so I would assume people were going to a certain place or I know exactly what you’re thinking. I don’t know exactly what you’re thinking. I could have a hunch about what you’re thinking. Unless you’re going to tell me, confirm, and validate for me, I do not know. I have some rules for myself when it comes to listening.
I would probably say as best I possibly can, particularly when I’m working with clients or any important situation, I like to say that I’m staying on the same wavelength. Rosie and I met. We started to talk and it was easy for us. We both care about people. We’re not exactly the same profession. We’re sort of on the same wavelength. Not everybody’s going to be like that, as we know.
There are people who are like, “Could you repeat that again?” My goal is to stay on the same wavelength with whomever I’m having a conversation with. Let’s say that I live someplace where the trains go by and I get distracted by a train. I’ve missed what you said. Typically what people will do is go on. I’m going to stop and say, “Rosie, could you repeat what you said because I missed it, or I got distracted for a moment, or I’m not sure I heard you right?”
We’re on the same wavelength. I go off. I get distracted. Something else happens. Now, we’re back on again. The reason that people and countries argue, the conflict is because we don’t understand each other. As a professional listener, you’re working to understand that person across from you. What is it they’re looking for? What can I provide for you?
Whatever the questions are, you listen carefully and you take it in. You don’t have to come back like that. You’re going to like, “If I understand you correctly, is this what you’re saying?” As a counselor or a coach, we’re trained. We have sentences that we have learned. You do it over and over, and it honestly becomes second nature.
You said it to me earlier, Rosie. You said, “I think I’m understanding. Is this what you’re saying?” It behooves you to become an excellent communicator and a really good listener. I talk a lot about assertiveness training, what that looks like, and how you get what you want. How to phrase sentences so that you don’t offend anybody if you’re picking up somebody’s resistance.
Let’s say, I offer X, Y, Z and they may not even say anything or they’re just going to roll their eyes. I’m going to pick that up and I’m going to pay attention to it. As soon as I pick up somebody’s resistance to what I’m saying or doing, I have to change the tactic. A lot of times, we get into the, “He was so difficult. She was so this or she was so that.” Maybe we could be better at communicating. I have a sixteen-year-old client. I had a meeting with her and her mother. It was as clear as a bell to me. She started to lecture her and she went on and on. She said, “Mom, when you do that, I’m checking out.”
Been there, done that.
Active listening is incredibly important. We have preparation. We have active listening. We have learning how to calm down this nervous system. That’s another part, this emotional piece. By the end, you will have all the information you need to practice to become a confident negotiator. Stuff does not happen overnight.
As far as roleplaying, what do you recommend people can do at home? Not everybody has a coach, but everybody has a friend, a spouse, or a family member. When it comes to roleplaying, what do you recommend for them to do?
If you can have just even a friend or a family member play the opposite, one of the things that I would do is, I am looking for a job. I’m the person seeking the job. You are the employer. We start roleplaying where I’m coming in, how I ask for your salary range and all the different things you can put in there so that you practice the actual experience.
I’m an experiential learner. We learn by experience. We go back and go, “Where did I get stuck?” You said that I’m not going any further. This is it. It’s like, “What do I decide to do?” That’s one way you can roleplay. Another way you can roleplay is by imagining that you know that somebody has a lot of money or a high salary.
This doesn’t go in so many different directions. If you’re in business for yourself and making a proposal, or you’re on the other end of the proposal, you can keep switching roles. What happens when you don’t have a lot of money? When there’s not a lot of money on the table? What are you feeling? What are you thinking? Where is your bottom line? The goal is to be able to think quickly on your feet.
You don’t have to answer right away. A lot of times, I don’t even hear what people are saying. I just pick up the vibe of what they’re saying. That comes from being very aware of yourself. I want to give a little definition of what mindfulness is the way that I have used it and learned. Mindfulness is being aware in the present moment without judgment.
Mindfulness is being aware in the present moment without judgment. – Tina Greenbaum Click To Tweet
That was a big one. I was with you up until the without judgment because, in my head, I’m thinking, “I can be in the present moment without judgment.” That’s going to take practice because I’m trying to advocate for me and the other person’s basically telling me no or not right now. I’m trying to picture that moment where I’m trying to have a conversation, to be in the present moment, and to not judge, but it’s not happening because they’re telling me no.
I could be aware pretty quickly of my disappointment. I have three months program. It’s called Mastery Under Pressure. In there, we start out with getting the body quiet and calm, but I have a whole section on what I call productive thinking. Do my thoughts produce something useful for me? As opposed to positive thinking, “Everything’s wonderful. Everything’s going to work out.”
Maybe, maybe not, but do my thoughts produce something useful for me? If somebody is telling me, basically we’re not a match is what they’re telling me. I have to take that in. I may be disappointed, but the truth is, we’re not a match. It’s the same thing in dating. “I’m so rejected.” Maybe we’re not a match. I could think we are, but he or she doesn’t think we are, so we’re not.
It’s the same thing with jobs. My daughter-in-law has been looking for a job for quite some time as a postdoc. She’s got this whole thing in data. She’s got a PhD in Educational Psychology. She applied for a job, and they came out maybe 3, 4, or 5 months after she put the resumé in. They called her and she had an interview. It was a great interview.
She said to me afterward, “They’re looking for somebody that has a lot of experience with diabetes, and I don’t. I don’t know whether they’re going to take me because I have all the other experience.” The woman came back and she said, “I’m sorry, but we’re not going to go any further with this, but I have a colleague at so-and-so school and they’re looking for somebody with your qualifications.” She passes her name on and now she’s working a new job with somebody else.
Was she disappointed? Yes. This one was local, going back to where your kids are. She’s taking it part-time, but if she decides to go full-time, they may move with my little granddaughter. The point is that she understood that she was a highly qualified candidate, but she did not have all the qualifications they were looking for. When we come back to, “Yes, our expectations are over here and our reality is over here, how quickly can we get here?” the reality was that she wasn’t a match.
We also have to recognize that good for her for applying for that because I’m sure the job description said you needed to have that diabetes experience. That’s one of the things that we’re constantly trying to let people and women know. Apply for the job anyway because you never know if you can get the on-the-job training or you’re the best-qualified candidate. Kudos to your daughter for applying, even though she didn’t have all the qualifications.
We also talked about in the negotiating, sometimes you need to be quiet. Let’s talk about that.
Part of my training, as a clinical social worker very early on was to learn how to be quiet. When we do that, other people will fill the space because most people are not comfortable with silence. If we talk about anxiety, stress, and so on, anxiety gets raised when we feel like we’re out of control. When there is a level of uncertainty and like, “What’s going on here?” we get anxious. That’s why we need structure. If I were to get on this show with you, Rosie, and I was going to sit there and you ask me a question and I didn’t answer, you would fill in at some point.
It’s part of understanding communication and human nature. You might put out a question to somebody of a potential person that you’re negotiating with, wait a little bit, and watch. Part of being an active listener is watching the person that you’re on the other side of. What is their body language saying? What are you feeling? Do you take the opportunity to say, “I’m wondering if that question made you a little uncomfortable?” Whatever it is that you might think might be going on, you can ask. If you put out a question and you wait a little bit, sometimes people need time to come up with their answers.
I have to say that I listened to this fantastic podcast, it’s called the Hidden Brain. It’s all about psychology. One of the guests on the Hidden Brain said that she has a surefire way of reading someone’s mind. I listened to the whole episode and I was like, “I’m so excited to listen to this.” At the end she says, “Simple. Ask them.” I was like, “That makes so much sense.” If you want to know what someone is thinking, just ask them.
A lot of what we’re talking about comes with experience over time, being incredibly self-aware. When I go back to that story that I told at the very beginning, had I not been willing to be non-judgmental with myself, I could never have gotten the answers that I got. I could have stopped with, “You’re so stupid. I can’t believe that you did that. That was a dumb thing that you did.” I could have stopped there and felt bad about myself, or “Yeah, that was not the smartest thing in the world, but how did you get there?”
I think you said some keywords there. Be non-judgmental with yourself as well. You’ll be non-judgmental with others, but we are our own worst judgmental individuals. We treat ourselves so poorly sometimes. I do like the fact that you specifically expressed, “Be non-judgmental with yourself as well.” That’s true.
That is a huge learning and a practice because our brain is designed to protect us from danger. It is constantly giving up thousands of thoughts in a day. It is the monkey mind as people talk about. It is an untrained mind. You cannot be good at all the stuff that we’re talking about without training your own instrument. You just can’t because you’re going to be swayed all over the place by the emotion that comes up based on our early childhood, patterns, things that we have created, stories that we believe about ourselves, and so on.
You literally just described what I’ve been experiencing with the experience now that I have. It’s taken me roughly 7 to 10 days to come to accept the fact that my son is moving. I went through all those emotions and now I’m like, “It’s going to be okay. There’s planes, trains, and automobiles to go see him back and forth.” I have noticed that every day, I’m soothing myself emotionally and mentally. “It’s going to be okay. Things are fine. Things happen for a reason.” Soothing myself from a, “You’re going to be fine.”
The trick of all of this, honestly, is we have to get to the place where we actually believe it. We can tell ourselves all kinds of things. I did a TEDx Talk called Befriend Your Inner Enemy. I start out talking about these patterns that show up. We get so annoyed with ourselves over and over. “There it is again.” It’s not that people don’t want to change. They just don’t know how. Everything we’re talking about and all the things I’ve learned over the year are skills.
I’m really a teacher at heart. We put people into all kinds of high-pressure situations with no training. I always say that if you were an Olympic-level athlete, you would no sooner go out there to compete without doing the work that we’re talking about. Peak performance work, stress management work, all these things about how to manage disappointment and competition, it’s all in there. If we expected ourselves to be able to manage things without this level of training, we’re kidding ourselves.
Actually, the first couple of days when I learned that he’s moving, I’m having all these emotional hormones all over the place. I’m like, “I’m fine,” but I didn’t believe it. The last couple of days, I’m like, “It’s going to be fine,” and now I believe it. That’s the big transition from when I learned. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a roller coaster, but there’s been a lot of growth for me, acceptance, letting go, and that whole thing. It is so interesting that once you believe it, then you’re able to move forward with it. I do know that we also talked about your gift. People can go onto your website and you have the four tips to peak performance. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I have five parts of my program. I picked four out of five on the tips. They have little exercises. I teach focus. When we’re in focus, when we’re out of focus, there’s laser focus. There’s wide broad focus. Each one of them has a different purpose and when to use what. I teach focus. Relaxation, being able to get into that relax. Change your nervous system in an instant, which is what you can do with the breath.
The breath is the only voluntary mechanism that we have that can change these nervous systems in an instant. Our breath is extremely powerful. Everybody knows when you’re feeling anxious, breathe. A lot of times, people breathe. No, that breath will make you more anxious. It’s learning how to breathe from way down deep in your belly and bringing it all the way up and down.
It expands the whole up and down your spine and expands the nervous system. Focus. Relaxation. Dealing with the negative self-talk, which we talked about. How to visualize, which is a lot of what we were touching on when we were talking about preparation, visualizing the experience before you’re in it. How do I want to be? How do I want to dress?
I have another client. She’s got a court case coming on with a divorce and a nasty ex-husband and judge. I said, “Don’t dress to the nines. Don’t look so successful. Visualize how you want to be and the way that you want to portray yourself so that emotionally, that will connect.” Visualization, and then fear. I have two favorite things about fear. One is that it’s the only thing that gets smaller as you get closer.
Fear is the only thing that gets smaller as you get closer. – Tina Greenbaum Click To Tweet
Tell me more about that.
You’re petrified of your son leaving. The relationship’s not going to be the same. You’re not going to see him. Whether you acknowledge it or we talk about it in that way, there’s a lot of fear of losing that connection in the way the relationship is. As you have chosen to keep working it, the fear has gotten smaller by paying attention to it.
Our first reaction to fear is to avoid. “I don’t want to go there. I don’t want to look at it.” Yet, fear is our best teacher. It’s telling us something. It’s telling us that something’s important to us and that we’re feeling out of control. There’s a whole universe, and then I hope people find it in the body. The body gives us lots of information because the body holds all the memory. The other one is the only way past it is through it.
Our first reaction to fear is to avoid it. Yet, fear is our best teacher. It's telling us that something is important. And the only way past it is through it. – Tina Greenbaum Click To Tweet
Yes, I definitely know that.
I can tell you from this end of doing that TED Talk, the only way past it was through it.
How afraid or how nervous were you the day of your TED Talk?
I was very nervous. At the same time, I was extremely prepared. I was probably more prepared than any other person that gave the talk. I spent months writing it, rewriting it, getting coached, memorizing it, giving it over again, having people evaluating it, rewriting it, doing the pitches three times. I was nervous, but I also could depend that I know how my brain works.
I used a lot of visualization as I was learning it. For each different part of it, I had an image. I picked up the image, and then I knew exactly where I was going. We were there for 2 or 3 days ahead of time and I gave it to my husband a whole bunch of times. I kept getting stuck at the beginning. I was more nervous about that. When I gave it, I didn’t give it exactly as I had memorized it.
When you’re in that situation, there is no think time. You’re on and you just got to go. I was praying that the way that I realized it soon on that the correction that I made actually was seamless. Nobody would’ve known what I did, what I knew. As I was sitting there afterwards, “Did that make sense?” Once I got going, it was the most fun thing I’ve ever done.
That’s a good example of how practice and roleplaying helps you when you’re actually doing the conversation that you’re planning on doing for whatever goal you’re trying to do. Congratulations. I’m so happy that it went well. I have not yet seen it, but I will watch it for sure. I’m excited. Tina, you have given us such an amazing array of information. From our conversation, are there two tips that you think are the best two tips for women in the corporate world in negotiating? Anything that you could leave them with?
Yes. My number one go-to thing, no matter what situation I’m in, is high pressure or high stakes. What’s in my control? What’s out of my control? Whenever I start to feel like the world is closing in on me or I feel anxious. The body gets triggered before the mind. If you know yourself really well and you know how your body reacts. I already know when I start to tighten up here, something feels out of control around me.
If I’m in a negotiation and I’m starting to feel that way, the next thing I would do is take that breath and I would take that moment. When we’re anxious, the mind goes. If I recognize that I’m not holding on to everything that’s going, I can’t keep it, I’m going to take a moment and ground myself. Now I’m back. It’s reconnecting. My brain’s gone away. I’m going to bring it back. I’m going to come back into my heart and my feet. I’m going to take the permission that I’m going to give myself, “I don’t have to be like this.” The other piece of that is the more you practice what I’m talking about, the more your level of presence is calming to other people.
The last little story. I had a client who was highly anxious. Young man, very handsome, very smart. He would walk in. He would put the tape recorder down on my desk and he would say, “Could I tape our sessions?” I said, “Of course, you can. They’re your sessions.” He comes in one day and he brings his tape recorder and he slams it down my desk. Not a very nice thing. He said, “I don’t know what you do to me, but I walk in here and I’m really anxious. I walk out and I’m really calm. I cannot find it on the tape.” I said, “What I do is I work on myself.” The more you work on yourself, the calmer you are in any position of leadership, people will want to hang around you.
You said the first tip was figure out what’s within your control and out of your control. What was the second piece?
Take a breath.
I do know that as I get older, I always go back to, “Can I control this?” That’s part of my process with my son. It’s like, he’s already decided. He’s moving in with his girlfriend, doing all this stuff. Part of it was, “All I can say is I love you. I support you. I hope you’re happy. Obviously, I’m going to be here, but it’s out of my control.” I have to let him go. It’s the same business. What can you control, and then what can you do about it? A lot of it is the mind body. Those are fantastic tips. I’m sad that our time is over because we have had a great conversation. I actually think I’ve gotten some therapy with you, Tina.
Good. That’s wonderful.
This has been fantastic. You are doing fantastic work. By the way, how much are you charging for your course?
That is a fantastic price. Thank you so much. That’s very generous because with everything that you cover there, I know courses are a lot more than that. That’s a perfect price point. I thank you for all of your wisdom and knowledge that you have shared with us. I need to send Joie Seldon a thank you because she was the one that connected us. I’m so glad that she did because this was fantastic. I’m going to let you provide any final words to our readers.
I think you can hear my passion around this. The Confident Negotiator has pieces of my larger course, which is Mastery Under Pressure. What we’ve decided to do is to sell it without me. There are different price points if you want me to come and do the coaching. A lot of it speaks for itself and that also is extremely reasonable. It has everything that we’ve talked about. My hope is that you take this information and use it because as you keep moving up your ladder, you’re the leaders. Everything comes from the top. People are doing this work and we’re spreading it to our employees, to our children, and to our spouses. I do believe that this is our little slice of world peace.
I want to say that Joie was the one that I opened the negotiating with because she deals with emotions. We talked a lot about your emotions, and all that. That was the first episode of our negotiating series. This is the perfect way to close this series, and it has been fantastic. Tina, thank you so very much for your time.
Thanks so much, Rosie.
That was the perfect ending to the eight-part series on How to Negotiate in the Corporate World. You could tell that Tina is very passionate on sharing her knowledge and her skills. I hope that this entire series, specifically this conversation, will help you become a better, more confident negotiator, especially in your corporate world.
Tina left us with two tips. Tip number one, which is her go-to, is figure out what’s within your control and what’s out of your control. Obviously, you’re going to be focusing on what’s within your control. Tip number 2 is take a breath. That way, your nervous system calms down a little bit. Being able to be more in control of your emotions takes time. It takes practice, but you will be able to get there with time and practice so that you can master yourself and become a confident negotiator.
A couple of other reminders. Tina does have a course. She’s charging $97. You can go on her website to get that information. For me, this has been a passion project. I will be able to provide you with some documents on my website at a later date. That will encompass a lot of the powerful phrases that I’ve been talking about this whole time.
One of the reasons why I did this series is because I wanted to provide you, the reader, with some powerful phrases that you can incorporate. My whole thing is I help career women articulate their worth with massive confidence, conviction, and clarity. This series was done specifically to provide you with those power phrases that you can use in your negotiating.
Definitely go through my website and look to see how you can get those documents. This has been a great experiment, a great project for me. I hope to do another series like this, maybe on storytelling in a few more episodes. With that, I will leave you with my standard which is, remember to be brave, be bold, and take action.
- Mastery Under Pressure
- Corporate Kickstart course
- Kickstart Your Career
- I’m Ready For My Corner Office
- Believe in Yourself
- Conversation Starters Checklist
- The Productivity Strategies Workbook
- Hidden Brain
- Befriend Your Inner Enemy – TEDx Talk YouTube
About Tina Greenbaum
Tina Greenbaum, M.Ed., LCSW is the Founder and CEO of Mastery Under Pressure, a management coaching program for high-performing executives who need to refine and master their interpersonal and inter-departmental skills. Mastery Under Pressure gives CEOs and senior-level managers the additional professional and personal tools to not only excel but to empower their teams and their associates.