What Seasonal Transitions Reveal About Negotiation Success

Source: Jill Burrow / Pexels

It’s that time of the year.. Another season change is upon us, and with it the daily uncertainty of how to dress…and more. Our quarterly dance with simple decisions brought by seasonal transitions offers lessons that could redound to negotiation success.

One of the foundational elements of the art of feminine negotiation system I developed is the A.R.E. F.I.T model—a simple mnemonic representing the key skills needed to get best negotiated outcomes: assertiveness, rapport building, empathy, flexibility, intuition, and trust.

Surprisingly, these skills apply whether navigating season changes or negotiating high-stakes deals. It is worth taking a moment to unpack them.


Most people confuse assertiveness with aggression. Assertiveness comes from confidence. Confidence comes from knowledge. Knowledge comes from preparation. It’s simple really.

Rather than railing at Mother Nature about unexpected elements during season changes (like a major snowfall the day after one swaps snow tires for regular tires), instead do a little preparation. Check the forecasts, consider historical patterns, calculate the pros and cons of early versus late switchover. Ultimately a decision needs to be made, knowing it may work out as planned, but it may not.

This is much like the decision-making process in traditional negotiations. Unexpected elements arise. One can try to bully and bluster through such changes (typically to no avail other than damaging relationships and, with them, outcomes), or one can do the preparation necessary to make informed decisions, remaining open to the potential need to pivot when things move in a different direction.


Introducing oneself to each new season and embracing it allows for a better experience. Bringing curiosity and getting intentional about connecting with it increase enjoyment. Don’t resist each new season, but rather, build a relationship with each new stage offered.

Similarly, in negotiations, avoid treating the other party as the enemy. Avoid thinking of them (or their ideas or proposals) as something to get through in order to impose one’s own will. Being intentional about building rapport will lead to better outcomes, as negotiation is all about relationship and connection.


It is easy to get frustrated with changes each new season brings. Bugs splatting against the windshield or vying for our blood in summers? What if, instead of yielding to irritation, humans imagined the challenges faced by such creatures, struggling to survive their short time on Earth. Better to recognize their contribution to the ecosystem and how everything falls apart without the diversity they offer. Such empathy can increase tolerance and decrease frustration.

Likewise, in negotiations, the key to greater success is truly seeking to understand and meet the needs of the other party. Listen and learn. Consider, embrace and adopt their perspective to broaden one’s own. It will profoundly change the negotiation experience and enhance outcomes.


Be prepared to be flexible during change of seasons. Negotiations are no different. The other party may not act as expected. Positions may change. Either theirs or one’s own situation may shift. It is important to remain flexible and open to new possibilities that may present themselves and to find the golden opportunity in these unexpected shifts.


Sometimes, even with all the preparation in the world, one just needs to tap into one’s intuition. Trusting instincts can be a significant advantage in the heat of negotiations. If one’s Spidey-sense is sending off alarm bells about the trustworthiness of a bargaining counterpart, trust it! Sometimes quick decisions need to be made in negotiations. If so, slowing one’s breathing, closing one’s eyes, and connecting with intuition can save the day.


Nature can seem haphazard, sometimes even cruel. But there is an order to the seeming chaos. Trust it. Respect it. In real-world negotiations, it is also critical to earn trust and respect. Act with integrity. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. Protect one’s reputation. Keep one’s word.

Regardless of what corner of the world one hails from, as we collectively settle in to the changes this summer brings, seek to fully enjoy the experience. Be intentional in each daily negotiation and in each daily navigation of the season changes. That approach positions everyone to negotiate their best life.

Source link

Add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use