The Art and Brain Science of Negotiation

The Art and Brain Science of Negotiation

Do you ever finish a negotiation process and wish you had handled aspects of it differently? Or had better control around aspects of the process? Learn how your brain responds in negotiation and strategies to overcome potential obstacles to achieving success.

Here are the top 10 takeaways from the program “The Art & Brain Science of Negotiation”…many more can be found in the recording! 

1. Preparation is Essential In Negotiation

  • You can’t be successful in negotiating anything unless you prepare 
  • Find out who you will be negotiating with and whether she/he has decision-making authority. 
  • If you’ve had past interactions with them, assess what has worked in the past.  Are they credible, do they scream, change personalities, etc. This may influence your approach (e.g., tougher or easier issues first).
  • Prepare an agenda for every meeting and call.

2. Visualize Your Deal 

  • Create a written note of what is your objective. Keep it in front of you. 
  • Use the visualization technique of yourself after the negotiation is done.  
  • Use all your senses and practice as much as possible before the negotiation.

3. Don’t Procrastinate

  • A lot of high achievers procrastinate which is an emotion not a time management issue.  
  • Research shows: 8 weeks of mindful meditation can reduce the size of your amygdala and you rewire your brain to procrastinate less.

4. Know Your BANTA!  Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement 

  • Know youpriorities so you can determine your best alternative. 
  • There is only one BANTA. What is the one best alternative to the deal you want? 
  • It may be not to take the deal.  
  • Not every negotiation ends in an agreement and walking out is a ploy you can use – but you can’t walk back if they don’t open the door. 

5. Why Women Don’t Like To Negotiate

  • We’re biologically built that way and often socialized to be nurturing caretakersWe don’t want to be in conflict – which always exists in a negotiation. 
  • Have an upbeat fight song (e.g., Black Magic Woman, R.E.S.P.E.C.T.This Girl is on Fire) 
  • Poses to take up space will trigger power 

6. Build Trust

  • First, trust yourself! 
  • If you are like them, they will trust you – this will show unity and agreement 
  • Match your pace, energy, volume style with theirs 

7. Listen

  • Eye contact, repeat what they are saying and transition to your point  
  • Don’t think about what you are saying next, demonstrate curiosity 
  • Practice listening to everyone today

8. Use Silence

  • There is power in a pause and being uncomfortable with silence is okay.   
  • Practice silence: 30 seconds, 1 minute 
  • Be aware of interruptions which are used to control a conversation, or to lose focus on the subject and shift it

9. Confirm Consensus 

  • Recap what is agreed to before you end the meeting 

10. What Matters Most 

  • Building trust is the most important aspect of a negotiation 
  • Know and never compromise your values and non-negotiables 


Own Your Power

At CAP STRAT Women’s Forum, we strongly believe that money is power and women need more of both.  We need to ask for and earn what we are worth so we can achieve the fulfillment and financial freedom we desire!

All it takes is a willingness to step into your power; and if we can help you or your organization make the most of your financial resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

About the Speakers

Laurel Bellows ( ) is the founding principal of The Bellows Law Group. She is a preeminent business lawyer, counseling senior executives and corporations on employment, severance, and change in control agreements, internal investigations, and business disputes.

Laurel currently serves on the Global Board of The International Women’s Forum and is Chair of its Governance Committee. Laurel has received numerous awards and honors, and including annual recognition as a Super Lawyer, Best Lawyer, and Leading Lawyer. As an internationally recognized opinion leader, Laurel speaks globally on topics including leadership, negotiation, supply chain solutions to human trafficking, and executive compensation.

Laura Bellows was the guest speaker of our July Women’s Forum meetup – NEGOTIATING EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION. We learned how to develop an effective game plan when negotiating a compensation package that reflects what we are worth. Click here to see the video and recap from this session.

Dr. Donna Marino ( is a Psychologist and Executive Coach who combines her sharp psychological skills and profound understanding of human behavior with her knowledge of business and leadership to help others in the following ways:

    • Achieve peak performance consistently without burning out
    • Overcome internal obstacles that sabotage results
    • Improve communication, especially around difficult conversations
    • Improve emotional intelligence skills as leaders
    • Create work cultures where people thrive
    • Understand & Improve Diversity and Inclusion practices to maximize everyone’s strengths and talents.

Please let us know if you would like to have a conversation with us. Email the CAP STRAT Women’s Forum with any questions at! Or call us at 630.320.5100.

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