Successful negotiation—as well as the communication skills on which it is based—is an essential skill for everyone. Trying to influence someone’s behaviour or co-operate with them are just two of the numerous forms of negotiation we encounter every day. Yet many people feel uncomfortable with the confrontational nature of negotiation (it doesn’t have to be like that). Others are unsure of how much leverage they have, and how to gain more.

I train people in simple, effective strategies to communicate and negotiate better.

I share what I have learned as a trained mediator, as well as over 15 years of negotiating my own contracts and working condition as a freelance pianist.


Workshop description:

Most people are unaware of how our Fight or Flight response handicaps us almost every time we try to solve an important or emotionally charged problem. For example, have you ever raised your voice in a heated discussion with someone you love or respect? This is a sign that your physiology has hijacked your good intentions.

We will begin the workshop by studying this handicap. Having identified why many negotiations are so difficult, we will study simple ideas from leading scientists, Harvard professors, and hostage negotiators that will improve participants’ ability to create leverage and negotiate in any circumstances. Topic covered include:

  • What questions you need to ask yourself before you begin negotiating

  • How you may be encouraging the other side to engage in unproductive negotiation

  • How to improve your relationship with the other side and produce better results for both parties

  • Techniques to uncover the real obstacles to reaching an agreement


At this point participants will be well prepared to craft a proposal that their negotiation counterparts are willing to consider.

Each workshop module begins with a true story illustrating the main ideas, then explores the ideas in more detail to arrive at a few actionable points. The module concludes with a group activity allowing participants to delve into the details and apply what they have learned. At the end of the workshop, I will provide a variety of resources for those interested in learning more.


Time: 3.5 hours