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Negotiation and Creativity: How They Actually Go Together

Negotiation and creativity – have you ever put those two words together?

Most people probably don’t think of negotiation as a creative process. But it is. That’s the hidden beauty of negotiation. 

If you think of business as an art form, you can probably see the parallels within negotiation. If you don’t that’s okay. You are likely not obsessed with business and negotiation and that is just a fine way to live. 

But stick with me in this creative process for a moment because understanding negotiation as a creative process could actually help you in your negotiation 

negotiation and creativity

Negotiation Gives You Options

Seeing negotiation as a creative process gives you options. Being able to view it as an opportunity will give you a broad perspective of the process.

Negotiation Is An Opportunity 

If you simply view it as a forced requirement that will be a painstakingly brutal process, you are already closing the door on all the possibilities of the situation. Many who negotiate are often surprised by how well it goes and remark that it went much better than they thought. 

Having a mindset that negotiation is an opportunity can open your mind to the possibilities that come with negotiating. Possibilities allow for options and that’s exactly what negotiating does – it gives you options and allows you to set boundaries that you want.

Negotiate On Your Schedule

First, there are so many different times and situations you can negotiate. The times and situations you can negotiate are fabulously flexible.

Situations when you can negotiate:

  • When you get an offer
  • When you get a raise
  • When you have a huge success at work
  • When you get a new position
  • When inflation is super high
  • If you have taken on a lot more responsibilities
  • If your role has changed
  • If your role has changed from its description

*not an exhaustive list

Part of the reason negotiation and creativity go together is because of all the situations you can negotiate. Use these situations to your advantage.

negotiation and creativity

Potential Outcomes

Once you internalize negotiation and the experience as a creative opportunity, you can start to see that it has many different paths and potential outcomes.

Negotiation is typically not a process that receives solely a yes or no response. As easy as it is to create this narrative in our minds, it is usually much more complex.

Negotiation is a give and take conversation. It is an opportunity to express wants and needs while also painting a picture of value added. It is a process that assesses many factors and items and has a many different paths, possibilities and outcomes.

Negotiation and Creativity Create Many Paths

That’s what makes negotiation such a dynamic process. There is not just one path, there are many. Arguably an unlimited amount with a similar number of outcomes. 

The path may not always be easy, either. Creativity is not an easy process and negotiation is not, either. That’s also what is appealing about the process. If there is no difficulty, there is likely no glory or triumph afterwards. 

Hearing No Can Be Part of the Creative Process

One of the paths of negotiating could be that you get a hurdle and you hear a no. If you don’t believe that negotiation is a creative process, then you may think that this is the end. But those who know, know that “no” is exactly where negotiation and creativity align. 

Think of all the ways you could hear no: 

  • We don’t have any funds left
  • The budget is tight
  • Inflation is high
  • We’re understaffed
  • The supply chain is unpredictable
  • Maybe next year

*not an exhaustive list

And this is the exact point in the creative process where you decide what to do. Will you fold and leave or will you continue on the path? Negotiation and creativity go together, so turn the no you hear into a creative possibility.

If you hear no, check out this post to know what to do because negotiation and creativity go together: They Might Say No: How to Respond and Pivot

So Many Items to Creatively Negotiation

Another way negotiation and creativity go hand in hand is in the items you can negotiate. It’s not simply pay. It goes much further than your wage or salary.

When thinking of the items you can negotiate, get creative! If you can imagine it, you can probably negotiate it. 

Personalize it. Think about what would make YOU happy. So often we settle for what we think we’re supposed to settle for… but that’s not the point. The point is to get what will make you happy. So get knowledgeable about what that is for you with a little bit of self reflection. 

The list of what you can negotiate is always growing! That’s what’s so exciting about negotiation. It’s always evolving and new items are being added all the time to best fit the needs of the negotiator. 

So many items that are available today to negotiate weren’t even a thing before. 

Things like: 

  • Flexible hours
  • Remote work. 
  • 4 day work week

Keep adding to that list. So often we’re afraid of rocking the boat or hearing no when really, a (very) small wave is all that will take place, and then it’ll pass on by. 

If you remember that negotiation and creativity go together, you will know that there’s so much you can negotiate and you can personalize it to suit your needs.

Here are a few more items you can negotiate: 

  • Signing bonus
  • Company equity / stocks
  • Flexible work schedule
  • More PTO
  • Unlimited PTO
  • 4 day work week
  • Commision rates
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Commuting stipend
  • Family leave
  • Severance pay
  • Tech for work
  • Internet reimbursement
  • Leadership development
  • Position change
  • Title change
  • Start date

*not an exhaustive list

Check out the full guide here for 35+ items you can negotiate

If this list doesn’t get you excited about how negotiation is a creative process that you can modify to suit your needs, then think of something you want and then work out a plan to negotiate that. 

If you can imagine it, you can probably negotiate it. Negotiation is a creative process that can turn into a lifestyle.

negotiation is a lifestyle

Authentically Showing Up As a Creative Process

Authentically show up and ask for what will make you happy. Advocate for what you want. It’s hard to turn down someone who adds value, is authentic, and honest. 

So decide what best suits your needs, authentically ask and be open to the possibilities of the process. 

Negotiation and Creativity Go Together

There are so many possibilities in negotiation. Negotiation and creativity absolutely go together.

Go through these steps to make negotiation a creative process for you:

  1. See negotiation as an opportunity that has many different possibilities, paths and outcomes
  2. Make a list of all the items you can negotiate
  3. Decide which items are important to you
  4. Authentically show up to creatively negotiate

Now, go out and creatively negotiate!

negotiation and creativity

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Disclaimer: While the contents of this post and blog come from research and personal experience, each experience, situation and/or person has their own unique circumstances. This is not negotiation, financial or any other form of legitimate or official advice from an expert. Each individual should do their own independent, comprehensive research. Negotiation, career and all other decisions are the sole responsibility of each individual or party. Details found on the blog and in individual posts are opinions and should be treated as such for entertainment purposes only. Read further disclaimer information on the Disclaimer page.

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