I admit it. When it comes to negotiating—anything—I always lapse into a temporary panic. Words like adversarial, nerve-wracking and intimidating leap to mind.
However, when I met Rhonda Noordyk and was a guest on her podcast, Divorce Conversations for Women, my whole attitude changed. A former financial advisor, Rhonda left the industry in 2014 to become a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She created The Woman’s Financial Wellness Center, devoted to ensuring women achieve financial justice in a divorce.
I was instantly impressed with Rhonda’s sunny disposition and her razor-sharp intelligence, so I invited her to speak to my online community, The Wealth Connection.
She completely transformed my view of negotiation by introducing the acronym, ANOT.
“It’s a very powerful acronym,” Rhonda explained. “Our clients have had 100% success rate with it. In fact, it’s great for all kinds of communications, even emails.”
Whether you are negotiating a raise, a real estate deal or a divorce settlement, here’s how ANOT works:
‘A’ stands for Acknowledge. You begin negotiating by expressing gratitude, thanking the other person for, say, their time in meeting with you or their efforts in putting together a proposal.
‘N’ stands for Naturally. Next you state what you are thinking or feeling. “Naturally, I’m a bit emotional,” or “Naturally, I’m in unchartered territory,” or “Naturally, I want to make sure I stay within budget.”
‘O’ stands for Obviously. Here you say what they may be thinking or feeling. “Obviously, you’re very busy and have limited time,” or “Obviously you want to be fairly compensated,” or “Obviously, you need to understand both sides.”
‘T’ stands for The Ask. Finally, you ask for what you want. “Would you accept X dollars,” or “Would you be willing to let me move in sooner,” or “Could you send me a monthly statement instead of quarterly.”
In my mind, ANOT provides a loving, gentle but powerful script for dissolving fear and bolstering confidence in negotiating almost anything.
Beginning with gratitude, immediately minimizes the other person’s resistance or defensiveness…along with yours.
Then, giving voice to what you’re thinking and what they may be thinking, adds vulnerability and empathy to the mix.
By the time you ask for what you want, you’ve set up a benevolent tone of transparency and partnership.
I’d love to hear about a successful negotiation you had…what worked for you…and what didn’t? Leave me a comment below.