How to be a better negotiator at work– and at home

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NEW YORK–Successful negotiating can mean the difference in business deal or getting your way with your kids.

Elizabeth Clemants has been a court-certified mediator and trainer for 20 years, helping to resolve everything from landlord/tenant disputes to small business conflicts. She says half a dozen tips will have you negotiating like a pro, but not a man.

Think men negotiate better? Actually, women are naturally inclined to reach a fair solution that benefits both sides.

"Lock your position and don't budge," Clemants said. "That's a mistake.  Ask for more and you'll have room to negotiate down. I think that's a mistake. Don't talk to them for a few day and then make them sweat it out that's a mistake."

Cecilia Arana is living the dream, running her own non-profit NYC Kids Project. She's a mother who still has time for her kids, but she nearly lost her job when her non-profit lost its state and city funding.

Arana said she felt nervous about the thought of asking people for money.

"I was always afraid of conflict," Arana said. "I was always afraid of conflict. I would do anything to get around it and that is a disservice to me as an intelligent strong woman."

She knew she needed help at work--and increasingly at home where she felt outmaneuvered with her two boys. The family dynamic was leaving everyone unhappy.

But after taking a negotiating a course, things at home improved.

She credits Clemants, the founder of the Small Business Arbitration Center of New York, who teaches others how to mediate and negotiate. She teaches that women are naturally better negotiators.

"They care a lot about mutual gain," Clemants said. "They want to see the other person win and them too."

She says you can start by listening.

'Very few people take the time to do that to hear what the other person said and reflect back" Clemants said. "And then they'll open the door and soften and be willing to listen to you."

Then follow up with a powerful question.

"What is the most important thing for you?" Clemants asked.

"If you ask that, you will have to stop and take a look at that," she said.

And then its time to state your position, rationally.

All of which builds for a foundation for a business or family relationships.

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