009 Critical Negotiation Skills For New Leaders with guest David Dingwall

Don’t be afraid to give positive feedback. People are desperate to get feedback, even when it’s negative. – David C. Dingwall


Welcome to The New Leader Podcast! Today on the show you will learn the three fundamental ways to better negotiation. My guest is David Dingwall – a legitimate heavy-hitter in this space, and he has the resume to back it up.

As a lawyer, David was elected to the House of Commons in 1980, at the age of 27. In the mid-90s, he was a cabinet minister under Jean Chrétien, and held various portfolios including the Administer of Public Works and the Administer of Health.

Currently, David is President and Vice Chancellor of Cape Breton University. He holds Commerce and Law degrees from Dalhousie University, has studied Corporate Governance at Harvard Law School, and is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors through the Rotman School of Management at University of Toronto.

I’m really pumped about this episode and I hope you get a ton of value.

As always, don’t forget to rate us on iTunes!

David Dingwall QuoteHow to become a better negotiator

The big aspect of being a negotiator is your own individual preparation. I have found, time and time again, in law, in university, in the private sector, in nonprofit organizations, is that the person/s who are on the negotiating team leave it to the last minute and think that they can proceed in an orderly fashion by not giving it much time.

So I urge my clients and others to take a lot of time and prepare yourself accordingly. There’s no detail which is too small – whether that be on your subject matter expertise, whether it be on your request, whether that be framing your ask, or whether it’s the mechanics and the logistics of the actual negotiation itself.

Preparation, preparation.

Walk away from a bad deal

I’ve sat down with individuals, big organizations, small organizations, and had to conclude that there’s just not going to be an arrangement here.

These people are so far apart, the relationship is not there, they don’t care about the relationship, and that it’s in everybody’s best interest to say, “Thank you very much. I understand your position, but I’m afraid that we’re not going to be able to conclude an arrangement today.”

You’ll be surprised how that turns the other party.


Up, down, or across?

If you’re in an organization, are you negotiating up? Are you negotiating down? Or is it across?

The dynamics are very, very different.

If you’re dealing with a superior, you need to be much more prudent. You should be prudent at everything, but much more prudent in terms of how you handle yourself and how you frame the different issues that you want to have resolved.

I tell my clients, “Write what your options are before you even sit down with the other side.”

You just can’t sit at a negotiating table, whether it’s up, down or across, and have no justification for what you’re trying to say.


Links and Resources

Connect with David: LinkedIn


Negotiating So Everyone Wins by David C. Dingwall