• Mel Butcher

Book Club Guide: Say Less, Get More

Mel Butcher blog post | Say Less, Get More by Fotini Iconomopoulos

Every time I host a book discussion, I'm committed to sharing the facilitation questions I develop. I hope you'll use these to journal learnings for yourself or to host your own book group.

Negotiation is always a topic folks in the business world are interested in. It's important to have resources like this one, written by culturally diverse women, who have different experiences in negotiation processes.

Find out more about Fotini Iconomopoulos and her offerings here. Order a copy of Say Less, Get More here.

  • After reading the author's descriptions of negotiation in every day life, what examples in your own life were you able to recognize?

  • It's easy to recognize that we have fear of various things when we go into a negotiation. How might you use this awareness to better prepare for an upcoming conversation or negotiation?

  • Have you found your "pause" button? Share a time when you used the pause technique in a negotiation (this is not necessarily about money).

  • Why do you think it's important to understand where your negotiation calls on the Competitive to Collaborative spectrum?

  • What was your takeaway(s) from the TTC/Bombardier partnership?

  • What is an example you've witnessed in the past or imagining for the future of "growing the pie?"

  • What does the Dutch proverb, "trust arrives on foot and leaves on horseback," bring to mind for you?

  • Think of a time when you did not feel comfortable opening up in a negotiation. What factors contributed to your feelings? How would you approach the same situation differently if faced with it today?

  • How would you explain 'perceived power'?

  • "Sitting on power without the other party knowing you have it isn't going to change anything between you." - F. Iconomopoulos, Say More, Get Less chapter 5

  • Share a time when you had power that you did not effectively display or use.

  • "Until you act like you deserve to be treated with respect, it's going to be hard to get it..." - F. Iconomopoulos, Say More, Get Less chapter 6

  • Do you recognize a time from your past where you used your behavior to signal to others how you deserve to be treated? What worked well?

  • In Chapter 10, the author shared a powerful story about being underestimated. What did you learn from her cool-headed way of handling this situation.

  • What did you think about her view of people underestimating her as giving her an advantage?

  • "Your interest is your motivation or the purpose you're serving in engaging in the negotiation. It's your objective. The proposal (also called a position) is a path to get there." F. Iconomopoulos, Say More, Get Less chapter 13

  • Share a non-salary example you have seen of an interest and the associated proposal.

  • What did you learn about knowing the other party's interests that was most poignant?

  • In what situation have you utilized the planning document in chapter 17? OR in what situation do you plan to use the planning document?

  • Tell us your thoughts/feelings after reading the two satisfaction scenarios in chapter 18 (you make a purchase, but someone accepted your offer immediately in the first example, versus haggling more in the second).

  • Did the author's explanation of anchoring surprise you? How might you use anchoring to your benefit in a future negotiation?

  • Looking back, can you share a time when it would have been ideal to "hit the pause button" (use hesitation) in a negotiation?

  • Imagine you are in a negotiation for a new position. What items do you put on the list that you value? that the employer values?

  • Discuss (potentially in pairs) a potential negotiation situation that could come up at work or home. Practice together using "If you _, then I _" and give one another candid feedback.

  • The author gave an example of converting a statement (the boss/client will never got for that) into a question (How do you think the boss/client will respond to that?). Share an example in a real negotiation, past or an imagined future) where you can change a statement to an open-ended question.

  • Does anyone in the group have an upcoming negotiation they would like to share with the group? [Encourage any volunteer to share the context of the negotiation, concerns or challenges they have, and initial ideas for moving towards a collaborative outcome.]

And here's a conversation I had with the author, Fotini Iconomopoulos:

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