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Women in Business – How Nicole Soames made it

Nicole Soames shares some of her top tips for launching your own business, with insights into her greatest strengths, fears and inspirations in business.

Tell us what you do

I am a highly qualified coach and EQ practitioner with extensive commercial experience gained from twelve years leveraging large sales teams for Unilever and United Biscuits, followed by thirteen years developing and delivering training programmes across the globe. In 2009, I founded Diadem Performance – a leading commercial skills training and coaching company. We help people become commercial athletes in negotiation, selling, marketing, presenting, leadership and management.

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Our very first ‘Evening with LID Authors’ event last night at BDG Architecture and Design Studios brought together, Emma Serlin, author of ‘The Connection Book’ and Founder of London Speech Workshop and Nicole Soames, author of ‘The Negotiation Book’  and Founder of Diadem Performance for a fruitful conversation on their subjects. The event covered a variety of topics from Brexit negotiations to communicating and connecting with a tricky boss.

Here are 10 key takeaways from the evening:

1) ‘If you want to interrupt when someone is speaking, say something positive.’ Emma

2) ‘People aren’t handling Brexit negotiations in the right way.’ Nicole

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4 secrets to successful internal negotiations

Nicole Soames, Founder and CEO of Diadem Performance and author of the upcoming ‘The Negotiation Book- Practical Steps to Become a Master Negotiator‘ shared with us key insights to carry out successful internal negotiations.

Whenever I deliver our Master Negotiator Workshop I always ask the delegates to tell me when they have found negotiating particularly tricky. Invariably some of the most taxing examples have occurred during internal negotiations.

Whether you’re asking for a payrise, a deadline extension or extra resources for your project – negotiating with your colleagues can be far more difficult than negotiating with suppliers and customers because of the relationships and emotions involved.

So how do you make sure you have a level playing field when you negotiate with your manager? Based on years of experience from my training and commercial background, here are my 4 secrets to help you become a true commercial athlete in negotiation.

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1) Balance The Playing Field

The biggest danger when negotiating internally is coming to the negotiating table on the back foot because you are focusing too much on the existing relationship. You need to avoid adopting a parent/child relationship and instead keep the negotiations on a balanced playing field. Your knowledge of the other person can help you with this, so use it to your own advantage. As you already work together, you should be able to read their body language and get a clearer understanding of what makes them tick. Use your emotional intelligence to negotiate effectively.

2) Plan Ahead

Remember, as I regularly tell my clients, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail! Preparation is just as important in internal negotiations as it is when you’re negotiating a large contract with a customer. Make sure you write down the list of the things you think both people want to achieve and take the time to think of their potential challenges. If possible practise delivering out loud – it will help you keep your emotions in check and allow you to hone your delivery style.

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5 Things you should never say when you are negotiating

Nicole Soames, author of the upcoming Concise Advice title, The Negotiation Book, shared with us her tips for what not to say when negotiating.

We all know what it’s like when you’re caught up in the middle of negotiating a big deal. The pressure and frustration can build and before you know it the best laid plans can go awry. Negotiation best practice flies out of the window and you hear yourself utter the fateful words, “And that’s my final offer” when you know full well that it’s not.

I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the years, developing their negotiating skills and unlocking their confidence so they can negotiate successfully. But as well as highlighting the positive steps you need to take, I also look at the ways it can easily go wrong.

So, based on my years of experience building commercial athletes, here are the top 5 things you should NEVER say when you’re negotiating.

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