Here is how I want it

Imagine yourself preparing for difficult negotiations not knowing how you’ll express or defend your position. You already have a hundred scenarios in your head, ninety of which are horrible. What if they perceive my proposal as impudence and turn me away without giving me a chance to discuss the options? What if they get offended by my offer and our relationship goes sour? What if they don’t expect this and expect that? What if... Your brain explodes from trying to think out a “plan” in different cases, and at some point you don’t even know where to start the conversation.

In this case, I have a simple recipe: start with the words “Here is how I want it”.

You don’t know the outcome of the negotiations and you don’t know what the other side has in mind. You can’t make the other side do anything. But you know what you want, and you can say it clearly. It’s okay to want something. The key is to speak in a way that doesn’t make the other party feel pressured or manipulated. You’re just sharing a wish, as if you were sharing an observation about the weather.

Someone struggles to come up with a justification for a salary increase and makes a list of their merits. But sometimes you can just write, “I want to double the salary starting with the next project” and get a “Deal”. Some people spend months wooing or using pick-up tricks to someone they have a crush on. But sometimes you can just write, “I want to go to bed with you”, and get an “I’m in”.