Improve Your Negotiations With The 5 Golden Rules.   LEARN THEM

My 14-year-old daughter has excellent negotiation skills. And that’s a problem, at least now. Of course, I shouldn’t complain. She’s a great kid and very responsible, etc. But she can also be really frustrating.

My friends with older daughters tell me this is a typical “stage” with a 50 percent chance of lasting throughout high school. That doesn’t make me feel much better!

So here are some tips that will help you with teens and others involving: high emotions; long-term relationships; significant stakes and issues; seemingly irrational behavior; age, gender and related power dynamics; control elements; and personality differences.

This is Part One, with the rest next week.

– Keep your long-term goals front-and-center, which includes a healthy, independent, well-adjusted adult able to make excellent life decisions.

– When an outburst occurs, exercise patience, take a break of at least 20 minutes (the minimum for the adrenaline to go down), and don’t immediately act, react or escalate.

– Model the behavior you want your teen to exhibit.

– Focus on your and their short- and long-term interests and needs (why the behavior has occurred), not just their positions (what has happened). Interests might include safety, health, independence, freedom, control, levels of risk, enjoyment, etc.

– Explore the facts and their feelings and deeply listen before imposing substantial consequences (unless you’ve preset those consequences to certain unacceptable behaviors).

– Use open-ended questions and phrases like what happened, how did …, help me understand …, what’s going on, tell me how you feel about …, explain ….

– Keep in mind that some of this behavior may be driven by physiological changes and hormones reducing your teen’s likelihood of making excellent decisions

I have to admit – this is super hard. And I have definitely made mistakes and am still learning, as my daughter (and wife) will attest. But it’s crucial to get this negotiation right in the long-run.

I recently read a great book on what leads to the most fulfilling and satisfying life and long-term happiness, The Good Life: Lessons From the World’s Longest Scientific Study of Happiness. The answer: strong and long-lasting relationships.

These tips, along with next week’s, will help with these core relationships.

Latz’s Lesson: Negotiating with teens can be incredibly challenging – for your teen and for you. These tips will make them better and be mutually beneficial, short- and long-term.

 * Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation, a national negotiation training and consulting company that helps individuals and organizations achieve better results with best practices based on the experts’ research. He can be reached at 480.951.3222 or

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