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The Elegant Warrior with Heather Hansen

Nov 2, 2020

Do you know how to ask for what you want? Negotiating is an art, and my guest today is going to teach us how to ask the right questions to get what we want most. Alexandra Carter is the author of Ask For More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything and I absolutely love the approach she takes to negotiating with yourself and with others. She shares the language you need to use when asking questions to get what you want and highlights the importance of asking for more so that you can pave the way for those who come after you.


Today we discuss —

Negotiations and relationships

  • Negotiation is so much more than haggling over money or demanding that you get your way.
  • Negotiations are conversations in which you are steering your relationships.
  • Effective negotiation requires conversations that teach people how to treat you and how to value you.
  • Generating trust is key to negotiations in relationships.


Negotiations and questions

  • You will get much farther in negotiations with a question than with an argument.
  • 93% of people don’t ask the questions that will get the most out of their negotiations.
  • Asking open questions helps to surface needs, goals, and concerns.
  • “Why” questions convey blame, fact-finding, and backward-looking instead of forward-thinking.


  • “What” questions move from blame to diagnosis and provide more information.


  • How you can move a question from “why” to “what” to make meaningful change.


Negotiating with mirrors

  • Mirrors allow us to see ourselves more fully and more compassionately.
  • Too often we shut ourselves down before we give anyone else a chance to reject us.
  • Our inner jury is always the hardest jury to handle, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
  • Quiet listening can be the key to figuring out how to negotiate most effectively.
  • Ask yourself — what is the problem I want to solve? What do I need? How have I handled this successfully in the past?


Negotiating with windows

  • Ask others — what do you want me to know?
  • Ask others — what do you need? Or what does that look like? Intangible requests cannot easily be negotiated but concrete requests can.
  • Don’t be afraid of a few seconds of silence to help move you forward.
  • Ask others — what is the first step?

Alex’s book recommendation is The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table, by Minda Harts

Alex’s song recommendation is “Woman,” by Kesha


Learn More:

Advocate to Win

The Elegant Warrior Playlist on Spotify

Free One-Hour Consult

Advocate for Yourself 10-Week Course

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Alexandra Carter

Ask For More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything, by Alexandra Carter


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