NEGOTIATING BASICS WITH MARK HUDSPETH

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND BENCH PRESS PEOPLE

I used to be like you: timid, lacking in confidence, certain Central Arkansas was the highest I'd ever go. Now I'm making nearly a million bucks a year coaching one of the best teams in the Sun Belt. Did I get there by succeeding on the field? Sure. But my real secret was succeeding at the negotiating table.

Maybe you want a raise, or a promotion, or more autonomy in your workplace. The goal isn't important. The approach is. With my five step process, you're going to flip the balance of power and have your boss on his ass while you score an easy business touchdown.

STEP 1: Home Field Advantage

Don't negotiate on someone else's turf or at a neutral site. Make them come to your house and do business in the conditions you set. For me, that's my personal home gym, The Catacombs. It's a fallout shelter I converted into the ultimate fat wrecking workshop. Oh, you want to show me comparable coach salaries on an Excel chart you worked up? THE CATACOMBS DOESN'T HAVE AN OUTLET BECAUSE THE ONLY TRUE POWER IS WITHIN YOU.

STEP 2: Don't Acknowledge A Bad Offer

You want a four year extension. They're offering two. You want an extra $200,000 for yourself and $300,000 more for your assistants. They're offering $50k and zero.

Stay calm. Deadlift four hundred pounds. Do two hundred pushups. Do three hundred pullups. Count them out. Loudly. You're not going to lowball yourself, and neither is your boss.

STEP 3: Hydrate

There is no A/C in The Catacombs, and the door locks on a timer that only opens every eight hours. We're gonna be here for a while.

STEP 4: Identify Easy Concessions

The best negotiation is one where both parties walk away feeling like they won, so find points that don't matter as much to you and, when the time is right, offer them in trade for the ones that do. I'll give up my athletic department-provided car and membership at the local country club, since I'd rather bullride for my commute and the golf pro keeps accusing me of throwing carts in the pond on Hole 12. I know damn well they don't have video of that.

STEP 5: Take Time To Heal

Things may have gotten heated (The Catacombs get downright brutal in the summer months), but you still have to work with your negotiating adversary going forward. Tell them they did a great job in the deciding squat-off, even though that form was laughably bad. Looked like a constipated tyrannosaur trying to ski down a mountain.

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