Want to Up your Performance, In Negotiating and in Life?

Take the Advice of Shark Tank’s Daymond John:

Aim Higher to Do Better


What role do expectations play in business success in general, and success at the bargaining table in particular?  The story of Shark Tank’s Daymond John is instructive.

Raised by a single mom in Brooklyn and Queens, and burdened with dyslexia, he overcame significant hurdles to captain a $6b business empire.  He attributes much of his success to his ability to maintain high expectations, especially in the face of adversity.

daymon great negotiating skillsWe at Mobus Creative Negotiating have been researching negotiating skills over the past 30 years, and recently our research has led us to a new path that echoes what Mr John has expressed; namely, that negotiating success is more than just learning a menu of proven techniques.  Even more important is the mindset you have when approaching a negotiation.

The work by behavioral economists confirms the relationship between high expectations and business success. Nobel prize winner Daniel Kahneman in “Thinking Fast and Slow” talks about an “optimism bias,” which he goes so far as to call “the engine of capitalism.”

He notes that people who are naturally optimistic don’t have to be told they’re lucky; they feel that way already.  And that feeling has a real impact on their lives – they get sick less, live longer, and enjoy greater success.

But what are the steps to maintaining high expectations?  Daymond John provides a guide, linking the expectations you have to the targets you set: make them realistic, proceed incrementally, step by step, and then follow up to make sure you’re hitting them.

We find the same approach works well in negotiation, and yet that’s not the approach commonly used.   Too often managers will send people into the negotiation with the vague advice to “do the best you can.”   Our research and experiments indicate that when people set firm targets in advance, they’re much more committed to them during the negotiation, and have a much better chance of achieving the deal they’re after.

From Business Insider, 2/1/16:

The main takeaway he had as a kid, the “Shark Tank” investor writes in his own book, “The Power of Broke,” was to stop telling himself everything he didn’t want to be, and instead focus on what he did want. He sustained this mindset through the practice of regularly writing down and reviewing his goals.

It was simple but profound, John says, and helped give him the drive in his early 20s to turn FUBU from a project with friends into a multimillion-dollar business.

“I would write something down, think about it, visualize it, and work my way toward it.”

To read the Business Insider interview with John’s goal setting tips, follow this link:

Shark Tank’ investor Daymond John Says this Daily Ritual Changed his Life