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The Secrets You Don’t Know About Negotiation

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The Secrets You Don’t Know About Negotiation

The Jordan Harbinger Show,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

A single salary negotiation at the beginning of your career could be worth around $500,000 over your lifetime. It’s worth an uncomfortable conversation.

Editorial Rating



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  • Overview
  • Engaging


Archaic advice purports that negotiation is a zero-sum game, and participants must play mind games with their counterparts to gain the upper hand. But negotiations ought to be “incredibly empathetic mutual conversations” whereby all parties reach a satisfactory agreement. Nevertheless, negotiating can be excruciatingly uncomfortable for some, and, like every skill, requires practice. In this episode of the Jordan Harbinger Show podcast, entrepreneur Alex Kouts shares fascinating insights into negotiation. Follow his advice to become more comfortable with rejection and, ultimately, with asking.


In negotiation, as in any skill, hard work matters more than talent.

In the movie Rudy, a diminutive college student realizes his dream to play on the Notre Dame football team, through grueling hard work. Though Rudy doesn’t boast the physique typical of a football player, his efforts pay off. His coach selects him. Rudy makes a successful tackle, and the stadium erupts into cheers.

The Rudy pyramid astutely illustrates the intersection of talent and hard work. At the base of the pyramid are the people with no natural talent who refuse to work hard. These individuals will always be subpar at a given skill. People who have inherent talent but don’t work hard occupy the second level. They perform slightly better than those at the bottom of the pyramid, but not by much. The third level of the pyramid is home to people who, like Rudy, lack natural talent but who are willing to work incredibly hard. People on the third level of the pyramid surpass those on the second in terms of skill. Finally, those with innate talent but who are eager to work hard reside at the apex of the pyramid. You may have no talent for negotiation, but if you’re willing to push...

About the Podcast

Alex Kouts, the founder and CEO of Indigov, teaches a negotiation course on General Assembly, a career development, education and networking platform. Host Jordan Harbinger started his podcast in 2018. He is a professional networking coach and former lawyer.

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