Negotiating for balance


Tired – overworked – emotionally and physically drained?  Are your aging parents challenged, or is your young child ill?  Is your partner out of work, or overworked? If any of these scenarios describe you, you may be in need of balance. If you know your skills, abilities, and performance record are strong and valued, you have a solid footing for negotiating flexible work arrangements.

What is negotiation? Practically, it’s making the other person an offer or proposal that he or she may find more attractive than the next best alternative. Some consider negotiation to be the art of making deals. It is certainly that, but it also involves educating the other party about merits of your offer or proposal or talents, skills, and actual and potential contributions. Negotiation is a key component of creating workplace balance and thus avoiding burnout. To negotiate successfully, you must do some advance planning. The process is simple, but each step is critical to the outcome.

  1. Be prepared. Follow the tips and understand the rationale; know what you want and understand what the other party wants.
  2. Open with your case; this demonstrates confidence. Then, listen actively.
  3. Support your case with facts.
  4. Explore areas of agreement and disagreement, and seek understanding and possibilities.
  5. Indicate your readiness to work together.
  6. Know your options.
  7. Advance to closure by confirming the details.
  8. Make it happen!
Tip Rationale
Know what you are willing to accept and be honest about your requirements You will be empowered in support of your interests.

Your listener will recognize your confidence level.

Do not disclose what you are willing to accept in terms of salary or conditions.  Have a deal-breaker in mind, i.e., lack of flexibility in hours. This will compromise your negotiating power.
Determine what the other party is willing to accept. It is better to know the alternatives up-front than to second-guess.
Be an active listener, like a student. Assume there are things about the situation that you don’t understand.

Let the other party know that you have heard and understood what has been said.

Make the art of negotiation your key to balance!


What is your follow-up plan?

I recently had the privilege of presenting “The Fortune is in the Follow-Up” to attendees at the National Nurses in Business Association annual convention in Las Vegas.  Participants included nurse business owners as well as aspiring business owners, and each of them collected cards, names, and contacts.  imagesuzntzxmc

Chances are that you, too, make contacts at various professional meetings.  Chances are that they are stacked on your desk, or in a basket, awaiting some sort of follow-up.

How would you like to capture repeat and referral business?  From calling on former customers to checking in on new leads, it’s critical to stay in touch with people on a regular basis.  Yes, there are ways to keep in touch without becoming a pest, or that dreaded caller.  Weinstein started to build her speaking fortune when she realized the value of the follow-up.  Did you know that the simple act of following up and consistently staying in touch with clients, prospects and referral sources will improve sales performance, increase client retention and create loyalty?  In my session, I identified why we struggle with your follow-up practices and how to develop strategies to improve follow-up right now. The fortune is in the follow-up; it’s high time to learn how to reap those rewards! To learn more, contact me via twitter or email (@bisforbalance)

What’s your balancing act?

Surely, America’s Got Talent; so too does Britain!  From the Fifth Generation Hand Balancer on One Finger, to the Balancing Daredevil, to my own National Speakers Association colleagues known as The Passing Zone…we have seen it all, haven’t we? imagesu62xnhj2

Life is a balancing act…the ability to juggle responsibilities, money, time and perhaps time for ourselves.

Think about your own life, and your balancing act! What must you juggle each and every day to reach your goals, realize your dreams, and live your life? 

How is your day going so far?

“I arise in the morning torn between the desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”  E.B.White

How is your day going so far?  Are you improving the world, or are you enjoying it?  Perhaps you are able to juggle well and do both, and then again, perhaps not!  We all know that life gets in the way, and we all know that we need balance.  From the mailroom to the boardroom, we all need balance, and we need it sooner rather than later. When you think about your busy day…exactly how busy is it?

We all have a ‘to do’ list, but do we have a ‘must do’ list?  I advise concentrating on the ‘must do’ list and recognizing that we must focus on balance and on what can be done.  After all, each of us has the same number of hours in a day.


The Team

Football, soccer, baseball, lacrosse – they are all team sports, and they all involve teamwork.  If you are a part of a team, or if you are leading that team, but you function like The Lone Ranger rather than The Brady Bunch, the team will suffer, and so too will the outcomes. A business team can achieve far more than the sum of the individual skills alone.  How and why?

  • They can generate a wider range of ideas
  • They are self-motivated
  • They can brainstorm
  • They often take more risks than individuals
  • They have a range of personalities and styles such as workers, thinkers, leaders who contribute the right balance of skills necessary to achieve high performance
  • They support each other
  • They provide mentoring

Think about the high performing teams with which you have worked and identify the aspects of teamwork that is, or was, most beneficial.

Finding Focus

Concentrate by being present in the moment. During your next call or meeting, think about the individual with whom you are meeting and what he/she is saying, not about what you need to do next. imagesCA3OEHQV

Track Your Time

Do you often find yourself at the end of the day wondering where the time went? Consider tracking how long it takes you to do routine tasks so that you can better plan your time.


So, how is your day going so far?  Are you ready for balance?  Reflect on these thoughts, and experience balance firsthand!

  • No one knows you better than you; work that to your advantage
  • Become a master of efficiency
  • Identify those areas of life most important for your well-being
  • Know your limits and empower yourself to balance


About the Author of B is for Balance, 2nd edition:

Sharon is an energetic, motivating and highly skilled speaker who educates others, enriches their lives, and empowers them to achieve balance in their own lives.

Sharon draws on her own life experiences to help others gain control of their life purpose.  Sharon is Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing and a member of the Kaplan University School of Nursing Advisory Board.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Wellness and the American Academy of Nursing.

Work-Life Balance is not just what she does – it is clearly who she is!

Sharon is a member of the National Speakers Association.