Negotiating isn’t something that is done solely in an office or boardroom. Most people negotiate throughout their day at home and work without really being conscious of it. 

The new book, “Overcoming Your NegotiaPhobia: Negotiating Your Way Through Life,” written by Larry Waldman and Cary Silverstein, looks at these real-life situations where negotiating comes into play. 

“We deal with our children and do we think of it as negotiating? Not really, but it is,” said Waldman, a clinical psychologist who has practiced in the Valley for almost 40 years. “Certainly, when our kids become teenagers we definitely have to do more negotiating, if you will, as opposed to dictating. And then when our children become adults, it’s 100 percent negotiating. Carrying that forward there is dealing with our elderly parents, which many boomers are dealing with.”  

For example, something as simple but as important as car keys can be a multi-generational flashpoint. As a parent, you negotiate driving privileges with teenaged children. As an adult child, you negotiate with aging parents on when it’s time for them to give up driving. 

“Overcoming Your NegotiaPhobia” offers recommendations on how to be prepared to negotiate through various kinds of situations involving family, business and the workplace. The book has chapters on negotiating a salary, dealing with your teenagers, gender-related issues, aging parents, health care issues, business negotiations, marriage and divorce, and the boomerang generation, among many others.

 “I’d say it’s a self-help book but also a guide to communications and relationships and negotiating your way through your life,” said Silverstein, who has taught marketing and organizational behavior at the graduate level for almost 30 years and lives in Milwaukee and Scottsdale. “I’ve always taught that negotiation is 80 percent preparation and 20 percent execution.”

Gathering information and offering alternatives are two important aspects of a successful negotiation, whether it be (delete) dealing with vendors for a business, buying a car or end-of-life planning.

“The primary message of this book is to have these discussions early on,” Waldman said.

For both authors, the book is a use-as-needed instrument rather than a straight read-through.

“This is a very big tool box for people to pick-and-choose tools for whatever they need,” Silverstein said. “I think there is something in this for everybody. I think this is a book you will pick up from time to time throughout your life as you run into certain situations that match the book.”

“Overcoming Your NegotiaPhobia” is itself an example of successful negotiations. This is Silverstein’s first book and Waldman’s sixth, but the first in which he had a co-author. The two met through their wives and first worked together when Silverstein helped to edit Waldman’s last book, “The Graduate Course You Never Had,” which explains how health care practitioners can run their practices more effectively using business principles.

Silverstein said he initiated the idea for “Overcoming Your NegotiaPhobia” and approached Waldman about writing the personal relationship aspects of the book while he dealt with the business end.

“Certain chapters were largely his or largely mine, but once they were finished we would send them to each other and give suggestions and make edits,” Waldman said. “The process went smoothly.”

Silverstein said he also sent out draft chapters to professionals in the area to get their input. He sent the chapter on marriage to his rabbi and to a friend’s wife who sits on the parish council of a Roman Catholic church in Milwaukee to get different faith perspectives on the topic. 

He admitted that after years of editing other people’s work it was difficult to see his own writing edited.

“This process has taken 18 months,” Silverstein said. “It was like a pregnancy; happy in the beginning, then I’d been carrying around all this extra weight for months, and then the labor, which was the editing process and probably the most painful.”

“Overcoming Your NegotiaPhobia” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, $16 paperback) can be purchased on Both authors are scheduled to speak at LimmudAZ on Feb. 12, 2017.  Janet Perez is a freelance writer based in Phoenix.


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