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If you’re a compassionate, sensitive, people-pleasing-type person who hates rocking the boat, then the very idea of negotiation is probably nausea-inducing at best, and horrifically impossible at worst. (And even for those of us with thick skin, it’s still awkward as hell!)

A lot of us think, “What’s the point of asking for what I really want if I have to be someone I’m not — pushy, aggressive, selfish, demanding — in order to get it?”

Well, that’s why we asked Devon Smiley to come on the podcast. She’s a Negotiation Consultant (yes, that’s a real job!) with 15 years of experience and $5 billion in contracts negotiated! She’s also a genuinely warm, upbeat person who proves that you don’t have to be an a-hole in order to get what you want.

We asked Devon:

After you’ve listened, leave a comment below to let us know how Devon’s advice landed with you! And if you’ve got an opportunity to implement her strategies in your life, we’d love to hear how you plan to do that.


Devon Smiley is a Negotiation Consultant & Speaker with 15 years of experience with Forbes’ finest and small business alike. She closed $5 billion of commercial contracts as a lead negotiator and brings this experience to organizations, entrepreneurs and founders focused on securing strong commercial results without sacrificing relationships.

Devon’s global consultancy firm works with companies of all sizes, and she contributes as mentor and advisor for programs including Startup Bootcamp FinTech NYC, Startup Canada and the HEC Paris Incubator @ StationF. Her insights on negotiation have been featured in The New York Times, Glamour magazine and The Chicago Tribune.

A strong believer that negotiation benefits more than just the bottom line, Devon is honored to work with pro bono partners including The Clinton Foundation and UN Women to lead negotiation skills training for their teams and communities.

Find her online:

Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @DevonMSmiley


A former recruiter tells all (& helps you get hired) with Emily Liou (September 2018)

Navigating a toxic workplace with Stacy Campesi (February 2019)

Side Chat: Curing your people-pleasing disease (May 2018)


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