(CBS Local)– Negotiation is an essential skill in both personal and professional relationships.

Some people are great negotiators and others are not and that’s why Alexandra Carter’s new book from Simon & Schuster called “Ask for More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything” is a must read for everyone.

Carter is a professor at Columbia University Law School in New York and is a mediation expert. She is a world-renowned negotiation trainer for the United Nations and she has worked with some of the most powerful diplomats in the world.

“I realized by the time I got to people that their business partnerships or personal relationships were pretty far gone,” said Carter in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I really wanted to find a way that I could give people tools to negotiate better before they got to that point. When they could use them to achieve their personal goals and also create much better deals for themselves. I wanted to teach other nice folks how they could advocate for themselves too.”

The Columbia University Law School professor says most people get caught up in what she calls a negotiation one car accident. Carter believes in these situations that individuals become their own worst enemies.

“They get tangled up in their own brain and they have trouble standing on their own priorities, making priorities, or have trouble with knowing what to say in the moment,” said Carter. “They get in and they kind of go blank. That’s because they haven’t known the right way to prepare or the questions to ask themselves, so they can be clear and confident when they go into any situation.”

In her book, Carter uses mistakes in her own career and life when she failed to implement the strategies she discusses.

“I realized it when I failed to prepare myself. One of the things that led me to write Ask For More was my first salary negotiation. It wasn’t until my 30’s that I actually had to negotiate for myself. I went in with my power suit and I said alright, I’m going to do this. They came in above. I kept my face neutral and said thank you so much. I didn’t know what to do and I called a senior woman in the field. I asked for some advice and she said ‘you’re going to go in and you’re going to ask for more.’ She said when you teach someone how to value you, you teach them how to value all of us. She said if you’re not going to do it for yourself, do it for the woman or person who is coming up behind you.”

Carter’s book is available now wherever books are sold and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.

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