What is Negotiation?
Negotiation is something we do in many aspects of our lives. At work, in relationships, with family, especially with children, and even ourselves. When you tell your child “no,” it can seem like it ends up in a war of tit for tat. There are times when your child might be negotiating around you to get what they want. Ideally, they should be negotiating with you, so you both get something out of the result, and the child doesn’t think they’ve “won.”
Negotiations in work tend to involve a contract at the end or a verbal agreement. Within a work setting, you could negotiate a salary, leave of absence, terms of separation, or a more flexible working schedule.
When you negotiate in a relationship, you both need to be present and engaged in the conversation. Negotiation is different from persuasion, and you need to ensure that you don’t try to persuade the other party. You could negotiate about who does the laundry, washing up, takes the dogs out, puts the children to bed. It’s all-important things that build your relationship even more so.
It’s about reaching a compromise in which two people can both feel good about the outcome. This is termed a “win-win,” and it is essential to find common ground where both parties feel successful and maintain the agreement without the need for further argument.
Do The Groundwork
Be clear about what you want and what you will do to get it what you are willing to do to get it. Put yourself in the shoes of the person you are dealing with and picture what they want and what they will do to get it. However, it would help if you also decided what you will not do or concede and at what point you will walk away, which can always be a difficult situation.
This is also the perfect opportunity for you to plan how you’re going to begin the conversation and how you’d ideally like the negotiating to go. List the points you will make and predict the issues the other party will possibly make.
Do the Research and Ask Questions
The more clarity you get, the better the chance of success. It is always helpful to make notes during discussions, so you have points to put forward if there is ever an extension. You could think of questions such as, “Is it the lowest price?” “Is it reliable?” “How does it compare to the competition?” “What are the benefits for the other person?”. “How soon can we move forward?” “Can you offer anything more or better than the competition?”
If you’re willing to question, then you’ll gain more information, and you’ll be seen to be fully engaged in conversation. Without questions, we wouldn’t have clear data to move forward.
Successful negotiation is all about communication. Explain in clear and concise terms precisely what you want. Then listen carefully and with complete attention to their responses to ensure you understand them. Listen more than you talk, and don’t be afraid of long pauses in the conversation and feel you have to jump in and fill the silence. If you’re speaking clearly and with formality, others included in the negotiation will see that you mean business.
Without a willingness to reach an agreement, you will not get one. If both parties genuinely want a deal, it will happen, which involves working together to make it happen. Without this sense of teamwork, one side will get frustrated and leave if they feel you are working against them rather than with them. If it seems to be going wrong, don’t take it personally but stay professional and understand their behavior.
You ultimately want a win-win outcome, although this isn’t always possible. There will need to be a point of making suggestions of alternative strategies and compromises, leading to more significant benefit for all parties.
Do you trust that the other person wants the agreement to happen? Do they feel the same about you? If so, then proceed with confidence. If not, try and establish some common ground as a starting point.
It is essential to build trust when negotiating, whether you’re resolving conflict, selling, or buying. Although it is hard to trust a situation or person who has previously let you down, so this can take even more time to condition the circumstance.
Problem-solving is a crucial skill when negotiating. There will be challenges and difficulties to face, but this skill will help find a solution. Most challenges that we’re faced with have an answer. It just takes some problem-solving skills to find that solution and work through it effectively.
With problem-solving comes a show of open-mindedness to different prospects; this increases the chances of getting to a mutually acceptable solution.
Problem-solving within the workplace and in relationships can be:
– Active listening
– Team building
– Decision making
The ability to decide will help you conclude the deal, so everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. When you have all of your must-have boxes checked, and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to finalize it. If you’re able to take the time to make power decisions with others, this will help in you getting to the finish line together and at a faster face.
It is a critical skill to negotiate through our lives, and we learn to realize how important it is. Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every workplace relationship and your personal life.
Find Your Negotiating Goals
There are many negotiating goals that you could put in place. They are essential to keep you on task.
Some negotiating goals you could attach yourself to are:
Determine your opponent’s goals: It’s always worth knowing your opponent’s plans, too. This will make it easier to find common ground and have a win-win outcome. If it isn’t possible, you’ll have a better sense of the opponents’ desired result.
Be smart: Not only smart but SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. If you have goals to aim for, you’ll know which steps to take to achieve them.
Tangible vs. Intangible: Tangible goals are where negotiations begin, and the SMART goal framework determines them. This will keep full focus on what the business needs.
Prioritize your objectives: There is usually more than one objective when it comes to negotiations. You may find that one negotiation is to decrease individual costs but increase responsiveness, although you might care less about specific payment terms.
Building motivation for yourself and your teammates entices your workers to be the best version of themselves when they come into work. If you’re motivated, it will more than likely rub off onto them, which is excellent! There is nothing better than having a motivated and passionate boss about their work and their environment.
This isn’t to say you have to agree with everything someone says. You are entitled to disagree but coming to an ultimate agreement is the main goal. Especially if it’s a win-win situation, it should be the same on the opponent’s side too. If you’re both agreeing on something, then this is progress.