The Beginner's Guide to Negotiation
You negotiate daily even if you don’t realize it. Whether it’s asking for a raise, choosing a restaurant to meet for lunch, or bargaining with your teenager, you’re a negotiator. Negotiation skills have never been more important. There are fewer good jobs available and conflict around the world is commonplace.
But, while negotiations are common, bargaining effectively doesn’t come easily to most people. Good negotiating skills must be both learned and developed. Experience is necessary.
Most negotiations are ineffective, take far too long, and result in at least one of the parties feeling bitter about the process. Relationships of all types can be permanently harmed by common negotiating practices.
Negotiations can be judged on 3 criteria:
Many negotiations fail if measured by this set of criteria.
You might not be negotiating multi-million dollars deals every week, but you do negotiate each day with those around you. The same concepts still apply. Learn to negotiate effectively, and you’ll get more of what you want and strengthen your relationships at the same time.
Without rapport, communication isn’t happening at the highest level. Those people that everyone seems to like, the people with great charisma, are masters at establishing and maintaining rapport. You don’t have to be born with the gift of gab. The techniques of creating rapport are well-established.
With the proper information and some practice, you can become an expert communicator.
This is the type of bargaining most familiar to the average person. It can occur when haggling over the price of an item at a yard sale or creating a peace treaty between two nations. Each side adopts a position, fights for it, and ultimately makes concessions until an agreement is reached.
In positional bargaining, each party defends a serious of positions as concessions are made.
There are disadvantages to utilizing positional bargaining:
Positional negotiating is common, but it’s not the best way to negotiate. There are several disadvantages to reaching an agreement this way. An agreement that meets the needs of both parties is rarely attained. In most cases, at least one party is left bitter by the process. There is a better way.
An Enhanced Negotiating Solution
While positional negotiations are the norm, there are other options that provide better outcomes. By separating the people-related issues from the issues under negotiation, a better solution can be reached. When you’re making or receiving concessions to address relationship issues, the negotiating process is less effective.
It’s also important to seek a solution that meets the needs of everyone involved. It’s not a process for taking as much as the other party is willing to give. That type of thinking is short-sighted.
Every negotiator in the world has two primary concerns:
You might bully your spouse into going on the vacation of your dreams, only to suffer the consequences of your tactics over the next six month
The value of the relationship between the parties is important to consider.
It’s too easy to take the position of the other person personally and have it affect the relationship.
Positional bargaining requires an examination of both the importance of the issue and the importance of the relationship. Concessions are made in one area to emphasize the other.
While dealing with your wife or your best customer, the relationship will take precedence.
For your best results, consider using a more effective way to negotiate:
DEALING WITH A HARD BARGAINER
Not everyone will approach a negotiation with your enlightened attitude. Remember that most are students of the school of positional bargaining. Expect the other person to take an aggressive approach. Be prepared.
Ways to tame a hard bargainer:
All of this information might seem like common sense, and it is. However, negotiations are rarely undertaken by two parties demonstrating common sense. The two primary obstacles to effective negotiations are ego and greed. There is an innate ego-based need to win that must be controlled.
The greed component is the result of erroneous thinking. You’ll win the most in the long-term if you’re able to maintain or improve the existing relationship. Forcing your neighbor to trim his tree is hardly a victory if his resulting anger results in four flat tires on your prized 1967 Mustang.
Find solutions that meet both of your needs. Leave your ego at the door and consider the importance of your relationships. You’ll be glad you did!
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