Do you encounter situations when you feel very strongly about how something should be carried out or completed? Do you feel annoyed that the others don’t see the situation the same as you?
Regardless of the career you’ve chosen, there will be times you’ll find negotiation necessary. Learning critical negotiation skills will improve your professional and personal relationships.
Tips for negotiating to get the results you want:
Know your material. Avoid in-depth discussions about topics and situations that you’re not yet educated about. Ensure that you understand the ins and outs of the situation at hand in advance. Pay attention to details. Preparation is your best friend when negotiating!
Listen. Keep an open mind to what the other person has to say. We’ve all had the experience of rushing in and insisting on what we want, only to discover later that it’s actually quite similar to what the other person wants (we just didn’t know that because we weren’t listening). Don’t listen to respond. Practice listening to understand.
Find areas of agreement and common ground. With luck, you’ll only disagree with someone on one or two minor points. Include a list of where you’re in concurrence, and where you’re of opposing minds. This will illustrate how much negotiating is necessary, and how much you really do agree.
Talk about the issue/conflict first. Avoid trying to find or discuss solutions until both parties see the problem similarly. You’ve got to be on the same page about the issue before you can be on the same page for the solution.
Leave your emotions at home. Consider the situation as business, even when it is personal. Do your best to remain objective at all times. Keep your cool.
Avoid intimidating behaviors and manipulative comments. Falling back on these types of methods can get your way, cause more harm than good, and create a situation where you lose credibility. Avoiding these confrontational moments will help to keep mind’s open. Intimidating and manipulative reactions will often cause others to stop listening or dig their heels in on an issue.
Be honest and use integrity. If you misunderstand an element of the challenge or their proposed solution and suddenly realize it, say so. Communicate with honesty and integrity. Keep your word. Respect the other person and their beliefs, even if you don’t agree.
Ask for the other person’s opinions. Ask for suggestions from the other person on how best to resolve the situation. Be sure to listen carefully, and be willing to implement some or all of what you hear.
Be empathetic. Remind yourself that you’re on same side. After all, you both want to resolve the issue. If you focus on finding common threads, that will help. Let your “opponent” know when they have come up with a good solution, suggestion, or idea.
Don’t lead with the negative. Keep phrases like “unfortunately”, “you won’t like this”, or similar negative leaning phrases out of your vocabulary when negotiating. By using these terms, you are planting the negative seed before you have begun to get your point across. Instead, focus on the positive.
State your ideas for a solution and show flexibility. Make your case, too; tell them why you believe your solution believe is the best way to go. Be sure to include the facts and be inclusive. You’re two separate people with two separate sets of ideas and perspectives about the issue at hand. Avoid expecting to get your way 100%.
Learning to use effective negotiation skills will help you in accomplishing your goals. Skillfully listening, remain non-emotional, discovering points of agreement, honestly stating your ideas, and showing flexibility will get you farther than you can imagine. Practice getting what you want by putting these negotiation skills to work now!
By: Hillary Hutson