Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

The Art of Negotiation

The Art of Negotiation

Everyone negotiates something every day. A child negotiates with his/ her parents, people negotiate while shopping, students negotiate with their teachers, friends negotiate with each other, at work we negotiate with our colleagues and so on…Negotiation is a part of life.

“Negotiation is a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding an argument.”  The aim of negotiation is to look for solutions acceptable to both the parties.

Negotiation should be a discussion of how one can achieve a mutually agreeable outcome that is beneficial to each other. Negotiation is not done only by sales or marketing teams.

Negotiation skills help you to resolve situations instead of having conflicts with someone.This will help build relations.

Negotiating Skills is an important competency required in leadership positions.

How to negotiate effectively?

  • Non Aggressive approach : Negotiate in such a way that you don’t damage relationships. Negotiation needs to be win-win. If you have an aggressive approach, you could upset the other party or you might be forcing the other person to listen to you and go by what you want. On the other hand, if you are passive in your approach, you might end up doing what the other person wants and this is not healthy for you. Both these approaches are not right, be more assertive while you try to negotiate. You have to have a balance.
  • Focus on interests, not positions. Keep the larger interest in mind. Don’t look for personal gains alone.
  • Separate the People from the problem: Don’t bring emotions, perceptions to the negotiations. Look at the problem and work towards a solution.
  • Prepare : Preparation is a must before you start the negotiation. You must be aware of what the other party needs, what questions might be asked and what questions you need to ask them. This will help you understand their priorities and thereby you stand a better chance at negotiating.
  • Listen Carefully: Take interest and listen to what the opposite party is saying. Acknowledge what the other person is saying without actually agreeing. Agree only where ever possible and where it will help you negotiate better. Note that the more you say, the more you might give away, so listen carefully first, exercise control.
  • Expectation setting : Find out what the other party expects out of the negotiation. Also, state what you expect out of the negotiation.
  • Clarification of goals: Before you start negotiating, you must clarify the goals. Then you will be able to identify or establish common ground.
  • Be flexible in your negotiations: Flexibility is the key. You must be willing to give up things that don’t really matter and focus on the mail goal.
  • Agreement: Finally after you have done your discussions and both parties viewpoints and interests have been considered, you can arrive at an agreement. Even to arrive at an agreement, it is essential to have an open mind. Both parties must be clear on the agreement.
  • Close the negotiation : Once  you have reached the agreement, document the decision taken and chalk out a plan of action to work on following the agreement.

Remember : Agreement will require some concession between the parties.  Both the parties should win, which is the general aim of a negotiation.

Effective negotiation is a skill, and like any other skill, it can be learned. Negotiating skills can help you manage lots of different kinds of life situations, both at work and in your personal relationships. It is very valuable in everyday life.

Hope the above negotiation tips are useful for you. If you have faced any situation that you were unable to negotiate or if you want more of these great tips to improve your negotiating skills don’t hesitate to write to me.

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