Negotiation – a dirty word?

Just the word – negotiation – can bring up that nervous feeling.  The next couple of blogs will give you some tips that might settle those feelings.

Let’s look at why you might be nervous when it comes to negotiation.

1. Confrontation.  Some people think negotiation is an argument.  It doesn’t have to be confrontational.  In fact, effective negotiation is characterized by the parties working together to find a solution, rather than each party trying to WIN the contest of wills.

Keep in mind an attitude of cooperation, that will set the tone for the interaction.

2. Win at all costs.  If you "win" there must be a loser, and that can create more difficulty down the road.  The best perspective in negotiation is to try to find a solution where both parties "win".  Try not to view negotiation as a contest that must be won.

3. Emotional.  It's normal to become emotional during a negotiation that is important.  However, as you get more emotional, you are less able to channel your negotiating behavior in constructive ways. It’s important to maintain control.

4. Understanding.  Since you’re trying to find a solution acceptable to both parties, you need to understand the other person's needs and wants with respect to the issue.  If you don't know what the person needs or wants, you won’t be able to negotiate properly.  Many times when you take the time to find out about the other person, you discover that there is no significant disagreement.

5. Personalities, not issues.  It’s easy to get off track when you focus on how difficult or obnoxious the person seems.  Once this happens, effective negotiation is impossible.  It’s important to stick to the issues, and put aside your degree of like or dislike for the individual.

6. Blaming.  In any conflict or negotiation, each party contributes, for better or worse.  If you blame the other person for the difficulty you will create an angry situation.  If you take responsibility for the problem, you will create a spirit of cooperation.

Have you encountered any other barriers to negotiation?  Any tips that you’d like to share?  Leave a comment below so we can learn from you.

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2 Responses to Negotiation – a dirty word?

  • Nancy says:

    The best negotiators are great listeners. Some people aren't good at articulating their wants or needs but a good listener might pick up on the other's motivation and therefore find a good solution for both.

    • Holly says:

      Nancy –

      That is the truth – listening for the other person’s needs can save a lot of time and get right to the heart of the negotiation – with a better chance of everyone winning!

      Thanks for your comment! Holly

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