Whether you realize it or not, you negotiate every day. You negotiate with yourself, your partner, your children, co-workers, boss, friends, family, and with clients, customers, and in other business dealings. You’re negotiating during your daily life whether you like it or not. Just a little work in this area can pay off in a big way.
You don’t have to be a slick executive, salesperson, or corporate attorney to be a good negotiator. You just need some information and a little practice.
Use these tips to get what you deserve by boosting your negotiating skills:
- Be clear on what you need. A negotiation can’t be successful from your point of view if you don’t get what you need. You’re unlikely to get what you need if you don’t identify your needs prior to the negotiation. Take the time to think about what you have to get from the negotiation to be satisfied.
- Be clear on what you want. You have to get what you need, but you might also be able to get what you want. Again, you have to know what you want. Shoot for what you want but be prepared to back down to what you need if necessary. Getting what you want from a negotiation is a big win.
- Ditto for the other party. Take it a step further and identify the needs and wants of the other party. When you understand what everyone needs and wants, you’re in a much better position to find success.
- Try to find a solution that satisfies both of your needs. Ideally, everyone comes out better than they were before they went into the negotiation. Allowing the other party to get what they want will create the potential to work with them again in the future. If you “win” the negotiation, but the other party fails to get what they need, you’ve potentially created an enemy.
- Use silence as a tool when necessary. There’s a time to speak during a negotiation and a time to practice silence. In many cases, the first person to give in and break an uncomfortable silence puts themself into a compromised position. A little silence won’t kill you.
- Be prepared. Prepare for a negotiation like you would any other important event. Understand the other party. Understand their strengths and weaknesses. Become an expert on the situation. It’s rarely excusable to be surprised during the negotiation process. It’s simply a sign that you weren’t prepared.
- Let go of your ego. Your ego can easily get in the way if you allow it. Focus on getting what you need. Take a shot at getting what you want. If you have to swallow your pride in order to achieve a win, so be it. You’ll survive.
- Always try to get something for any concession you make. A negotiation is a give and take process. Be certain that you’re getting something for giving something. This is a great way to get some of those things you identified as wants.
- Be willing to walk. The ultimate power is the ability to walk away from any negotiation. This isn’t always possible, but it’s beneficial to try to identify other possible solutions before you begin any negotiation. Having a back-up plan can greatly strengthen your position.
- Stay calm. A calm, relaxed mindset will keep you more alert and make it easier for you to focus.
If you feel your emotions getting the upper hand, take a few slow, deep breaths to give yourself an influx of oxygen and relax your muscles.
Go for the Win!
You can be more successful in your interactions with others by becoming a stronger negotiator.
You don’t have to be born with the skills of an FBI hostage negotiator to have more productive interactions. Practice each day with your friends and family. See if you can be more effective at getting your children to bed or to clean their rooms.
As you can see, there are many opportunities each day to negotiate with others and get more of what you want!