Not Getting What You Want? 10 Negotiation Tips
Everyone negotiates on a daily basis. We negotiate with family, friends, associates, and others. Additionally, negotiation is critical for success in our business lives and careers. In today’s market, none of us can thrive without being able to negotiate successful outcomes.
However, several studies suggest that few people fully embrace the negotiation process. Global surveys indicate that 85% of people are either sometimes or always apprehensive about negotiations. Additionally, more than 30% are fearful of negotiating, and 20% find it inherently unpleasant.
Regardless of the type of negotiation, thorough preparation is a key requirement. The following critical success factors can dramatically improve your prospects:
1.Do your homework. It is critical to develop a fact base prior to negotiation. This will help you make your case and understand your counterparty’s perspective. An appropriate fact base will support the development of a set of realistic, achievable outcomes.
2.Determine your “BATNA.” Ensure you fully understand your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. Your BATNA represents what you could get in the event you are not satisfied with the negotiation outcome. Your BATNA represents the acceptable threshold that must be met. When thinking about your BATNA, consider immediate-, near-, and long-term goals.
3.Maintain a collaborative approach. Projecting a collaborative stance throughout the negotiation process is key to supporting improved outcomes. This includes maintaining a professional demeanor and seeking win-win solutions. Moreover, when negotiating with partners where there will be ongoing interactions, it is important to foster a trusting relationship.
4.Understand who has the authority. Determine the perspective and level of authority of the person you are negotiating with. Understanding who ultimately holds the decision-making power is critical. If the person you are negotiating with doesn’t have the formal authority, you may need to adapt your strategy and tactics and help that person negotiate on your behalf.
5.Develop your story. . .and practice. It is essential to organize your thoughts, opinions, and arguments beforehand. Practice what you will say, how you will say it, and anticipate reactions. Understand the power of silence by stating your case, pausing, and allowing time for discussion. Remember to stay flexible and approach the situation from a problem-solving perspective.
6.Manage your emotions. Feelings matter — they are at the heart of the most difficult negotiations. However, they must be managed in a thoughtful way. Do not let your emotions manage you, be aware of your emotional “hot buttons” and when to push pause. On the other hand, you should not stifle your passion. If you shut off your emotions, unexpressed feelings will undoubtedly leak into the discussion.
7.Hold your views as hypotheses. Avoid presenting your arguments and conclusions as facts. Be perceived as open to other perspectives. Successful negotiations are two-way dialogues. Speak with clarity and confidence, but not to the point of shutting down the other person. It takes two people to argue but also two to agree.
8.Foster a learning conversation. Demonstrate that you are committed to understanding the perspective of others and the rationale for their position. Get the other person to talk, and ask questions that will help you determine what is needed to help you reach your goals.
9.Be professional and patient. Be realistic about the outcome of your negotiation. Seek to clarify how the decision will be made and over what time frame. Ultimatums can lead to unintended and unwanted consequences. Moreover, confrontation can be perceived as unprofessional and may hurt your brand regardless of the outcome. You will need to stand your ground while remaining polite and polished.
10.Cultivate critical personality traits. Typically, the following personality traits lead to successful negotiation outcomes: empathy, respect, integrity, fairness, patience, responsibility, flexibility, sense-of-humor, self-discipline, and stamina. Demonstrating these traits in all aspects of a negotiation, and your life, will help you reach your goals.