3 Essential Rules For Successful Negotiating

Do you realize that we engage in some form or negotiation every day of our lives? Surprised? Think about it! Did you have to convince your kids to do their home work last night and get ready for school this morning? Did you discuss with your spouse who was going to make dinner tonight? Did you set completion goals for a new project at work? Did you talk with a disgruntled customer or employee today? How did it go? Did you achieve the results you desired?

These are all examples where a learned process of positive negotiation would be helpful. I was surprised the first time this was pointed out to me. I always thought of negotiation as a formal affair between high-powered professionals beating each other up to get what they wanted. That is a misconception held by many people. Every aspect of your life can be simplified just by understanding and implementing the essential elements of negotiation.

Here you will learn some of the essential negotiation elements to use when you are faced with situations that could become difficult if they’re not handled correctly.

1. Communicate Clearly

This is the most important element on the list. Your communication is the primary tool you have to express your thoughts, opinions and desires. If you don’t communicate effectively you will lose a critical advantage in your negotiations.

Also remember that speech is not the only form of communication. Your actions and body language, although silent, speak volumes. Make sure you are aware of how you are perceived by someone watching you. Your silent communications may be sending out a message entirely different from your intentions. A good way to identify this is to video tape yourself while speaking or during a meeting. You can also watch yourself in a mirror as you practice discussing the issues at hand.

2. Know your goals

Just like any project you start, it is important to know what your intended outcome or goals are at the end. Take some time before negotiating and decide what you want to achieve at the end of the negotiation. Additionally, think about what you are willing to give up to reach those goals. It is important to know your bottom line before the negotiation begins.

As you are making these decisions, remember your goals must be realistic. Stand in the other party’s shoes and think about whether your goals or requirements are something you could live with. If not, you must reassess your goals to be in line with what is realistic for you to achieve any success in your negotiation.

3. Treat everyone involved with respect.

Being the bully during a negotiation will not gain you any points. As soon as you start attacking the other parties, their defenses will go up and your chances of successful communication have been dashed. Instead, treat everyone involved with respect when addressing them, listen to what they are saying and take their situation into consideration.

Now, that doesn’t mean you should cave when someone doesn’t agree with you. It simply means that the goal is for everyone involved to act in a civilized and productive manner. Stand your ground, but do so without antagonizing the other parties involved. Now that you have read these rules, take some time to consider your past negotiations. Have you been breaking any of these rules? How can you make changes to your current negotiation style to improve your results?

To your success,

Swanie Brandt