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Negotiating for Success

A recent article in Business on Main, “You Want What? Four Tips for Civilized Negotiating,” provided four essential best practices when negotiating:

  • Conduct interspace negotiations
  • Ask the right question
  • Don’t negotiate via email
  • Listen

Read more about each tip in the article. Negotiating is a part of life in general – whether we negotiate in business (a contract with a vendor) or in our personal lives (which movie to see on Saturday night). Too often individuals shudder at the thought of a negotiation – regardless of what is being negotiated. We imagine the worst case scenarios – screaming matches, never coming, or, worse yet, losing because we didn’t negotiate well.

Negotiating takes upfront planning to ensure success (success = win-win for all parties.) The better planned you are for the negotiation, the less stressful the situation and the better you can ensure a win-win situation. Negotiating shouldn’t be about “winner take all,” rather, the goal is to find a solution that works for all parties involved. The fourth tip in the article – Listen – is, in my opinion, the most important. We don’t always really listen (actively listen) to others. We are thinking ahead as to what we are going to say in response. Take the time to really listen to the other person; you’ll learn much more than you would have thought!

I plan for negotiations beforehand. I develop a detailed agenda for the negotiation, write down my key points, and think through:

  • What the other person may want to achieve and some options for both of us getting what we need
  • What we can already agree upon and where we still need to come to agreement

My goal is to negotiate in a way that maintains communications and builds trust and strong relationships with the other party. I want to approach the negotiation with the right attitude and to convey to the other party that I want to come to an agreement that works for both of us.

How about you? What are your successes around negotiations? What has worked? What hasn’t? Please share in the Comments field below.


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