Negotiations happen in our daily lives. We might not be aware of it, but many situations require good negotiation skills, including the simple act of buying an item from a store, talking things over to save a relationship, and trade agreement between nations, among others.
It would be worthwhile to consider the factors that may spell success or failure in the negotiating table:
1. Everyone aspires for negotiations to turn out successful; otherwise, it is senseless to sit, talk, and explore (sometimes for hours) each other’s position to no avail. For this to be so, exert every effort to favor the other party’s whims while still coming out satisfied or contented with the outcome of the negotiation. This should be your objective. Come to terms as easily as possible. Stipulate details in black and white with a tint of trust to seal the negotiation in favor of both parties.
2. Mutual respect for each other’s priorities must prevail. Never focus on your own objective alone. Think of how the other party would be satisfied with the outcome.
3. Get to the core of the discussion and work from that core outward, concentrating on the details.
4. It is not difficult to trace the presence of sincerity in a negotiation. As long as you have this in mind and you see the other party’s sincerity as well, the progress of the negotiation will sail smoothly.
5. You may have a set of rules that are guiding you to get what you want. Modify if need be as long as it is practical and does not deviate to become a disadvantage on your part.
6. Negotiating is not a contest on who is better between the parties involved. There is no battle to win. Neither is it a stage to display one’s wits. It should be a two-way process.
7. Be true to your word. What you say must be congruent to your action. Any deviation should be tackled beforehand to avoid the element of surprise, which usually leads to anxiety.
8. Keep your options as open and as diverse as possible. They may come in handy, especially when slight differences pop out.
9. Watch for reactions to proposals through body movements. They may help to make you and the other party come to terms more easily.
10. Be a good listener. Pre-empt what the other party may say, but only in your mind. You could be right, but you could also be wrong. It is better to sound affable than be sorry afterwards.
By John Benson