Consider a skill that you need multiple times a day in your life, both at home and at your work. However, what if I told you that we are never taught that skill in a structured or strategic manner? How can you effectively use the skill if you do not learn it?
Have you ever wondered how many times you negotiate in a day? Based on a survey conducted with several people and my own experience, the answer is multiple times, in all likelihood. In this case, you would put in all the effort to learn the skill to avoid being ineffective at negotiating. We should strive to understand the negotiation strategies, concepts, and techniques that can help us develop into strong negotiators and achieve desired outcomes.
Let’s now understand some critical aspects of negotiation that could help drive forward our negotiations successfully.
One of the strategies of primary importance in any negotiation is to focus on interests – both of yourself and the other – which are used to derive solutions that will benefit all the parties. The better the effort in achieving the interests of all the parties, the more likely that the negotiation is effective and successful for all. This is the true meaning of achieving a win-win outcome.
While it is critical to assess and focus on interests, there is a possibility of not reaching a successful closure on the negotiations. In this event, a vital step is to develop alternatives as a backup option for the failed negotiations. Having strong alternatives provides the confidence to walk into the negotiation without a sense of desperation to make a decision.
While assessing the interests and alternatives plays a crucial role in effectively preparing for the negotiation, the actual interactions with the other party drive forward the negotiations to success as they offer the platform to share and build on the interests and confirm the alternatives. Focused interactions allow the negotiators to devise solutions based on the discussions.
- Relationships and trust
One of the critical aspects of any negotiation is the ability to build relationships with the other. Strong bonds created prior to or during the negotiations help to build trust.
The focus should also be placed on understanding the other. The results from developing these relationships are powerful.
- Strong close
Finally, any negotiation is incomplete if it is not closed well. All the effort put into preparing and engaging will be futile if the negotiation is not closed correctly. All points have to be agreed upon, comprehensively approved, accurately documented, and properly signed off. This will make the negotiation complete and binding.
Negotiation is not rocket science. However, it is not something we can walk into with an intuitive or trial and error mindset. Further, we do not want to go into our negotiations with anxiety, uncertainty, discomfort, or indifference. It is vital that we learn a structured approach to navigate our negotiations. After all, achieving the objectives is possible only if we are able to put in our total effort. Furthermore, learning negotiation needs to be supplemented by regular practice to help develop into power negotiators.
~ Anuj Jagannathan, CEO, Propelurs Consulting
Do you find negotiation a daunting effort? Learn how to get the best out of a deal by enrolling in one of our negotiation courses, taught by faculty of leading business schools. You can also connect with us for more information.