Dos and Donts of Negotiation

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Do: listen carefully to the other party
* Remember that a negotiation is a conversation. A classic mistake people make when they enter negotiations is to assume they need to make their points forcefully in order to get what they want. * Be sure to listen effectively — you´ll be more likely to come across as a potential partner rather than an adversary. Do: put yourself in the other person´s shoes

* Speak to the person you are negotiating with the way you would like to be spoken to. * Put yourself in the other person´s shoes in order to understand their motivations and priorities. Not only will you come across as a more empathetic negotiator, you may also communicate your own priorities more clearly as a result. Do: review and practice your communications style regularly

* If you´re concerned about being too soft in negotiations, take a fresh look at your style. It may be helpful to "practice" a negotiation session with a colleague or partner ahead of time, with each of you playing the role of one of the parties. This exercise will give you new insights and perspectives on what works and what needs to be worked on in your presentation style. Do: let the other party score some points, too

* Rather than think about a negotiation as a competition, make it a priority to find common ground and navigate jointly toward a win-win solution. You may not be ready to make major concessions on certain issues, but you can probably find a way to bend in other areas - and let the party across the table score some points, too. * Prior to the meeting, identify a few areas where you would be prepared to compromise. * Think ahead about how and when you'll give up a bit of ground. Some negotiators believe it makes sense to appear flexible in the beginning of talks in order to set a positive tone and prove you're serious about getting results. Others believe you should play it cool for a while, and cede ground only when it appears you won´t otherwise get...
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