people think of negotiating as a win/lose event that requires
fighting for what they want and beating or bowing to their
opponents. In reality, a successful negotiation is a communication
process whereby both parties strive for a mutually satisfying
result. A good negotiator doesn’t want a defeated opponent seeking
revenge at a later date. He knows win/win negotiations build
relationships for the long haul.
of us must be prepared to negotiate for what we want. Below are some
tips for negotiating effectively throughout your career:
Negotiating is a process, not an event.
Successful professionals take
responsibility for what they want and how to achieve it. They
recognize that partnering with management, colleagues and
employees is a smart career strategy.
If you want your manager
solidly in your corner, schedule regular conferences with him
ways to improve your performance
goals and actions plans
planned versus actual results
ask for a mentor’s advice.
When a fire flares, confront it
immediately yourself or call for reinforcements before it
becomes four alarm.
Whether or not you like all the
members on your team, give 100% and refrain from disparaging any
Explain to your management,
peers and subordinates what you need from them. While your needs
may be intuitively obvious to you, your associates aren’t mind
Negotiation requires preparation. Spontaneity is strictly for the
Negotiating doesn’t come easily to most of us. To make the most of
your negotiations, answer these questions ahead of time:
What specific outcome do I hope
What are several options I
would find acceptable?
How will these options benefit
the other negotiating parties and their constituents?
What objections might they have
to my suggestions? How can I alleviate their concerns?
How much leverage do I have?
Am I bargaining from a position of strength or weakness?
How might external variables
such as timing, politics, traditions, opponent’s negotiating
style and economic conditions affect my argument? Which ones can
I use to bolster my case?
you are sitting across the negotiating table, keep these key points
negotiating session can be both stressful and emotional. You will be
much more likely to achieve a successful outcome and build respect
and collegiality with your fellow negotiators if you:
Ask for 100% of what you want,
if you think it’s a genuinely fair request.
Listen carefully to what the
other parties are saying. They may have excellent suggestions
you haven’t considered.
Separate opinions from fact.
Don’t let your perceptions dictate your reality.
Maintain your perspective.
This conversation may be important, but it isn’t life or death.
Avoid ultimatums unless you
fully intend to act upon them. Bluffing may be a great poker
strategy, but it’s a deadly negotiating ploy.
Always work for a win/win
solution. Otherwise you may win the battle, but lose the war.