The foundation for successful negotiations is good preparation. Successful negotiatiors spend three times longer preparating rather than actually negotiating. Collect and analyze all facts related to the issue, and also all relevant background information such as latest trends, legislation, industry standards, and more. Such preperation alows seperating assumptions from facts, and thereby clear misconceptions and eliminate misunderstandings.
When preparing, understand and appreciate the 'big picture,' or complete details on what all parties want. This ability to see beyond the 'demands' of the opposite side and understand why the other party negotiates the way they do helps in identifying a common ground and close the deal.
Also understanding one’s strengths, weakness, limitations, and opportunities. Top negotiators spend time analyzing the strengths, and weakness of their and competitors positions, and the limitations and opportunities that come by agreeing or disagreeing to various propoals. They also analyze way they negotiate, especially under pressure or deadlines, and when on the negotiating table harp on their strengths and try to improve on their personal weaknesses.
Successful negotiators never remain rigid on the negotiating table. They rather generate creative options to get what they want. For instance, if negotiation on price reach a deadlock, try to negotiate on other dimensions such as space and time. If the other party cannot hike the price, first understand why they cannot hike the price. If the reason is budget constraints, offer lesser quality or quantity at same price.
Prioritize. Very often negotiation takes place on multiple issues. A good negotiator prioritizes important demands and tries to effect a positive conclusion on such demands first, even if it entails giving in or compromising on matters of lesser importance. Resolving the critical issue automatically makes many minor issues redundant. For instance, if the salary negotiation concludes the cost to company first, then negotiating on other factors such as type and nature of benefits become easy.
Adopting a Win More-Win More Approach
The outcome of any negotiation falls into any of the following categories:
- Lose-Lose, where both parties loose and do not get what they want
- Win-Lose, or Lose-Win, where on party gains at the expense of the other
- Win-Win, where both parties gain through compromise
- Win More-Win More, where both parties agree to collaborate to unlock synergies
Traditional negotiation theory advocates a win-win approach that gives something to both parties. A win more-win more approach however provides better competitive advantage for the at-home worker. The reality is that all the idealism regarding win-win approach notwithstanding, organizations allocate resources only when they obtain a strategic advantage, regardless of what happends to the other party. Very often, in their quest to leverage their benefits they either pitch for a win-lose option or do not negotiate at all. A win more-win more approach allows organizations to leverage their resources and in the process helps the at-home worker as well.
At-home workers have to create their own opportunities, and mastery of the basic negotiation skills places them in good stead to do so, and is a key area of encouragement.
- Potgieter, Jan. The 5 Key Characteristics Of Successful Negotiators
- Shah, Ken; & Shah, Param, J. Negotiating Skills
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