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10 Ways To Put Your Best Foot Forward With Negotiating

Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Do you ever encounter situations where you feel very strongly about how you believe a project should be planned, carried out, or completed? Do you sometimes feel annoyed that the others involved don’t see the situation the same as you do? Here’s where good negotiation skills come in handy.

Regardless of the career you have chosen, there will be times you will find negotiation necessary. Learning this critical skill will also improve your personal relationships.

Review these tips for negotiating a situation to get the results you want:

1. Know your material.

Avoid in-depth discussions about topics and situations that you’re not very familiar with. Ideally you want to be able to answer any in depth questions regarding a given topic and be able to provide informed insights as well. In advance of conversations or projects you know are coming, ensure that you understand the ins and outs of the situation at hand. Not only will it make who you're speaking with trust your abilities, being knowledgable will also make you feel empowered and deserving of whatever it is you're negotiating for. Preparation is your friend in negotiation!

2. Listen.

Keep an open mind to what the other person has to say. We’ve all had the experience of rushing in and insisting on what we want, only to discover later that it’s actually quite similar to what the other person wants (we just didn’t know that because we weren’t listening). Too often, we get used to preparing in our heads what we're going to say while the other person is talking, which makes us miss and properly interpret their words. Being more in the moment with the conversation will funnily enough prepare you much better with responding to them in an authentic and engaging manner.

3. Find areas of agreement.

With a little luck, you’ll only disagree on one or two minor points. Make a list of where you’re in concurrence and where you are split. This will concretely illustrate how much negotiating will actually be necessary and how much you really do agree. This will make it easier to keep track of your similar goals and remind them of this when negotiating for something that will benefit the both of you and your commonalities.

4. Talk about the issue at hand first.

Avoid trying to discuss solutions until you both see the problem similarly. You’ve got to be on the same page about the issue before you can possibly be on the same page for the solution. Remember, sometime can't always get 100% of what you negotiate for, and have to be willing to accept concrete differences and compromise, while making the most of what goals you have in common. Keep in mind your goals should benefit not only you, but your team as well. For example- if you're negotiating to lead the next project, be sure you're doing it because you feel your abilities will best suit the job getting done. If whom you're negotiating with feels that perhaps you are not ready for the responsibility, or maybe has somebody else in mind for the job, be the best teammate you can be and shine in the role you do end up with, and bring that up the next time a project comes around to try renegotiating again with solid proof of your collaborative abilities.

5. Keep your emotions out of it.

Consider the situation as a business. Remain objective at all times. Keep your cool. If possible, space your negotiating out so you have time to reflect on each interaction and give it time so you can look at the situation in a more objective manner rather than emotionally.

6. Avoid intimidating behaviors and manipulative comments.

If you fall back on these unsavory methods just to get your way, you lose credibility with the person with whom you’re negotiating. Then they will stop listening to you. Being the bigger person and not stooping to cheap methods to getting what you want will go a much longer way. In turn, the more your teammates like and respect you, the easier it is to negotiate!

7. Be honest and use integrity.

If you misunderstand an element of the challenge or their proposed solution and suddenly realize it, say so. Keep your word. Respect the other person and their time. Others will notice wen you hold yourself to a high standard.

8. Ask for the other person’s ideas.

Solicit suggestions from them on how to resolve the situation. Listen carefully, and be willing to implement some or all of what you hear. Others will recognize that you truly have the team's best interest at hand when you make an effort to include not just your own ideas into executing a task.

9. Remind yourself that you’re on the same side.

After all, you both want to resolve the issue. If you focus on finding common threads, that will help. This is also a good way to reign in negotiates that aren't going your way at all. When you acknowledge where the other person (whether it's your teammate or boss) is coming from, they will feel more at ease knowing that you don't have just your best interests at heart.

10. State your ideas for a solution.

Make your case, too; tell them why you believe it’s the way to go. For example, you could say something like, “Rather than make in-person follow-up visits once per week to new customers, I think it’s a better idea to do them monthly and use the off-weeks to follow up by phone.”

To make your case in this example, you may follow up by saying, “This way, we will have more time during the off-weeks to develop new customers. We’ll be widening our customer base while keeping contacts with customers we already have.”

Learning to use practical negotiation skills will help you in accomplishing any goals you have that involve others. Skillfully listen, remain non-emotional, discover points of agreement, honestly state your ideas, and show flexibility when interfacing with others. Show flexibility. You’re two separate people with two different sets of ideas and perspectives about the issue at hand. Avoid expecting to get your way 100%. Get what you want by putting these excellent negotiation skills to work for you!

Book a free 15-minute consultation to see how we can help you put your best foot forward to enhance your negotiation skills to optimize your success.

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