Have you always gotten what you've wanted in a negotiation? I have yet to meet a person who got everything he or she "wanted." However, there are ways to always get what we "need." Do this by creating a comfortable environment. Here are four ways to create win/win negotiations:
1. Power comes from preparation and planning, instead of trying to overcome other people
Do all necessary research, think of possible outcomes, rehearse what you will say and set goals. Have an agenda and stick to it as closely as possible.
2. Always remember the needs of the other side throughout the process
When you reach an agreement on something, take the time to summarize it. This allows both parties to recognize that progress is being made.
3. Possess the right attitude
Be strong, yet not predictable. Keep others interested by staying ahead of them. This way, they have something to look forward to as the negotiation proceeds. Nonetheless, stay friendly and open. And when it fits, use humor to lighten up the process. Silence can be a sign of strength. If the other party makes an impossible demand, be quiet and reflect on it. Soon enough, the other person will realize that he or she has "crossed the line" and will probably withdraw.
4. The next time you walk into a negotiation:
- Realize that it's a state of uncertainty, so take it one step at a time.
- Stick to your plan, yet be flexible, and look for unexpected opportunities.
- Do your homework and be prepared to respond to any question.
- Keep up your self-esteem and confidence, even when things get difficult. If it's not working out, maybe it's not the right time.
Negotiating can be fun, empowering and enjoyable for both parties. It works only when all those involved feel as if they have won.
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