At some point or another, we have all entered into some form of negotiation and for those of you who always seem to end a negotiation with a feeling of discontent, this one is for you.
First and foremost, if you can avoid negotiations all together then do so. Negotiations aren't always necessary if you set your acceptance figures beforehand. The trouble comes in when you set your standards at a level which are not mutually beneficial to both parties. In order to avoid this, think about the other parties perspective, what they might be thinking and what their goals may be with regards to the negotiation. Consequently, decide on the best alternative which has equal benefits and costs for the both of you. This will prevent overcomplicating the whole process.
However, if the above is not possible then be prepared. The key to any negotiation is knowing your aspirations, your limitations, your alternatives and most importantly your opponent.
Here are a few tips to implement when putting forward your requests:
Negotiate multiple issues at the same time. This will prevent the other party from becoming despondent and disregarding other issues further down the line.
Never accept the first offer and always ask for more than you actually want. This will leave room for more give and take on both parties wishes.
Apply the 80/20 rule. Use your eyes and ears 80% of the time and only use your mouth 20% of the time. This will prevent you from making comprises or cuts before having thought them through. This will also assist in understanding the other parties goals and desires for the negotiation.
Be able to propose alternative solutions to your requests. This will ensure that you are happy with any solution the other party selects and the other party will be left with a sense of satisfaction by having the option to choose the solution they prefer the most.
View negotiations as a collaborative process resembling a problem-solving process. Work together as opposed to against each other. This will ensure the morale of both parties are kept high and will result in both parties satisfaction.
Lastly, don't be afraid to ask for what you want because if you never ask you'll never get. So there you have it. Now it's your turn to go and ask for what you want.
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