Features & Analysis
Here are some rules that will help you to reach excellent agreements.
Aim high with negotiation consciousness
Before you begin a negotiation, have a clear idea of what you need and what you can settle for. When pinpointing your needs, I believe in a concept that I call negotiation consciousness.
People with high negotiation consciousness are assertive, aim high, and are willing to challenge everything.
Challenge means not taking things at face value. It means thinking for yourself. You must be able to make up your own mind, as opposed to believing everything you are told.
Keep your ears open
We can resolve many conflicts easily if we learn how to listen. You can become an effective listener by allowing the other person to do most of the talking.
Follow the 70/30 Rule – listen 70% of the time, and talk only 30% of the time. Encourage the other negotiator to talk by asking lots of open-ended questions – questions that can’t be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Always be willing to walk away
Never negotiate without alternatives. If you depend too much on the positive outcome of a negotiation, you lose your ability to say ‘no’.
When you say to yourself, ‘I will walk if I can’t conclude a satisfactory deal’, the other side can tell you mean business. Your resolve will force them to make concessions.
I am not advising you to walk away, but if you don’t even consider the option of walking away you may be inclined to cave in to the other side’s demands simply to make a deal.
Adversarial v cooperative negotiation
There are two different types of negotiation. The first is the adversarial negotiation, which means that your objective is to fulfil your basic interests, not necessarily those of the other side.
The second is the cooperative negotiation, in which success is measured by the fact that the interests of both sides have been fulfilled.
Adversarial negotiation is a contest: each side attempts to realise its own interests – at the expense of the other side, if necessary. This type of negotiation is represented by the hard-nosed conflict that has become synonymous with negotiation.
Cooperative negotiation is a collaboration. In this type of negotiation, both sides work together to achieve mutual satisfaction – you win and I win too. In win-win it is essential to create an atmosphere of trust.
The best way to do this is by listening to the other negotiators and letting them know that you appreciate their point of view, even though you may disagree. Then try brainstorming the problem, which, in turn, will expand the number of possible solutions.
Anyone can be a world-class negotiator. You just have to do your homework and pay attention to a few basic rules.