Negotiate it and Nail it Down

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Are we born with negotiation skills or do we acquire this like other practices?  At least when it comes to being a good (or great) negotiator, I have never met a negotiator who was born this trait. The best negotiators I’ve met who have been self-made, not manufactured by their parents, is my mother.  I  have always seen my mom negotiating with vendors with great skills and that taught me the basics of negotiation. When it comes to negotiations, always ask for more. If the employee asks for more money, ask them for more productivity. If a client asks for a lower price, sell them more products. It’s much easier to negotiate after the other person thinks, they have won. Let them win the first negotiation, and they will usually be happy enough to let you win two to three more. Interesting! Isn’t it?

A large number of people believe successful negotiation is all in the DNA, and that negotiation, like good looks, is something you’re born with. And they also believe that try as they might, their fate won’t change. I have a great disagreement with this myth because it holds us back from reaching our negotiation potential. Let me try to persuade you with some evidence from management science that suggests that negotiators are not born, but instead are grown this way.

1.  Knowing  exactly what you want is like winning half  of the battle :

It may seem like a cakewalk, but too often you will go into a negotiation without a solid and clear understanding of what exactly you want and why. Not only is it important to have a rock-solid picture of what you want, but you also need to know the boundaries within which you will or won’t settle and you will loose also. Remember that you might not win every negotiation . Are you willing to lose an investor to keep a greater share in your company? Are you willing to lose a chance at a promotion if it means you can get more vacation time or staying near your home town? If you know what you are willing to lose or give up, and at the same time  it’s important to know when to keep talking and when to walk away. Knowing exactly what your desired result is will help you make better choices along the way to arrive at the utmost favorable conclusion and it will save your time and energy too.

  1. Don’t Be Sharply Opposed to the others:

Don’t go for negotiation with sharply opposed or competitive mindset. Instead, approach it with the goal of achieving a mutually satisfying outcome for both sides.  Remember that you are not going for a war where your winning is the only priority. Conduct yourself as though you’re certain that a great result can be achieved if you and the person on the other side of the table work together as members of a team. If you have to convince your parents for your love marriage you need to prove to your parents that your would be partner is going to be as lovable, caring and equally beneficial for them too as he/she is going to be for you. Maintaining positivity and an affable demeanor throughout is an art.

 3. Understand  their situation:

Many a times we believe we know what others want, when in reality we do not. Great negotiators do their best to create win-win situations. Instead of focusing on the position of the other person or what it is that they are saying, really ask questions to learn about the real interests that they have. Be empathetic and a good listener. Don’t make the mistake of assuming you know what the other person wants until you take the time to consider their perspective, position, experience, and reputation. Being able to understand someone else’s situation will enhance your communication and potentially help steer toward the fairest, most equitable outcome. Even the toughest negotiators can be broken by shared humanity.

Maintain your cool:

Tough negotiators can deploy many tactics to push your buttons and put you off your game. It’s your job to make sure they don’t succeed. Becoming an effective negotiator in any situation begins with ego and mouth management by the negotiator. You should know your triggers well so that nothing said or done can derail your  objectivity. Whether their tactic is to make you doubt your value to the company, break your focus, or incite you to act and react emotionally, it’s important to maintain a calm, and cool demeanor. There is nothing wrong with asking to take a break and “walking a lap” to cool down if you feel the atmosphere getting heated. Remember, you cannot control their behavior or tactics, but you can control your own. A cool head will always get you a better outcome than an emotional reaction will.

Know when it’s time to walk away:

Sometimes its really hard to negotiate with some of the people in this world. They really test your patience and  just want to see how far they can push you before you walk away. Always enter circumstances knowing where your “hard line” is. Sometimes, walking away will put a lid on negotiations. In other instances, however, it will communicate that you are not someone easily taken advantage of and negotiations may not only resume but also go much more smoothly.

Peaceful but firm negotiation tactics do not come easily for everyone. Whether its your professional life or personal life don’t be afraid to practice these tips in front of a mirror or with a friendly partner to help you feel well-prepared. Practicing will bring confidence and positive attitude which will enhance your  skills.

Always study, prctice and don’t be afraid of asking for more.

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