Effective Negotiating And Why It’s Important

What Is Negotiation?

Negotiation is the process of discussing an outcome with another person or group of people, each with different targets on the same issue, with the aim of reaching a result that is ideal for both parties. Take a car sale for example – you would probably negotiate the price with the seller to come up with a price you are both happy to pay.
In the workplace, negotiation is done in many areas – negotiating when setting deadlines for tasks, priorities for work, utilization for team members, budgets, and many other areas.

Why Negotiate?

The aim of negotiation is to create a win-win situation – a situation that everyone is happy with. Most situations that need negotiation and agreement are not immediately accepted by the other party. This is when a discussion or negotiation is needed – to come to an agreement on an issue. If we didn’t negotiate, a lot less would get done and relationships would not be made as easily between people.

Do Your Research

Before starting any negotiation, do some research on the other party, in relation to the issue at hand. Find out what their motivators are. Why are they not agreeing to your initial terms? What’s their aim, their purpose regarding this situation? If they are not happy with the project schedule you have prepared, for example, find out why. Find out if they have a busy schedule of work, or lack resources during the lifecycle, or other factors.

Decide On Your Lowest Position

Something else you’ll need to do before starting the negotiation discussion is to work out what your lowest position is. This is a point that represents the most you will give the other party, or the lowest point you will go on a price/time/terms. This is the least favourable to you. It’s not the point at which you start, or the point you should be aiming to get to. It’s the point that you won’t go any further on.

Determine The Point Of The Negotiation

When you start the process of negotiating an outcome, highlight the point of the negotiation. Even though this may seem obvious, it’s a good idea to mention it at the start. For example, you could say. “We’re here to come to an agreement on the budget required to implement a new software system”. This is an effective negotiation technique and is used to make the issue clear to both sides.

Make Your Proposals Gradually

You’ve worked out your lowest position, but you shouldn’t start at this point. You should have a position in mind that is more favourable to you. Mention your proposal to them (budget, time, resourcing, an idea, whatever you’re proposing) and ask if they accept those terms. If not, they would make another offer back to you, which is more favourable to them.

From here, don’t rush straight to your lowest point. Make moves gradually to their favour, and at some point you’ll should reach a solution. If you jump straight to your lowest offer, then they either accept it (which is good for you, but could be better) or they reject it (which means you have no more room to move).

A Win-Win Result Is The Aim Of Effective Negotiating

The aim of effective negotiating is to get a result that both parties are happy with. This could be close or far from the original proposal, but as long as both parties are relatively happy with the end result, it’s a good negotiation. Try to keep it professional – try not to let your emotions get involved. Remember, what you’re negotiating at work is most likely a professional or business decision and not an emotional one.

Know When To Walk Away

At some point, you might reach a stalemate or a dead-end in the negotiation discussion. No matter how effective your negotiating has been, there may just be a point where no further action can be taken. The other party won’t budge, and you won’t change your offer. This is the time when you may need to consider walking away. Make them a clear offer on the issue, and mention it’s up to them to accept or decline. Keep it professional – not making an agreement may be better than committing to something that is unfavourable to you and that you can’t deliver on.

Be Respectful

You should try to keep it professional at all times during the negotiation, and should be respectful of the other party. Don’t get emotional during the negotiation process, try to keep your mind on the outcome and respect the other party’s requests and their issues. This is a good way of getting a win-win result for both people involved. It’s a good way to improve your communication skills as well.

Putting some of these effective negotiating tips into practice during your next negotiation will hopefully help your chances!

Comments are closed.