Since the art of negotiation is a process that can be learned and because in today’s competitive world, the absence of negotiation skills is one of the largest contributors to the lack of success, here are a few very simple rules of negotiation that will help you master this skill. Just remember that good negotiation isn’t about you winning and another individual losing; it’s actually about reaching a win-win resolution because a lot of people tend to see this process as a positive relationship builder and not a potential threat. A good negotiation will help you reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties involved. Good negotiation skills are an asset in all areas of your life since you learn how to obtain everything you want without damaging your relationships. Here are 7 simple rules of negotiation that you should consider:
One of the most important rules of negotiation that you should keep in mind is that you always have to prepare. Preparation is an investment of time. You know what they say: “Fail to prepare and you prepare to fail.” Do some research and try to obtain as much information as you can about what you are negotiating. Experts say that very few negotiations begin when the counterparts arrive at the table.
2. Bring a Positive Attitude
Be confident and bring a positive attitude. Always be friendly and cooperative and avoid being abrasive or combative. Try to establish a climate of cooperation, not conflict. Have faith in your abilities as a negotiator and allow yourself to shine in the challenge. Don’t be intimidated by your counterpart and try to develop relationships, not conquests.
3. Don’t Negotiate with Yourself!
Most people regularly try to second guess the other party so they tend to minimize their own expectations and this is basically the start of negotiation with yourself. Keep in mind that if you start reducing your expectations from your ideal then you will end up with a lesser, over-compromised deal. That’s why you should always start out with your ideal and wait for your counterpart to ask for a lower figure.
4. Don’t Accept the First Offer
During a negotiation, try not to accept the first offer because you will probably get a better one if you just wait a little. Also, if you accept too quickly, the other party will feel annoyed because they will think that they should have asked for more, resulting in their perception of a lose-win situation (they lost, you won).
5. Learn to Listen
Become a good listener because by doing so you will not only gain new ideas for creating win-win outcomes but you will also make your counterpart feel respected and valued. Always try to focus on what the other party is saying, rather than preparing your next objection.
6. Always Stay Cool
Because the negotiation table can be loaded with emotions, agendas and egos, try to stay cool and provide leadership and solutions. Just remember: when the rest of the room gets emotional, you must stay cool and use logic to negotiate.
7. Aim Your Aspirations High
Since your aspirations will be one of the most important factors in determining the outcome of your negotiation, you should always try to aim your aspirations high. Develop options and strategies because while successful individuals are the ones who have the greatest number of viable alternatives, successful negotiators are the ones who have the most strategies that they can use to get what they want.
Negotiation is a process that can be learned, so put a bit of effort into it and you will master this skill in no time. Do you know any other simple rules of negotiation? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!