Advanced NegotiationEffective negotiating is one of the keys to organisational and personal success in any business. The ability to navigate through a negotiation with the proper skills and techniques, is a powerful attribute for those who possess the secrets. Negotiation is, “To confer with another or others in order to come to terms or reach an agreement.”
An effective negotiator’s goal is to co-operate, collaborate and to arrive at a win-win situation. It is not your solution or my solution but our solution. Negotiation is something that we all do almost everyday with our families, friends, colleagues, customers, bosses, employees and even in brief with strangers. Negotiation is a life skill, core management activity and an art that must be learned and developed, whether we are trying to:
One of the biggest barriers to effective negotiation is anger. Getting emotional and losing your temper serves only to halt or confuse the situation. Our thoughts govern our feelings, feelings determine actions and actions determine our destiny. Therefore, the key is to control our thoughts. If you fail to master your thoughts you will never be a master negotiator.
An important point to note is that all negotiation is communication. The better you are at communicating, the better you will become at negotiating. Negotiation rule number 1 is, where appropriate get it in writing. “Excellent negotiation helps to gather support, wins the confidence of others and improve our chances for success.” Be:
Does the movement of my body, especially my hands, support what I am saying? Is my posture straight, upright or am I slouched, too near, too far, slumped, or higher or lower than the other person? Do I mumble, complain, criticise, beat around the bush, or do I get straight to the point, clearly, directly and specifically? Is my tone acceptable with the right accent and volume? Finally, am I able to look confidently into other people’s eyes, or must I turn away and gaze at the ceiling, floor or other objects? Be wise, support what you say by how you say it.
There are so many good and bad tactics to negotiation. It is your responsibility to be fully aware of them and know how to use or counteract them. Here are some tactics that are used all the time.
1. The ladder approach
Discuss and resolve easier issues first, then work your way up to the more difficult issues last, i.e., cost or final outcomes.
2. Silence is golden
Keeping silent is an art that many people find extremely difficult to do. Yet it is one of the most powerful strategies in active listening. Silence enables you to fully understand and appreciate others. It also causes others to view you differently. It pays well to remember the old proverb: “even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.” Do not use your silence to plan what you are going to say next, use it to understand what others are saying. Learn from the old adage: “you learn more with your mouth closed and your ears open.”
“Never forget the power of silence, that massively disconcerting pause which goes on and on and may at last induce an opponent to babble and backtrack nervously” Lance Morrow.
3. Walk out
During the negotiation you may choose a strategic point to walk out or close the meeting.
4. Limited authority
During the negotiation you declare that you do not have the authority to make the final decision. The way to counter limited authority is to seek to negotiate from the beginning with the person who has the final say.
5. Feel, felt, found
I understand the way you feel, I felt the same way before but I found that this is the best way forward.
6. The delay
When it’s time to make a decision tell the other person that you will think it over and get back to him/her. While you are thinking it over, get advice from others and sleep on it. When it’s time to decide you will be in a better position to do so.
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