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Negotiate anything in life, work and business

by Roy Chambers (follow)
Life (42)      Social Skills (2)     
If there ever was one essential communication skills it is negotiation. Negotiation is a vital skill because it isn't so much about getting what we want, but about being part of a partnership or community. A good negotiator provides what the other party wants or needs while securing what they want and need for themselves.

Attribution: Flickr - Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

We should be negotiating about everything, from business deals and also within our personal life.

Choose to negotiate

You won't be able to negotiate anything unless you choose to do so.

Attribution: Flickr - Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

Whenever there is anything that you want, you have to remember that other people want things as well. So don't hesitate to make sure that others get what they want.

Work out what you want or need

Have you ever tried negotiating with someone who isn't sure what they want or need? The problem is that even when you have an agreement the negotiation still breaks down.

Attribution: Flickr - jonny goldstein

Know what you want. Think more than just material elements, we also have to think about other important things such as happiness, respect and so on.

Set your walk away point

When you walk into a shop with fixed prices you are still negotiating simple because you have the ability to not make a purchase at their set price. The most important element of negotiation is your walk away point, that is when you will choose to stop your negotiation.

Attribution: Flickr - Rocky Lubbers

I believe that if you don't have a walk away point then you are not negotiating.

Find out what the other person wants or needs

I was going to name this step listen because that is what you need to do. Often people start a negotiation by stating what they need, but if it isn't a simple sales negotiation it is better to find out what other people want first.

Attribution: Flickr - Ky

Start the negotiations by making an offer

Well you don't have to be salesy in your approach, but you start by telling people how you can help them rather than demanding what you need.

Continue the negotiation

The middle part of a negotiation is usually a backwards and forwards process where both sides discuss their positions and attempt to move closer.

Attribution: Flickr - Neal Stimler

Shift sideways

Many people try to negotiate on only one dimension. For example if you walk into a shop and ask for a discount they often won't provide one. However if you shift the negotiation away from being directly about price you can often achieve something. For example if you are buying several products you are more likely to receive the discount.

Another example would be when negotiating with your manager about your workload, you can try negotiating on time, offsetting other work, or quality.

Not everyone is going to negotiate

Everything is a negotiation, not matter what the situation or your power. You always have the option of walking away.

This is important to remember because many people won't negotiate. Many poorly performing managers refuse and difficult clients will only accept the conditions that they laid out. Yet just threatening to walk away will have them scurrying to discuss the problem because it reminds them that this is a negotiation.

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