Negotiating is a skill that like warfare tactics must be honed. It is important to be mentally prepared to win. Do the ground work well before you reach the negotiating table and decide on the “path” you are going to take. Positivity will help and also a sense of confidence and self esteem. Set aside any doubts you may have and stride forward prepared to win at all costs.
The five cornerstones of successful negotiation skills are placing emphasis on common points, presenting clear arguments, being innovative and open to several options, focusing on the problem being dealt with, looking for a clear solution. The key is to be clear about your preferred outcome. However in the back of your mind you must be willing to compromise to some extent.
A good negotiator is an excellent communicator and understands how human beings think, feel, and function. You must be able to befriend the people seated on the other side of the negotiating table. You must know when to push hard, when to accept a compromise, and when to walk away. A negotiator is in many ways an artist. He needs a great amount of creativity to steer the negotiations to a successful completion. A negotiator must keep in mind the 3Fs: fair, fast, and firm.
According to the gurus there are tactics to be used for negotiating:
- Be focused on the problem or issue. Logical arguments are the key to smooth negotiations.
- It is important to be firm yet polite when making a stand or presenting a point.
- Clearly emphasize the advantages and disadvantages.
- Be patient and let the process of negotiation take its course.
- Put ego aside and concentrate on the matter at hand. It is finding an amiable solution that’s important not self worth or position.
- Never threaten or manipulate the opposite party—it is completely unethical and unfair.
- Aim for solutions that are interest based and not what individual desires or aims are. It is best to consider any situation as a whole rather than from a personal view point.
- Avoid psychological traps and have the magnanimity to admit when you are wrong. Be open minded.
- Don’t accept weak solutions and try and negotiate a plausible settlement. Temporary measures are not what you need. A permanent solution must be sought.
- Value time, schedules, and deadlines. A good negotiator will not beat around the bush or adopt delay tactics or waste time talking about mundane matters. It is professional to immediately get down to the business at hand.
Most human beings are born negotiators. From the first breath a baby takes it makes all around him dance to his tunes. Most of us consciously or unconsciously do what we have to do to get our own way in life. And, if we look closely it is just mastering the art of negotiation.