Long before the days of the Harvard Negotiating Project and the publication of Getting to Yes, business people were schooled in “hardball” negotiating tactics. I can remember a set of audio tapes of my father’s with the words “hardball tactics” in the title. You will still encounter those individuals who feel negotiation is a zero sum game – if they are to win, you must lose. Their strategy will seldom include a good faith effort to be above board and honest. To get the negotiation on track, you will have to change the game. The best method is to stay calm and unemotional. Then, open up their tactic and disarm it. Read the rest of this entry »
Negotiation, like any competitive undertaking, should have rules. Establishing and agreeing to the rules is an essential part of every negotiation. In some instances the ground rules may be a simple understanding of the topic of conversation and the boundaries of the negotiation. In others, a very formal set of rules such as those undertaken in arbitration may be appropriate. Read the rest of this entry »
In order to negotiate well, it is important to listen carefully to the other parties to the discussion. Despite best intentions, not all parties will clearly and succinctly state either their objectives or their reasons for particular requests. In order to find mutual grounds toward which to work, therefore, a good negotiator will listen carefully, empathetically, and with a mind to understanding their counterpart’s motivations. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my most important business mentors was my father. He once told me the first person to lose their temper in a negotiation was sure to get the lesser of the bargain. I too often forget the lesson, but how right dad was!
Emotions can run high during a negotiation. It is too easy to forget how important a calm demeanor and attitude can be. If we get upset, if we display anxiety or anger, we betray our rationale nature which serves us so well in negotiation. Read the rest of this entry »
Business people negotiate daily. We bargain with our suppliers and we deal with our clients. We haggle with vendors and bid for business. One well known negotiation training organization you may have seen in airline magazines proclaims you “don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” So this week, we are going to look at five principles of negotiation that will help you get closer to “Yes” than you may be currently trending. Read the rest of this entry »