When people think about negotiating, they usually think it is about getting the price you want for something, but that’s just haggling.  Negotiation is about so much more.  We negotiate every day, in business, with our boss and colleagues and at home with our partner and children.  In fact, of all the skills we learn, the art of negotiation is probably the most important.

There are three possible outcomes to a negotiation:

  • Win/Win: This is where both sides feel like they have walked away with a deal that is of benefit to them.
  • Win/Lose: This is where one side feels they have got exactly what they want, but the other sides feels that they have lost out.  Now you may think if you’re the winner, then it’s OK, but the problem here is that the loser may harbour some anger and resentment which may come back at a later stage to bite you.  Win/Lose negotiations are never good in on-going relationships.
  • Lose/Lose: As the name suggests, neither side here comes away with the deal they were hoping for and in fact may not reach an agreement at all.  We have probably all experienced this outcome in our personal lives with a loved one.  Usually what happens here is that both sides fail to understand and listen to the other, often letting emotions get in the way.

So how do you avoid the lose/lose or win/lose outcomes and ensure you have a win/win negotiation?  In our online Introduction to Negotiation Skills course, we give you a six-step framework for effective negotiation, as well as looking at setting objectives and handling conflict, including a TKI Assessment.

Here are our top 5 tips to ensure you achieve the best outcome when negotiating, whether it is negotiating time off or a pay rise, with your boss, or a more equal distribution of the household chores with your partner.

  1. Set objectives – know exactly what you want to achieve and know when you will walk away.
  2. Plan, plan, plan! – think about what objections the other person may raise and how you will counter them, think about what is in it for them, not just what’s in it for you. Have all the facts and figures in front of you, and don’t forget your objectives.
  3. Listen very carefully – speak less than you listen and when you do speak, do so to ask questions or seek clarification.
  4. Don’t become emotional – don’t put the other person down or use emotive language – that is a sure way to derail a negotiation. But do check on feelings, to see how the other person feels about how things are going.
  5. And lastly, once you do reach an agreement, follow up by thanking them and don’t forget to follow through with any actions. This then puts you on a good footing for the next negotiation.

For more information about either our online or instructor-led negotiation skills courses, call Beverley on 0438 089 632.