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Tips for Negotiation


Negotiation is often the number one skill women tell us they want to work on. As our blog on negotiation says, "women negotiate only about 25% as often as men do, and about 20% of all women never negotiate at all. Women are often the givers in a relationship and don't consider the give and take. We are taught to "be good" and not ask for more. And we often undervalue ourselves and our needs. The most important tip for negotiation is to practice. Just start doing it. And follow these great tips from Align Thoughts.

1. Be Prepared To “Leave” The Negotiations

This is individually the most powerful strategy for getting what you want. If you are not ready to say No without even thinking about it, then prepare yourself to get less than what you wanted.

Before entering into negotiations, know in advance what you are willing and not willing to accept. You do not have to weigh it in the middle of the conversation because you will not act convincingly.

You have an excellent negotiating position if the other side feels you will leave the bargain below your acceptable minimum. And vice versa, when the other side thinks you do not have the strength to stand up and stop the negotiations because you care about reaching an agreement at any cost, you have weakened your position, and you will get as much as the other side will give you.

Thus, the power to “bluff” your willingness to break off negotiations, even though you are aware that you have to do the job at all costs, is also an effective negotiation tool.

2. Know When To Cut The Whole Thing

The old rule was that good deals are concluded very quickly – and that bad deals take a long time. Decide based on the time you need to reach an agreement. If you need to force an agreement, there is a good chance that you will later regret that you worked so hard.

Decide when you should end some negotiations and request an agreement immediately or never. Do not regret when such agreements are not reached because they should not have happened in the first place.

3. Negotiate Only With Decision Makers

Nothing is more complicated and exhausting than negotiating a deal with someone who does not have the ultimate power to decide on the same. It is like negotiating against yourself, making a specific proposal, and trying to defend it in front of yourself. Then that proposal is served to someone behind the scenes and returned with the final answer that it cannot be done under those conditions.

It is much more efficient to talk face to face with the person who decides, if you cannot provide that, do not even negotiate.

4. Do Your Preparations Beforehand

The more information you have about the environment, conditions, and market, the greater the chances of reaching the best agreement from your point of view.

Sometimes you can beat the other side by shooting blindly, but chances are higher that you will hit the price if you know the average prices for that service or the price your competition is offering at the moment. Knowledge is – in negotiations indeed – power.

5. Do Not Take Anything Personally

To maintain objectivity, treat all negotiations as if you were a “professional” hired by the employer to negotiate. When you allow yourself to engage emotionally in negotiations, the rational side slips aside, and you can regret it later. A cold head gives the best results in negotiations and therefore excludes your ego from negotiations.

6. Anticipate The Other Party’s Objections

Before entering into negotiations, try to consider all the reasons and objections that could prevent the other party from reaching an agreement with you. During negotiations, people give numerous reasons why something cannot be done. Most of which are meaningless or a product of fear due to ignorance or a deliberate provocation to achieve a better position. When you prepare quality answers to the opponent’s objections in advance, you strengthen your position by quickly rejecting those doubts.

7. Don’t Underestimate Karma

The best agreements are those from which both parties leave with positive feelings about the achieved results. The worst are those negotiations where one side leaves with a feeling that it has drawn a thick end.

A win-win combination is the best end to negotiations that should be successful in the long run, and with that knowledge, you should conduct the entire negotiation procedure. Negotiations in which you have harmed others will return to you in the same way. As the saying goes: What goes around comes around; it only takes time.

8. Be Partners, Not Rivals

Whether you’re negotiating in college or the workplace, keep in mind that negotiating is not a competition, nor is pointing the finger at the culprit on duty. It is an arrangement for mutual benefit.

If you want to build a partnership based on trust, you will quickly conclude that when negotiating, you need to look for the optimal solution for both parties, which will help you develop soft skills.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially those related to collaboration. Stick to openness and friendliness to make communication correct and enjoyable.

9. Listen Carefully

Adopt the tactics of skilled negotiators and listen carefully to what the other side has to say. Read between the lines. Find out what is important for your partner to achieve and what he will not agree to at any cost. Whether parts of the agreement oppress the other party or something they are afraid of, be sure to touch on these topics together.

To build mutual respect, restrain yourself from interrupting and interfering with the word. Instead, try to look at the situation from all angles and consider a compromise.

In the end, it will be easier for you to reach an agreement to your mutual satisfaction when you step into someone else’s shoes for a moment. If listening has never been your strong suit, you can always learn to listen effectively and become even more successful.

On the other hand, you will probably find yourself at least once with an offer in hand that does not meet your minimum expectations. If you feel you deserve more, don’t hesitate to ask for it. But, unfortunately, it is often just an irrational fear and shyness.

10. Arguments Are Tools

Without a clear goal, negotiations are a waste of time. You must know at all times what solution to the situation you want and what concessions you do not wish to agree to. Accompany everything with good arguments. Explain what you want, but keep a cool head and a calm tone.

As you will generally have to argue your views to older colleagues, you will likely lag behind experience on this issue. So use your social networks for argumentative discussions, or you can also engage in online debates on websites like Debate, Debate Island or ProCon.

11. Patience Is Key

Setting some deadlines in the negotiation process can only lead to tensions and nervousness. Instead, embark on this process calmly and with an open mind. If the discussion goes in the wrong direction, it may be better to interrupt and postpone the resumption for another day. Then, allow yourself and the other side to relax and reflect.

12. Educate Yourself

Like any other skill, people should learn negotiation skills. There are many ways to enrich knowledge outside of college for free. For example, you can listen to a podcast on negotiation that features an expert on the topic, someone who has worked for the FBI for years.

Write these negotiating rules and put them in a visible place so. It will act as a reminder until all of them become a part of your list of principles you can use to negotiate with people."

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