Just Exactly What Is A Negotiation?

by drjim on September 27, 2013

When you negotiate you won't get what you wanted but you will get what you need

When you negotiate you won’t get what you wanted but you will get what you need
Image Credit

Before you can have any hope of becoming a better negotiator, you need to make sure that you fully understand just exactly what a negotiation is. Forget about all of those negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, just exactly is a negotiation? All too often a lot of us jump into a negotiation thinking that it is one thing when in reality, it’s something completely different. If we spend just a few moments trying to get to the bottom of this question, then I think that you’ll have the tools that you are going to need in order to become a better negotiator.

You Never Get What You Want, But You Always Get What You Need

I don’t care how many years you have been negotiating, we all enter into a negotiation with the same thought in mind: how can I get everything that I want to get? The harsh reality of life is that we always end up with less. A negotiation is all about us learning to accept a set of compromises as a substitute for what we thought that we really wanted.

It’s our ability to learn how to compromise during a negotiation that allows us to eventually reach a deal with the other side. When you start a negotiation, there is actually much more that you don’t know than you do know.

While the negotiation unfolds, you’ll be learning things about both yourself and the other side of the table. What all of this is going to require is that you use both logic and raw brainpower. It really does not matter how old or young, tall or short, big or small you are. A negotiation is a journey that you are hoping leads you to a deal that both sides of the table can live with.

It’s All About Thinking In Reverse

If you want to be successful at this negotiating thing, then you are going to have to be willing to be constantly exploring what is possible looking for a new solution that will work for both sides of the table. In order to make this happen, you are going to have to learn how to think in reverse.

When you think in reverse during a negotiation, what you do is you start out by making a proposal that is so outrageous that there is no way that the other side of the table is ever going to agree to it. You then proceed to negotiate with the other side and slim down your outrageous proposal into a deal that the other side can live with – and which resembles the deal that you wanted in the first place!

In order to get from where you start to where you want to end up, you are going to have to be the one who is helping the other side to shape the deal that you want. You can make this happen by always suggesting multiple options to them. The more options that you present them with, the easier it is going to be for them to eventually reach a deal that you can live with.

What All Of This Means For You

Before any of us can become better negotiators, we all need to make sure that we understand just exactly what a negotiation is. The key is to realize that we always show up to a negotiation with a goal in mind – we know what we want.

However, we’re never going to get that. Rather, we’re going to end up having to make some compromises that we’ll have to be able to live with in order to reach a deal with the other side. A great way to make this happen is to think in reverse. When you do this you can lead events down a path to end up where you want to be when the principled negotiation are over.

Negotiating is not particularly hard to do well. However a negotiation can be a long and challenging process. As long as you understand just exactly what a negotiation is and where you want to get to, you’ll be able to successfully get the deals that you need in order to be successful.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: What can you do to make sure that the other side of the table understands what a negotiation is before things start?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I’d like to clear something up right off the bat. Negotiating is not something that you and I do every once in awhile. It’s not limited to something that we prepare for and then come to a room, sit down, and start. Rather, it’s a part of every day of our lives. We negotiate with everyone that we know all the time. In order to get good at doing this, we need to understand what negotiating really is…

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: