The ultimate goal of any negotiation is to be able to walk away from the table with the feeling that you were able to get what you came for. The trick is trying to understand just exactly how you can make that feeling happen. It turns out that the secret to conducting a successful negotiation depends not so much on what you do during the negotiation, but rather on what you do before the negotiations even starts…
Hope Is Not A Negotiator’s Friend
We all have hopes and dreams about the way that we’d like things to turn out for us. This is all good and fine, but it really does not have a role to play in our next negotiation. You never want to start a negotiation hoping for the best!
Instead, what you are going to want to do is to make the time to do your preparation and planning before the negotiations even start. This may sound a bit more daunting than it really is. Very basic planning consists of you taking the time to sit down and write out three things: what you must get out of the negotiations, what you would like to get out of the negotiations, and which of the issues that will be discussed really are not all that important to you.
As we all know, you’re not going to get everything that you want out of every negotiation. This means that you’re going to have to take the time to prioritize your “wish list” before the negotiations start. This way you’ll be able to keep your focus on what’s really important.
Fear Has No Role In Your Next Negotiation
When you go into a negotiation, do you always think that you are going to “win”? I guess a better way of saying that is do you think that you’re going to be able to walk away with what you want?
All too often a bit of fear can start to creep into our thoughts when we start to think about our next negotiations. It might be that we believe that the other side of the table holds all of the power. No matter what the reason is, we need to make sure that we are never afraid to negotiate.
Take a look at some of the biggest social and political debates that have happened: the Irish and the British, the Israelis and the Palestinians, etc. They’ve all been willing to sit down and negotiate no matter how big the differences between both parties was.
It’s up to you to make each negotiation be successful. You are going to need to pursue a win-win strategy and you are going to have to be looking for ways to reach an agreement with the other side of the table so that both of you can walk away with a deal that you can live with.
What All Of This Means For You
In order to be successful in your next negotiation you need to do your homework first. It’s what you do before the negotiations start that may determine what kind of deal, if any, you are going to be able to reach during the negotiations.
Planning is a key factor in helping you to reach a deal during a negotiation. What this means is that you can’t just hope that things will work out for you, instead you need to take the time to prepare yourself for success. No matter how far apart the two sides seem to be, you need to make sure that you are able to overcome your fear and continue on with the negotiations. You can be successful with the right win-win approach.
The real glamor, if indeed there is any, in a principled negotiation occurs during the heat of the discussions. People slam their fists on the table, walk out of the room, etc. as they use all sorts of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to try to get the deal that they want. However, despite the showmanship of this type of display, the outcome of the negotiation is generally determined by what you’ve done before everything started. Now go do your negotiating homework!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™
Question For You: How much time do you think that you should devote to preparing for a negotiation?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Every time that we enter into a negotiation, we always have one single goal in mind: how can I get more? We want to be able to walk away from the table with more than we arrived with. In order to make that happen, I have two valuable suggestions for you to use during your next negotiation.