Like it or not, you need to negotiate in life. You might need to negotiate your salary, the selling of your property, or the buying of an item. In any case, knowing how to negotiate is useful.
Here I’d like to share with you the lessons I learned from Getting to Yes. These tips can help you become a better negotiator. Here are 11 tips to improve your negotiation skills.
1. Focus on interest, not positions.
When negotiating, we are often too focused on the positions instead of the interests behind them. The positions are what you ask from the other party while the interests are why you want them.
For example, you might ask for a certain amount of salary while what you actually want is more freedom. If you focus only on the number, you might not have a deal with your employer. But when you recognize that what you actually want is freedom, you can be more flexible. You can accept a lower amount in exchange for more freedom.
2. See from their perspective.
To negotiate well, you need to understand their interests, not just yours. That means putting yourself in their shoes. See from their perspective. Understand their concerns. And show them that you understand.
When they know that you understand their concerns, they will become more open to hearing about yours.
3. Be creative at inventing options.
After understanding the interests of both parties, you should invent options that can meet those interests. Be creative. You might want to let go of the parts that you don’t want so that you can get the parts that you want.
4. Use objective criteria.
When trying to invent good options, use objective criteria. For example, you could use market value as the basis when selling your property. Depending on the case, you could also use the law, what people have done in the past, or experts’ opinion.
5. Get them involved.
Let’s say you are a business leader and want your team to run a new program. If you just force your decision top-down, you might not get the result you want. Your team might do it half-heartedly. But if you get them involved early, they will have a sense of ownership. They will do it with enthusiasm.
6. Give your reasoning first.
Before giving your proposal, give your reasoning first. If you give your proposal first, they might reject it right away in their minds and no longer listen to your reasoning. But if you give your reasoning first, they will be in a good frame of mind to hear your proposal.
7. Attack the problem, not the people.
When there is something you disagree with, make sure that you attack the problem, not the people. Avoid blaming or attacking them. Instead, express your disagreement with the problem while still showing respect to them. That way they will work with you to find a solution.
8. Use questions instead of statements.
When you disagree with something, express it in the form of questions rather than direct statements. Ask them if they think the option would be fair if they were in your position. Ask them if the other option is better.
9. Strengthen your alternative.
Your negotiation power depends on the strength of your alternative if no agreement is reached. The stronger your alternative, the stronger your negotiation power.
So try to strengthen your alternative beforehand. For example, before having a job interview, try to get other job offers first. This will increase your negotiation power.
10. Postpone important decisions.
When you are about to make an important decision, consider postponing it for some time. You might want to say something like, “Let me get back to you.” This will give you more time to think and prevent you from giving in easily.
11. Beware of psychological warfare.
Some people might try to make you uncomfortable so that they can get the upper hand in negotiation. Maybe they give you an uncomfortable chair or make you wait for them. These are psychological warfare. Recognize these tactics so that you don’t fall into the traps.
Those are eleven tips to improve your negotiation skills. Do you have other tips on how to negotiate effectively? Feel free to share them in the comments.
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