Many of us have been taught that negotiation is a “put up your dukes” experience. But you’ll be more successful if you think of it as a human interaction rather than a battlefield. A successful negotiation is not about winning but about maximizing benefit for both parties.
Five Ways to Negotiate Like a Pro
1. Start with a clear set of objectives.
Knowing your best case scenario and ultimate fall-back position will enable you to make disciplined decisions.
2. Understand that negotiation should have a win-win outcome.
Work toward creative approaches that will benefit both sides.
3. Understand the major and minor issues from both sides.
Don’t assume that you know what is important to the other party. Seek to understand which issues are show-stoppers and which are nice-to-haves.
4. Be flexible.
Don’t dig in. Adjust to issues that pop up.
5. Create common ground to achieve ultimate results.
By definition, negotiation implies differences, but lead with commonalities that will bring you together.