If you can name six reasons why negotiating is essential, here are six ways how to be even better at it.

1. Goals And Intentions

Before the meeting ask yourself: What do I want to achieve at the end of these negotiations?

Think about why is it important to achieve that particular result.

Sometimes agreement doesn’t have to be the best solution for you.

So thing good about what is.

2. Priorities

Making the list of priorities will assure that you know what’s important at any point of negotiations.

Confusing a top priority with a less important one can lead to a disaster.

So always know things you can give away and things you are not willing to negotiate.

3. Conditions

In the preparation phase you should answer these three questions:

Under which circumstances will I get:

positive answers to my questions?

compliance with my proposition for a solution?

a positive outcome, or deal?

With this list, you will make sure you have all the requirements and conditions to achieve your goal with this negotiation.

Now you’re ready to start negotiating.

4. Framing

At the beginning of the meeting, talk about groundwork and the structure of the negotiations.

Once you and the person you’re negotiating with both know this, it will be easier to follow the guidelines.

If you do this ahead of negotiations, you won’t have to adjust or correct anything later on.

Framing is always better than reframing.

5. Feedback

Never ask for a prompt decision, rather ask for feedback.

Feedback is an excellent tool of communication that allows the person who’s giving it to actually participate in decision making, rather than just agreeing or dismissing it.

It gives the opportunity to know what the person likes and dislikes about your proposition, what would he or she change about it and why.

This way you can understand what’s relevant to the other side and only by doing this can you achieve agreement.

If you don’t let people participate in decision making, how can you expect them to accept your proposition?

6. Generalisation

Avoid it at any cost.

Open the conversation with a statement like: “It is known that…” or “We all know that…” and you’ll probably run into a closed door.

Try some of these instead and see what happens.

“Based on what I know by now, I am inclined to this opinion/solution proposition.”

”I assume that this is…”

” If I am not mistaken…”

“I imagine this to be…”

You are the only person you can talk for, so never assume what others know or think.

Even if you’re right to assume it, sometimes people won’t agree with you.

If you state your opinion, chances of them interrupting you are much less.

So don’t try some of these ideas, try all of them for your next negotiation and see which ones work for you.

Remember, negotiations don’t have to be only around a business table, so think of all the situations in your private life where these can be useful.

How would your life look like if you could achieve agreement on anything, with anyone?

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Mark C. Williams
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