Negotiation is the formal discussion between people who are trying to reach an agreement while avoiding argument or dispute. In any negotiation, each person wants to achieve an outcome that is best for their position; however, it is also important to focus on the key principles of fairness, mutual benefit, and maintaining relationships.
Why negotiate? It is inevitable that conflicts will arise in business because people or departments will have differing needs and wants. Without negotiation, those disagreements can lead to arguments, feelings of dissatisfaction, and breakdowns in relationships that can negatively impact the business and one’s career path. The purpose of negotiation is to reach agreement without causing future barriers in communication amongst employees or groups.
What skills are needed to be an effective negotiator? It is essential in your career and in business to be able to get people to agree. Negotiating relates directly to understanding human behavior and how people make decisions that are important to them. The most effective negotiators can identify what is interfering with coming to an agreement and can help solve those issues. The ability to negotiate requires a variety of interpersonal and communication skills.
Problem Analysis – You need to be able to analyze the problem and determine the main issue, the interested parties, and outcome goals. Clear away your assumptions and find out what the other party views as the problem.
Preparation – You need to prepare for the negotiation by determining the goals, alternatives to the goals, and areas of trade. It is also important to review the history of the relationship and past negotiations to help determine potential areas of agreement and common goals.
Active Listening – This involves reading body language along with listening to verbal communication. A skilled negotiator spends more time listening than talking about their viewpoint.