The art of effective negotiation

By  Stephanie Oakley
Category: Business

Effective negotiation strategies leave all parties satisfied while improving and maintaining personal relationships.

The key to success is remembering that everything is negotiable, and to get a deal you must ask for one. Negotiating is not always a straightforward process, with many people even finding it uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be this way, as there are many different styles of negotiating you can use to find a solution. In order to effectively negotiate and improve your chances of maintaining positive relationships, the key is to focus on three main areas.


Separating people from the issues will benefit your negotiation strategies. Ensure that each party understands the other’s perception of what is involved, and what each person expects from the negotiation. Identify the underlying emotions on both sides, and acknowledge them in your discussion. Listen actively and speak to be understood, not merely to argue a position.


Work with the other party to come up with a variety of options. You may look for areas of agreement by identifying shared interests. Think of ways that you can compromise differing interests by exploring options that are of low cost to you and high benefit to the other party, or vice versa.


Insist on negotiating within a mutually agreed upon standard of fairness in order to avoid conflict. By developing an objective criteria prior to negotiation, it will allow you to come to an equitable final agreement. The criteria may involve historic precedent, industry best practices, market value or legal rulings.

Negotiating within these standards can help to eliminate emotional bias, and is crucial to establishing a foundation of trust on which you can then build a relationship.


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