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Video: The Key To Negotiation: Matching Together - Self-development
Negotiations are different: the conclusion of transactions and partnership agreements, the distribution of duties with colleagues, even bargaining in the store. From such situations, everyone wants to come out victorious, but this does not mean that someone should lose. How to achieve mutually beneficial results and at the same time strengthen the partnership? Easy! The main thing is to avoid mental traps.
We cannot negotiate according to the principle: "What's mine is mine, and we'll talk about yours."
John F. Kennedy
When to start
Negotiations are needed when people find themselves in an interdependent relationship: if one does not do something, then the other will be powerless. The optimal negotiation style is collaborative. There are situations in which negotiations open up new opportunities: for example, you can see the prospects for the company's growth, the launch of a more successful project, or, say, a promotion, but by and large you will not lose anything if you decide not to get involved.
Sometimes the negotiations can be out of necessity. For example, the regulations oblige every three years to revise the salaries of subordinates or it is time to distribute the corporate budget between the departments of the company. Such negotiations can be called distributive, and in them there will always be someone the winner and someone the loser.
Because of the anticipation of such a sad outcome, I would like to consider the negotiations as a one-time test that must be experienced and forgotten. But in reality, they serve as a means of maintaining and developing working relationships. Even a seemingly predetermined situation can turn into unexpected benefits if the so-called integrative negotiation style is included. Want to learn a new technique?
Find a common denominator
In integrative negotiations, instead of a limited resource, the emphasis shifts to the motives of each of the parties and, most importantly, to their common interests. How to put it into practice? One way to restructure your thinking is to monitor your speech and use terms carefully.
For example, let's compare the concepts of "positions" and "interests". A position is a set of requirements put forward by one of the negotiating parties. They are usually tough and unambiguous. An example is a salesperson who stands firm on the quoted price.
Here there is an involuntary division of the participants in the process into "we" and "they". Moving from toughness to a collaborative atmosphere requires digging deeper. Behind each position lies a set of professional or personal interests, and it is these that are clarified in integrative negotiations.
Instead of giving in to instinct and responding to a tough position with the same force, you can behave smarter: bypass the conversation about positions and look at what they are based on. Ditch the concept of “solutions” and move on to discussing “options”. When we are offered a ready-made solution, it sounds confident, but dogmatic - like an attempt to impose our point of view. A good negotiator, on the other hand, tries to invite parties to cooperate even with a subtle selection of synonyms and make the discussion more flexible. You can say: “We propose to consider this option …” or “Let's discuss this possibility” - this is how you show your willingness, together with the other party, to develop conditions that suit both of you.
Every step is important
Negotiation is often a chaotic and reciprocal process. Nevertheless, there are five main stages:
- 1. Preparation and planning.
- 2. Approval of topics and determination of mutual intentions.
- 3. Exchange of proposals.
- 4. Bargaining.
- 5. Conclusion of agreements. At each of these stages, traps lie in wait for you, which are easy to avoid.
1. Preparation and planning
Even if you feel like a fish in water in negotiations, you should not neglect this stage. The better you prepare for a business meeting, the more flexible and responsive you can be in the process.
Research: analysis of the market situation, investigation of the specifics of the business of a potential interlocutor.
Planning: who can hypothetically agree on what, what objections may arise, but most importantly - what is the area of intersection of interests, within which bargaining is possible. It makes sense to make a list of items to bargain about, focusing on items of high value to you and low value to the other party. This is where it will be easiest to persuade the interlocutor to make concessions.
Emotional preparation is the hardest part. Try to assess how intense the upcoming conversation promises to be, what can make you mad, and what, on the contrary, will support you in difficult times.
If you are not sure if you can keep your cool, ask someone to role-play the conversation with you so that you can practice emotional detachment while still on the beach.
2. Themes and intentions
It is good if one side sent another list of topics for the upcoming discussion the day before. If you have not received such a letter, do not be lazy to write it yourself. This will set the stage for transparent and structured negotiations.
Before you get to the bottom of the negotiation, discuss possible objections and complications that could disrupt the smooth flow of the conversation. For example, the absence of one of the participants or equipment malfunctions. In the initial stages, it is important to keep track of how you present the context of your meeting. Why are you here? What do you expect from each other?
3. Exchange of proposals
Choosing the right moment for the first sentence requires a lot of skill. Revealing their cards too early may result in the other side being psychologically ill-prepared, and being too assertive may raise suspicions.
It is also important to respond promptly to the options offered to you. To show respect and cooperation, don't give up right away. Together, think about and discuss in detail the proposal and how it might work - even if you are quite sure it won't.
It is in such a conversation that the true interests of the parties emerge, including the common ones. If you can find them, it almost always guarantees a positive outcome.
4. Bargaining is appropriate
Bargaining sometimes seems to be negotiation, but this is just one stage in a broader process. The essence of trading is in the exchange of possible concessions, about which it is important to remember the following:
- 1. The negotiator must thoroughly understand his business and the situation in the market in order to soberly assess the consequences of the concessions he will make.
- 2. The concessions must be equal. It is important to keep track of tricks when they are trying to "breed" you to a greater contribution under the pretext of what an impressive step they are taking for you (in fact, this may be a minor trifle).
- 3. Unilateral concessions should be avoided. Always make sure in advance if you are ready to meet you halfway, and only then decide what you are willing to sacrifice for the sake of this agreement. The main word is "if", only it leads to a mutual exchange of concessions.
If you have taken the path of transparent communication and fairness, learn to analyze the psychology of the interlocutor. Have you noticed that your partner is cheating? This is not a reason to jeopardize the whole process. You can always respond soberly and respectfully to bring the conversation back to discussing options.
One of the dangerous traps is the artificial increase in self-interest. Maybe you had to catch yourself thinking that now it is too late to retreat: sorry for the time spent, a lot of money was spent on preparation, your reputation is at stake. If you are familiar with such sensations, then learn to stop yourself in time. Ask yourself: Are these costs really worth more than the potential consequences of a bad deal?
Never be afraid to pause negotiations or stop the discussion altogether if it is to the detriment of your interests.
5. Conclusion of an agreement. Final touches
The negotiations were successful, you managed to find an option that suits both parties. This means that the time has come to concretize as much as possible what you have agreed on, which means that we should be even more attentive to the words.
Writing is easier to do, and an experienced negotiator will always take over this part of the work. This is where the "power of the pen" begins to manifest itself: the one who wraps the agreement into a formal agreement has a chance to influence its nuances by a subtle choice of wording.
Even if the outcome of the negotiations became the fulfillment of your cherished dream, keep the stormy delight with you. At the end of the process, the interlocutor should not have a suspicion that he was beaten or outwitted. Instead, find a way to reinforce your existing collaboration with a pleasant, collaborative ritual: open the champagne, exchange souvenirs, or take a shared photo.
A good negotiator always strives for strong and trusting relationships with partners. And they are built on respect and on the willingness to discuss emerging difficulties.
The choice is yours
As a practicing psychologist of the humanistic direction and a student of client-centered therapists, I was glad to find in the text a call to respect the interlocutor, search for common values, and maintain the format of an open and honest dialogue. Renowned client-centered therapist Karl Rogers talked about such basic principles of his approach as congruence, empathy and unconditional positive acceptance. These and other principles of humanistic therapy are reflected, for example, in such a method of resolving conflicts as mediation (when a neutral third party - a mediator - contributes to reaching a consensus between two disputing participants in the process).
I am sure that the values and principles mentioned above are relevant both in business negotiations, and in family relationships, and in any other areas where there are two people and a space of doubt between them. It is important to understand that the choice of how to fill this space (with respect and empathy or arguments and abuse) depends only on ourselves.
psychologist, non-medical psychotherapist