Do you sit up at night and wonder what it would be like to have the power to achieve everything you want? It’s not uncommon to fantasize about such things and most people believe it’s just that – a fantasy. Most people don’t recognize that their goals and dreams are easily achievable with the right negotiation skills.
Focus on your goal and pin point exactly what (or who) is posing as an obstacle for you. Is there a job you want, but you don’t think you’re not smart enough to get it? Does your supervisor seem hard to talk to? Is your family unwilling to compromise with you? Maybe you’re insecure about asking for a loan from the bank to buy the yacht you want. It’s possible to get rid of all of these obstacles when you’re equipped with successful negotiation skills.
In order to equip yourself with the right negotiation skills, you must ensure you are on the same page as your negotiation partner. Being on the same page means finding common ground with the other party, finding out what their underlying values are. When you find out more about your partner’s wants and your own wants you are equipped with knowledge , which will give you the skills to successfully negotiate what you both want. That’s right, you heard us correctly, we said successfully negotiate what you BOTH want.
When you share the same vision with your negotiation partner it’s much easier create outcomes that are mutually satisfying and give you the results you desire. Being on the same page with someone means sharing a vision, an overarching idea that guides both of you to your desired outcomes. Your shared vision may be to establish open communication with each other or to enhance production. When you have determined your shared vision you are ready to begin your successful negotiation. Just as you would get dressed in the morning, your suit of negotiation skills has pieces that must be put on first before the others. You put your undergarments on first, then your shirt and pants, then your hat, glasses, and watch, etc.
Let’s see how your negotiation outfit goes on:
Piece 1 – Undergarments: This is when you build the foundation for your negotiation skills. Discuss what each of you can do to help build that shared vision. Communicate your opinion with your negotiation partner about what you want and what needs to be done in order to get there.
Piece 2 – Shirt: Next, continue to equip yourself with an ensemble of negotiation skills by asking the other person for their reaction to your plan. Be sure to probe them, finding out exactly what they need from the plan and if they would get that with the plan you have proposed. Remember that the strategy you use needs to be mutually beneficial so that each party feels satisfied with the result. Be a good listener during this stage; be sure you are hearing their words completely before replying to it.
Piece 3 – Pants: This is one of the most important pieces of your suit, and that is to ask the other party to conjure up a strategy of their own; one that would produce all the results they desire in the perfect way. (If they need help, feel free to brainstorm about what you perceive to be their desired outcome.)
Piece 4 – Socks: Sometimes overlooked, this is an integral part of your negotiation outfit. Put on your socks by looking over this new strategy. Does it encompass all that you want out of the deal? Be sure that it satisfies all of your values.
Repeat: It may sound strange, but we’re going to add some more of these same layers to your outfit; after all, this entire ensemble needs to be strong and durable, ready for whatever “weather” you run into. Add “layers” to your outfit by repeating the same steps above. Do this as many times as necessary until you and the other party are completely satisfied.
Piece 5 – Shoes: Slip on this last big piece of your outfit by agreeing upon the detailed actions you will both take to make your shared vision a reality. As soon as you’ve completed this step, move on to Piece 6.
Piece 6 – Accessorize: Accessories are the finishing touches to your negotiation outfit- they make all the difference. Go the extra mile and set up a follow-up meeting right then and there. Even if it’s tentative, just agree on a time to meet. When you follow up you will be discussing the status of your agreements and whether anything needs to be added or changed to make things work for the both of you. This step is all about accountability; without it you have no way of monitoring your progress. If you fail to monitor your progress, you run the risk of finding out later that something went wrong, and by that time there could be resentful feelings on each side.
When you meet to follow up and monitor your progress, you have another chance to wear your negotiation suit. Remember that every great outfit has lasted through many seasons, and the designer has gone through endless hours of training. Keep practicing and you’ll become an even better negotiator; you’ll find yourself achieving your desired outcomes with ease.