Excerpt from a course entitled “Communication Tips Weekly” on Lynda.com. The course instructors are Brenda Bailey Hughes and Tatiana Kalovou. This section is entitled “Negotiating Your Needs” and provides valuable insights and tips for creating successful negotiation strategy.
There are 3 steps to make a successful negotiation strategy.
Negotiate By Assessing Your Style
The Diplomat Style
The diplomat will be an attentive listener, brings a softer approach to a negotiation, is tolerant of opinions different than her own, but may fail to focus on her own interests and priorities. Diplomats are known to lose battles so that they can win wars. If the focus is on conceding to the other person’s needs, or building the relationship with your boss, being a diplomat may help you in the long run.
The Warrior Style
The warrior knows her needs. She stays focused on the task at hand, is not distracted by the drama and emotion of a situation. In negotiation situations where the relationship stakes are low, it’s fun to be a warrior. For example, buying a car or a house, where you are the customer and you could walk away at any time.
The cooperator finds maximum value in every negotiation, and makes sure that he and his counterpart each get their fair share. Unlike the diplomat, the cooperator will not give more than he takes, but will find value for both parties involved. Being a cooperator may be more appropriate when you’re dealing with colleagues and customers.
Negotiate By Assessing The Situation
As you enter in a negotiation, know exactly what is the most important part of your ask.
You need to know: what you will be flexible about, what you’ll give up, and what are your non-negotiable needs. All this is essentially important in negotiation, raises, work schedules, contracts.
Take some time to think of the level of trust you have with the other party. The higher the trust, the more you will be able to disclose. The lower the trust, the more information you should keep to yourself.
Take the temperature of the scene. Is this a time where others are making similar asks? Is this the right time in the day, the week, the quarter to be making this ask? Has the person you’re negotiating with been overwhelmed with other requests, or is he or she under stress? Truthfully this doesn’t matter if you’re negotiating for a change in your mobile phone plan, but it’s crucial when thinking of client- and work-related situations.
Are you approaching the right person? Sometimes the person you negotiate with is not the one equipped to make the decision. Starting a conversation about something they cannot change is not worth your time. Consider approaching them for advice, and use it to take your ask to the right person. Gather information.
When you walk into a negotiation, you need to already have all the facts. Do your homework, look for comparison data. For example, if you’re comparing travel days with another department, ask people about past history of similar negotiations so that you can be better prepared.
Negotiate By Assessing Your Strategy
Look to past history. Was your last negotiation with this person a successful one? Did it build the relationship, or was this a one-time ask? Depending on the situation you can be flexible on the negotiation style you use.
Consider what’s in it for them. When you approach someone with their benefit in mind, they’re more likely to be open to your idea. Even when you’re asking your boss for a raise, and you can highlight the value you bring to the department’s overall success, or the ways that you make their work easier.
Consider your approach. If you tend to be a diplomat, does this negotiation allow you to be more assertive and boost your chances of walking away with exactly what you need? If you’re a warrior, do you need to consider toning down your approach and building the relationship?