Introduction to Negotiation Tips
Welcome to my weekly tips on negotiation. After thirty years of legal practice and countless negotiations, I have decided to share some tips with you that will assist you in every area of your life. You see, we negotiate every day with our spouses, children, supervisors, business clients, customers, and the list goes on. There are many levels of negotiation, but the tips you will receive here, you will be able to implement into your daily life.
Research shows that women specifically negotiate just as well as men except when it comes to negotiating for themselves…so welcome, ladies, to a brand new world. Remember, you don’t get what you want. You don’t get what you work for. You get what you negotiate. Let’s start negotiating!
Negotiation Tip 1: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
Stephen Covey coined the phrase “seek first to understand, then to be understood.” It is a great mindset to have in the negotiation process. Most people are not naturally wired to think first about what another person wants prior to meeting their own needs. But as part of the process of negotiation, it is important to consider not only your desired outcome, but the position of the other party. Failure to seek to understand the position, objections, and possible resistance of the other party will result in a failed strategy. Have you ever spoken to someone who responds to you prior to you finishing your sentence? It’s a clear indication that while they should have been listening to you they were forming their own response in their head. Failure to seek first to understand most of the time results in failed negotiations.
You seek first to understand by:
- Knowing the implications or effect of what you are asking on the other party (ex: financial, positioning, etc.)
- Seeking to understand what the other party wants
- Discovering the “one thing” they can’t walk away from the table without
The answers to the above questions can be found in listening, observing, and asking the right questions. Seeking first to understand allows you to focus on the potential of the deal and not on winning at the expense of the other party losing. There are many ways to negotiate, but if you do not think beyond yourself, you will lose every time. Your goal should not be to think “winner and loser” but to think collaboratively.
Let’s begin by seeking first to understand, then to be understood.
For more Negotiation Tips – click here.
CALL TO ACTION:
Practice active listening this week. When in conversation with another person, seek first not just to hear but to understand their viewpoint, then communicate yours considering the information you just received from them.