Negotiating is another interpersonal skill that managers use. For instance, they may have to negotiate salaries for incoming employees, negotiate for resources from their managers, work out differences with associates, or resolve conflicts with subordinates. Negotiation is a process of bargaining in which two or more parties who have different preferences must make joint decisions and come to an agreement.
You can be more effective at negotiating if you use the following six recommended behaviors:
Research the individual with whom you will be negotiating
Acquire as much information as you can about the person with whom you’ll be negotiating. What are this individual’s interests and goals? Understanding this person’s position will help you to better understand his or her behavior, predict his or her responses to your offers, and frame solutions in terms of his or her interests.
Begin with a positive overture
Research shows that concessions tend to be reciprocated and lead to agreements. Therefore, begin bargaining with a positive overture and then reciprocate the other party’s concessions.
Address problems, not personalities
Concentrate on the negotiation issues, not on the personal characteristics of the individual with who you’re negotiating. When negotiations get tough, avoid tendency to attack this person. Remember it’s that person’s ideas or position that you disagree with, not him or her personally.
Pay little attention to initial offers
Treat an initial offer as merely a point of departure. Everyone must have an initial position. Such positions tend to be extreme and idealistic. Treat them as such.
Emphasize win-win solutions
If conditions are supportive, look for an integrative solution. Frame options in terms of the other party’s interests and look for solutions that can allow this person, as well as yourself, to declare a victory.
Create an open and trusting climate
Skilled negotiators are better listeners, ask more questions, focus their arguments more directly, are less defensive, and have learned to avoid words or phrases that can irritate the person with whom they’re negotiating (such as “generous offer,” “fair price,” or “reasonable arrangement”). In other words, they are better at creating the open and trusting climate that is necessary for reaching a win-win settlement.