All of us in life regularly have to negotiate. And it doesn’t have to be a dispute between big businessmen about an important deal – it can even be negotiations between family members regarding the place of future rest. Or negotiate with the child about what clothes to buy him. The skill of effective negotiations can be useful in a huge number of situations, and in this article, we will try to reveal to you some secrets of this skill.
Any effective negotiations have certain stages. The ability to see, feel and successfully pass them is an important key to the success of the entire enterprise. The number and content of these stages may vary depending on the situation: for example, it is obvious that if it comes to clarifying some moments with the household, then you do not need to find a place for effective negotiations (most likely it will be just your apartment). However, we will list all theoretically possible stages so that you have a kind of guide for any occasion:
Psychological training. Before the actual beginning of the conversation itself, it is necessary to clearly define what exactly you want to achieve. At the same time, it is very important not to show excessive egoism. It is clear that you are striving to do everything in your own way, but you must not forget that the other parties will want the same thing. So try to put yourself in their places and reflect on what, how, and why they may demand. And only after that, formulate your final goal, which will take into account the interests of all the participants in the negotiations and, to a certain extent, satisfy them. As part of the preparation, it is also advisable to determine the achievement of your goal in which way you would be satisfied, and which compromises will be most acceptable to you.
- Preparation of information. Conducting effective negotiations is unthinkable without reliable information and assumptions supported by real data (calculations, statistics, examples). To convince other people that for you is just a hypothesis and extensive reflections, it is almost impossible. Therefore, try to prepare all the necessary information for substantive reference.
- Choosing a place to meet and make arrangements for it. This stage is inherent in business effective negotiations and remains for the person who is the initiator of their conduct. A place to meet should be, on the one hand, such that you feel comfortable enough and confident in it. On the other hand, it must be somewhat status. This could be an office, a good cafe or a restaurant, an art space, in the summertime – even a picturesque park. You need to make an appointment with a clear, indicating a specific place and time. To designate a place, you can now use various online maps – just send a link to the future interlocutor, and he will know exactly where to go.
- Charges and arrival at the meeting. This, again, is a stage rather from the format of business negotiations, rather than domestic ones. On the appointed day, you should look good, take with you all the necessary documents, and also (highly desirable) not be late, but also not come too early. The concept of “looking good” in this case strongly depends on the context: somewhere only an elegant office suit is appropriate, somewhere well-fitting casual clothes will look more organic, and so on.
- Start a conversation. It may include an acquaintance (if you previously communicated with the interlocutor by phone, mail or Skype), exchange business cards, discuss general topics such as the weather or the interior of the cafe. This part of the negotiations is necessary so that all their participants relax a little and liberate themselves.
- Discussion of the subject of negotiations. Although the initial stage of the conversation is important, you should not delay it. It is necessary to smoothly but surely translate the conversation into the mainstream of that for which the meeting was organized. In the framework of the discussion, it is necessary to bring all the prepared arguments, to listen to the interlocutor, if possible to defend their point of view, if necessary – resort to compromise options. Some useful tips on how to behave correctly at this stage of the negotiations, we will give a little later.
- Behavior totals. It should also be done on time: at the moment when the conversation from substantive discussion begins to flow into meaningless demagogy. As a result of the negotiations, it is necessary to clearly state the decision to which you came in their course (including the further plans of all parties regarding the disputed situation) and ask the interlocutor whether he agrees with what was said. Only when he confirms that he understands the results of the conversation, in the same way, you can politely say goodbye and disperse. If the result of the negotiations was to be the signing of any papers, then naturally this should be done.
Tricks and tricks Of effective negotiations
Negotiating without preparation or without a clear summary of the results is not always, but quite often turns out to be a failure. Therefore, it is advisable to follow the rule of successive passage through all stages of the negotiation process (especially when it comes to business communication) in order to increase your chances of success. And what else can be done for this – we will tell further.
Look for common pain
Its shirt is closer to the body, and it is obvious that during the negotiations, each participant seeks to achieve the most advantageous decision for himself. The art of successfully getting out of this seeming impasse is the ability to find the common pain of all parties and to build a discussion around it. If the problem and, accordingly, you have a common goal, then you will be on the way to finding a solution to this problem.
Keep a positive attitude
This is a rather conventional wording; however, in general, a successful negotiation technique always implies the ability to control one’s emotions. You must think with your head, not with your heart, and not allow yourself to show pronounced weakness, upset, and the like. The ability to “save face” even in case of the unsuccessful outcome of the conversation is especially important in business negotiations since it shows the degree of your self-confidence and the seriousness of your attitude to the subject.
Do not try to seem overly clever.
In order to effectively conduct a conversation, it is very important to correctly balance on the part of how intelligent and intelligent the interlocutor will consider you. On the one hand, you should not “turn on the fool”, on the other hand, too, it’s not necessary to be too clever. People, for the most part, love to feel somewhat smarter than others. Therefore, do not press on your interlocutor with your erudition and let him occasionally flash his own.
Do not consider negotiations as your last chance.
To get the desired result, it is very important to remember one more simple rule: negotiations should not be for you a “lifeline”, without which you will perish. You should not consider the actual situation in your life as one that hangs in the balance and depends only on the outcome of this conversation. In other words, during effective negotiations, you should feel relatively light and relaxed, and not tense due to their extremely high importance.
Spend your time, energy and money rationally.
When it comes to negotiations on business, work, and the like, it is extremely important to properly allocate your resources. You should not attend many negotiations in a short period of time, and even more, you should not spend sleepless nights in front of them. If meetings are supposed to be held in places with fairly expensive services (for example, in fashionable restaurants), then you need to count their number based on your real financial capabilities.
Tune for the best, prepare for the worst
In order to conduct effective negotiations, you need to believe in your success and your idea – otherwise you simply cannot convey it to your opponent so that he, too, will like it. But at the same time, you should never rule out the likelihood of failure. Somewhere in the background of your thoughts, there should be a very clear understanding that in theory, a conversation can end with an unfavorable result for you. In this case, you will soon recover from the failure and begin to constructively argue what to do next.
Do not play the fortune teller or the great manipulator
During negotiations, everyone wants so much to get the desired result that sometimes the interlocutors begin to guess how to decipher the gestures, intonations, and looks of each other correctly. Theoretically, they may contain a grain of truth, but in practice, it is difficult to guess the correct interpretation, and you simply waste your time and energy on understanding the signs in which your opponent may not have put any sense.
At the other extreme, attempts are made to use negotiating methods with psychological manipulation. This option should be resorted to only if you have very deep knowledge, skills, and experience in such matters. If you just read a pseudo-expert article in a journal, then it is better to refrain from this: you will not achieve your result anyway, and it’s quite possible that you get angry with the interlocutor.
Ask open-ended questions
During the negotiation process, you can and should ask questions: this way you will better understand your opponent, show him your concern and attention to his opinion. However, these should be open-ended questions, that is, questions without answers and words that lead to a particular answer. Such questions give the person in charge of complete freedom of action, and he can say what he really thinks.
Thus, the rules of effective negotiations are quite extensive and diverse. But if you begin to observe at least some of them, then you will soon notice that there will be an order of magnitude more successful effective negotiations in your life.