1. Be prepared. Know exactly the outcome you are aiming for and learn as much about the person with whom you are negotiating and the outcome that they are after so that you can anticipate reactions, objections and responses. Being prepared also means that you can behave in a fair and professional manner without taking things personally or getting angry.
2. Encourage the other side to talk, listen to their presentation, understand their position and identify the real issues. You can do this easily by asking open ended questions and then just shut up and listen. Silence can be a very effective negotiating tool.
3. Look for ways that you can reach agreement. Try and find areas that make it easier for the other person to say "yes". If you can agree to small things first then you can create a positive atmosphere. Find some mutual ground for agreement upfront even if it's just that you both agree that you have a problem which needs to be resolved. Once you have made an offer stop talking and wait for a response. Later, as you develop alternative solutions, consider the other party's interests. If you do have to give something away, make sure that you get something in return.
4. Evaluate your own position. Think about whether you really have to reach an agreement or can you walk away? Is time putting pressure on you to reach an agreement? If you can't reach a negotiated agreement, what is your best alternative? The answer to these sorts of questions will determine how flexible you can be. It is importatnt to never appear desperate to make a deal - always let the other side know that you are prepared to walk away and the chances are that they will make concessions.
5. Choose your words carefully e.g. use "and" instead of "but" wherever possible and avoid anything that sounds negative. Ask what the other person thinks is fair or reasonable in order to break a stalemate and use sentences with the word "because" in order to encourage the listener to be logical.
6. Negotiate an agreement that is consistent with your long term interests and never accept anything that could have a negative impact on your values or personal brand. In other words, know what you want and don't be afraid to ask for it.
7. When you believe that you have reached an agreement, summarize your understanding of what has been agreed and have it confirmed in writing. Be sure to always end on a positive note.
By Anne Galloway
Photography by Michal Popiel
From Anne Galloway: And now I would like to invite you to sign up to recieve your free copies of my Inspirational Toolkit delivered direct to your inbox when you visit, http://www.power-to-change.eu - just click on the subscribe button. Here you will find even more free advice and tips to help you put the fun and passion back into your working week.From Anne Galloway, "The Inspirational Coach" at power-to-change.