Tips for Successful Negotiations


We’ve heard a lot about the importance of “deals” lately, especially with the political rise of President-elect Trump.

A release from The Negotiation Institute promoting the upcoming Women’s Insight on the Art of Negotiation (WIN) Summit offers five critical tips for success:

1. Always remember: the cost of asking is lower than the cost of not asking.
We understand that it can be nerve racking to enter into a negotiation with a superior, but it usually pays off. As Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” So how does this apply to negotiations? Essentially, if you don’t ask for it nobody will. Whether it is for a higher salary, more vacation days, or a better assignment, negotiate for your yourself. You want something, then ask for it!
2. Know what the other side has to offer and make your requests accordingly.
In other words: be reasonable. While it is smart to ask for a little more than you expect to get, don’t start your negotiation asking for way more than you could possibly expect to receive. If you know your company’s budget, ask for a salary increase within that amount. If you want a few more vacation days, don’t ask for two months paid leave so you can backpack around Europe. Have high expectations, but not so high that your request is out of the realm of possibilities.
3. Know what the job requires. Asking for more also means more work, make sure you prepare for your new responsibilities.
Just like you should know what your company can reasonably provide, you should also know what are your capabilities. We all want that raise or promotion, but we are not all necessarily qualified for it. If you negotiate for a job or assignment that you cannot successfully complete, it will damage your credibility in your next negotiation.
4. Always aim to do what is best for yourself and for the group, it leads to a more successful outcome negotiation.
We all enter into negotiations trying to get exactly what we want. However, it is important to remember that the other person or group has the same mindset. Therefore, your goal should be to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone involved. Ask for what you want, but be ready to make some concessions. If the other side is angered by how the negotiation is going, they not agree to anything at all.
5. Negotiation doesn’t just happen at the roundtable, all aspects of life and work can be a negotiated. 
You might think that you only negotiate at work, and that you only learned to do it as an adult. However, it is likely that you’ve actually been negotiating your entire life. As a kid you bargained with your parents to let you eat an extra piece of cake or stay up an hour later. In college you negotiated with your roommates about living space rules. When you got married you negotiated with your spouse about all aspects of your wedding. As a parent you negotiated with your child to get them to go to school or go to bed. So, take skills that you’ve learned from these negotiations and apply them to work. You just might be an expert negotiator and just not know it yet!

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