Negotiation involves two or more parties with different needs and goals who are working together to form a solution. Oftentimes when we hear the word negotiation we think of a huge business deal. While that may be one example of negotiation, the truth is negotiation is a skill that can be helpful in a number of situations and not just in the business world. In fact, life is a series of negotiations. You negotiate every day from the time you wake up until you go to sleep. You might negotiate with your spouse about who will take the kids to school. You get to work and your day is full of negotiations with colleagues and business partners. Then, you head home and negotiate with the kids over how much TV they can watch, what they will eat for dinner, and what time they will go to bed. On any given day you might be faced with multiple situations that require negotiation: buying a car, having work done on your home, which medical advice to follow, which school to choose, how much to spend on a vacation, how long your parents can stay with you and the list goes on and on. From the major to the mundane, negotiations are a part of life and the way we get things done. Learning to communicate well and influence other people are skills that are essential in both the business world and your personal life. Learning to negotiate effectively can help you in just about any situation, and here’s why:
Many people hear the word negotiation and immediately go in the other direction. When you feel intimidated, however, you are already on your way to defeat. The world has its fair share of tyrants and those who are out to intimidate their way to success. People can sense when you are not up to the fight and they will take advantage of that. Conversely, people who possess strong negotiation skills appear more confident and have the ability to take control of the situation. Don’t get bullied into giving in. Instead, strengthen your negotiation skills and build the confidence you need to get winning results.
Knowing When to Walk Away
There are times when it’s worth the fight and there are times when you just need to walk away. You will be presented with these types of scenarios both personally and professionally, but the people who possess strong negotiation skills will know when it’s time to walk away. When important decisions hang in the balance, it’s important to know when to walk.
Learning to Compromise
Contrary to popular belief negotiating is not about winning as much as it is about compromise. A competition for resources or benefits isn’t a true negotiation. In a true negotiation, each side has something to offer and some things they can reasonable concede. Those who are open, fair, and honest will be able to compromise in order to reach a win-win solution.
More often than not it’s not as much about what you say as how you say it. Those who possess strong people skills stand to gain much more from any negotiation. Approaching a negotiation nervously or aggressively gives the other person the upper hand. Having good negotiation skills will empower you to remain calm, civil, and direct during conversations. People skills certainly go a long way in building friendships, and personal and professional relationships.