10 steps to a calmer, more productive approach to negotiation

10 steps to a calmer, more productive approach to negotiation

Why is it so important to make a comprehensive plan before you enter into any negotiation?

It is a great way to take the fear and unknown out of the process, hurdles that often hinder women’s succes at the negotiation table.

By familiarizing yourself with some key techniques for better understanding the dynamics of

a negotiation, and getting clear on your priorities, you empower yourself and increase the likelihood of better outcomes.

So let's get started... Here are 10 things you can do for a calmer, more productive approach to negotiation.

1) Set your goals. Under the most ideal circumstances, what does it look like at the end of the negotiation? What are you working towards?

2) For each of your goals in this negotiation, list at least five reasons why you want or deserve it. These are your interests in the negotiation.

3) Now revisit your list. Will they agree or disagree with the goals you have set, or with the interests you have listed? Make note of this, too.

4) Then think about what they want. What are their likely objectives in the negotiation? For each of their goals, list their interests as well.

5) Do you agree or disagree with any of their goals/reasons? Why? Are there any areas where your goals or interests overlap with theirs? Where are your goals farthest apart?

6) Go back to your goals now. Rate them in order of importance to you. Rate them again in order of how objectionable they may be to the other side. Then do the same for their goals.

7) Consider the relationship you have now, and what you desire in the future for that relationship. Is it ongoing? Will you continue to work together? Or do you need to get outta Dodge?

8) With this framework in mind, brainstorm solutions and ways to achieve your goals. For each goal, list reasons why it would also benefit them. Or evaluate what you are willing to offer them, or potentially give up, in order to meet a certain goal.

9) Memorialize your plan, including your goals and interests, possible solutions and strategies.

10) Remember that no matter the circumstances, there are two sides to every story. Commit to not take things personally, to listen and keep an open mind. Negotiation is about give and take. Not win or lose.

Next week, I’ll show you how this plan has been applied in real disputes in order to provide some more contexts on why this first step in negotiation is so crucial.


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