Understanding the Basics of Negotiation

Negotiation is a way of solving disputes, based on varying views and different objectives. Understanding the basics will help you understand how you can create value and assert it, deal with concerns about fairness and come to an outcome that is positive, whether you are a natural negotiator, or need to work on it.

Before entering into a negotiation you must have clear and concise goals for your desired outcomes along with the information and research needed to back these goals. This helps you anticipate potential counter arguments, and to develop a strategy for achieving success.

It is also crucial to know the other party’ interests, as well as their needs, desires and fears in order to anticipating possible objections. You should also be able express your own preferences and the reasons behind them. You will appear more convincing and credible.

Lastly, you should be able, within a reasonable range to compromise. A rigid approach at the beginning of negotiations is usually not the best way to go, as it can be seen as a lack or inability to come to an agreement. Instead you should propose to give up something you value but only when it can be compatible with the other’s desire.

Another important aspect of preparing for negotiations is to determine your walk-away point (your BATNA, or the best alternative to a deal that you negotiate). This will help you decide when to close the discussion. If the other side is stuck in their positions it is unlikely that you will continue to discuss with the hopes of negotiating a deal.

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