Negotiation is a part of every aspect of our life. In your personal life it could be trying to get your spouse to do a chore or run an errand. In your professional life it might involve a raise, increase in a client’s budget or a lease on new office space.

Negotiation is a bit like conflict resolution, it makes people uncomfortable. Asking for more money or a concession is not easy, what it is…is necessary and part of life.

So…how do you become a better negotiator? Here are a few tips from me and Harvard Business Review (HBR), we’ll see if you can tell the difference.

  1. Use humor. Not everything in life has to be so damn serious. The first thing I do when entering an awkward conversation is admit it is awkward. This usually sets people at ease and opens the floor for an honest discussion.
  2. Change the setting. Go grab a beer and review that contract. Taking someone out of their everyday setting can lighten the mood and loosen everyone up. I mean, a cocktail or two helps lessen the tension.
  3. Smartness or as they say IQ. According to Harvard Business Review, people with higher IQs tend to approach negotiations in a more cooperative or collaborative way. They also have some really witty, intelligent responses. Some people are just good on their feet. For those of us that are not, refer to #1.
  4. Self-awareness. HBR has this to say about those of us that are self reflective – we all have mental models to interpret other people’s behaviors, and awareness of these models is key to influencing how people think of us. What this also means is narcissistic individuals are at a disadvantage, as they have no ability to see past themselves.

The deal is you get the ability to choose how you approach the convo, what you say and ultimately how you react.

What tips do you have for negotiation?

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