Negotiations can occur in many situations and knowing how to negotiate can often be the difference between getting the result you wanted and not, its as simple as that.

An examples of this could be between a child and their parent and the negotiations over letting the child watch one more hour of TV if they complete their homework first. Or a business person looking to sell their goods and the customer trying to negotiate a discount.

So how can you get the results you want the next time you’re in a similar situation. Now there is two schools of thought on this, on one side economists, who think people act rationally. On the other psychologists, whose research shows that humans are full of needs, desires, emotions and contradictions?

So to help you I’ll give you an overview of some strategies I’ve used.

1) Don’t assume. Expectations can create friction when negotiating, go into the discussion with an open mind.

2) Create value. And let others know you’ve done that by creating value in the negotiation you can achieve a win-win think about the purpose of the meeting and share value.

3.) Know when to offer. This is a dilemma many face when negotiating, “Do I make the first offer or wait” Just remember the anchoring effect, by making the first offer this allows you to start talking about the subject and gives you an advantage as research shows the final “offer” is influenced by the first offer.

4. Check your emotions. You’re having these negotiations for a reason, emotions can often cloud this, and emotions can affect our ability to negotiate. A good way to avoid this is to write down your goals and the outcomes you are looking for and stick to them. “You should only deviate from these goals if you learn something you could not possibly have known before” says Thomas Lys a coach on negotiating.

Negotiations never go the way you plan they are a type of “Improvisational theatre” To achieve the best outcome you need planning, strategy and discipline if you want to get to YES.


*First Published in The Thetford and Brandon Times