How to ace any ne­go­ti­a­tion Whether you are try­ing to reach an agree­ment on a ma­jor deal, bar­gain­ing to get a raise, or sim­ply try­ing to get your co-worker to see rea­son, ne­go­ti­at­ing is a daily part of work­ing life. Here’s how to hone your skills.

Finweek English Edition - - ON THE MONEY -

when it came to ne­go­ti­a­tions, the Amer­i­can oil bil­lion­aire Jean Paul Getty fol­lowed the ad­vice of his father: “Never try to make all the money that’s in a deal. Let the other fel­low make some money too, be­cause if you have a rep­u­ta­tion for al­ways mak­ing all the money, you won’t have many deals.”

Ac­cord­ingly, suc­cess­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions should be less tug of war, more give and take.

A sus­tain­able deal can never be a ze­ro­sum game, and com­ing to the ta­ble with only one de­sired out­come is ill-ad­vised. In­stead, the key to suc­cess­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions is de­vis­ing a num­ber of cre­ative so­lu­tions that can ben­e­fit both par­ties.

This starts by be­ing clear about what you want to achieve, and then craft­ing dif­fer­ent terms that would be ac­cept­able to both your­self and the coun­ter­party.

Here’s how to get to the ideal deal:

You need to have all the facts and fig­ures about the sit­u­a­tion be­fore you start to ne­go­ti­ate. As im­por­tantly, you need to un­der­stand the mo­ti­va­tions of the coun­ter­party. What are their in­ter­ests and what do they want to achieve? Con­sid­er­ing the sit­u­a­tion from the other side’s per­spec­tive will be cru­cial in achiev­ing an agree­ment. How­ever, don’t overem­pathise. There’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween

their point and their pain, which may cloud your per­spec­tive. This is called the em­pa­thy trap – the coun­ter­party may in­ad­ver­tently (or ad­ver­tently) guilt you into a deal you don’t want.

Lose the fear

When the stakes are high, ap­pre­hen­sion and anx­i­ety about not achiev­ing your goal can be de­bil­i­tat­ing, or make you overly ag­gres­sive in ne­go­ti­a­tions. Make sure you are calm, well-pre­pared and have back-up plans and counter-offers. Also, don’t take any crit­i­cism or re­jec­tion per­son­ally.

Never ne­go­ti­ate via email

Mes­sages can eas­ily be mis­con­strued.

Present mul­ti­ple equiv­a­lent si­mul­ta­ne­ous offers

Mul­ti­ple equiv­a­lent si­mul­ta­ne­ous offers (MESO) is a ne­go­ti­a­tion strat­egy that in­volves com­ing up with at least three dif­fer­ent op­tions that are all at equal cost to your­self. All of th­ese op­tions are then of­fered to the coun­ter­party as part of the ne­go­ti­a­tions. Research from two US aca­demics shows that this strat­egy yields re­sults: ne­go­ti­a­tions that in­volve MESO have a higher deal rate, and the party who presents the dif­fer­ent op­tions is seen as flex­i­ble and ac­com­moda­tive. The only down­side is that this strat­egy re­quires much more prepara­tory work.

ne­go­ti­a­tions is de­vis­ing a num­ber of cre­ative so­lu­tions

Lis­ten care­fully

Pick up on ev­ery point and make sure you un­der­stand all the is­sues by ask­ing ques­tions. Re­peat the state­ments the coun­ter­party makes back to them, con­firm­ing to them that you recog­nise and ap­pre­ci­ate their con­cerns. Also, lis­ten to how the coun­ter­party speaks. Match their speed of talk­ing. If they favour a mea­sured ap­proach, don’t over­load them with loads of facts and fast talk­ing.

Never use round num­bers

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