In the corporate world where relationship building and long-term partnerships are celebrated, negotiation settings should not be dominated by hardballing from any party. Hardballing, no matter how persuasive one’s pitch, can compromise an organization’s business prospects and make difficult future collaborations. As such, negotiators must be competent in reaching win-win outcomes. This would ensure a pleasant dealing experiences and sustainable partnerships in the long run. In fact, good negotiation skills can also contribute to positive personal reputation that you can take with you throughout your career.

When preparing yourself for a negotiation, it would be worthwhile to bear in the mind the following pointers:

1. Understanding Precedence

If your organization is not making the deal for the first time, you might do well to familiarise yourself with the terms and strategies of previous negotiations with the particular organization. Most of all, be aware of existing power dynamics between the parties negotiating. Speak to past negotiators, if within your means, to understand the terrain of your battleground.

2. Mastering the Context

Before you embark on any negotiation, it is important to understand the stakes on hand and mix of interests to balance. Firstly, one must be cognizant of the interests of the organization he or she is representing and gauge the leeway that he or she has in negotiating a deal. Secondly, one should also be aware of where the other party is coming from. What do you think the other party wants in this deal? Anticipate his or her concerns and strategize how you can assuage them even before the negotiation itself. Equip yourself with all the information you need that the other party might not have access to, and use it to your advantage.

3. Finding Alternatives

What if both parties should have trouble coming to a consensus? Consider any feasible alternatives you may be able to propose in place of the original. Flexibility is key and the innovation of an alternative solution could lend itself to a different deal, that is nonetheless beneficial to both organizations. All roads lead to Rome, in which case Rome is a satisfactory partnership for both business partners.

4. Remembering the Intended Outcome

It is never negotiation for negotiation sake. One should keep in the mind the ideal outcome and seek to maximize gains for the company, if not in the short run then the long run. Prioritizing the outcome would also help you refine your strategies and position your organization’s offerings more effectively.

5. Personal Style

We may all know charismatic negotiators that we look up to, but good negotiators are diverse in personalities and negotiation styles. Some are good listeners and problem-solvers, others are more assertive and persistent. It is important to understand where your strengths and weaknesses are in communication and work on areas that require improvement.

Need help in this area? Digne Consult will support you in your personal development and provide you with tailored coaching to help you reach your goals. Give us a ring at +31 35 531 82 88/+65 64 00 70 91 or drop us an email at (for the Netherlands)/ (for Singapore).

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