Wednesday, February 15, 2012

5 Power Tips for Better Negotiated Agreements

In the complex world of negotiation, coming up with a deal that the parties can live with in the long run, is no easy task.  How negotiators GET there become crucial.  Besides the relationship & trust building, determining of BATNA's, trust building, counterpart cultural & style saavy, there are other considerations leading to better agreements. 

Here are some tips to increase your chances for better agreements:

• Remember you're not negotiating alone - consider your counterpart's position, interests and bottom line. Research shows that if you can convince your counterpart that you have his/her wants and needs in mind and will work towards helping him/her get them (at little cost to you), chances are, he/she will usually reciprocate. Building trust through dialogue and asking the right questions, is key.

Know the Negotiating Process - Negotiation is both very dynamic and static. Always know where you are in the process and be ready to change direction at any time by using tactics that focus on mutual gain and the goal in mind.

Know your Negotiating Style and Your Counterpart's to interact appropriately for best results. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your negotiating style and learning how to modify them to counter other styles, different from yours, can increase your chances of getting a better deal.

Handle Tough negotiators by using "Not Playing THAT Game" tactics. Remember, they are at the table because they see value in what you have to offer. Don't subject yourself to intimidation or inappropriate behavior. Threaten to walk away if they don't stop using foul language, insults or inappropriate behavior. Your greatest power is the ability to walk. Be sure you have some other option (BATNA) up your sleeve in case this negotiation fails. It'll make it easier to walk away.

Learn how to Expand the Pie Rather Than Splitting It In Half. Build an atmosphere of trust to solve the negotiating problem together through dialogue. Use open-ended questions to determine your counterpart's perspective, needs and wants. For instance, rather than just splitting the difference between you and your counterpart, brainstorm other options available. You may find that you and your counterpart may come up with other ways to solve your negotiation "problem", thus making your take-away, greater in value for you and your counterpart. Research also shows that deals are longer lasting when all parties have opportunities for creating and claiming value.

Excerpts from "Keys to Negotiating for Mutual Gain - A Collaborative Approach" by I. Zucker, Copyright 2012 VerbaCom®.
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