This Week in Business Skills – Preparing for Negotiation


The process of negotiation itself indicates that parties or persons involved in negotiation are to be flexible. Because there is no scope of negotiating if either of the persons or parties are rigid and are not willing to do so. Another important factor in negotiating is the principle of exchange, both the persons should be willing to exchange for mutual benefit, it can be services or products.

Both the persons involved should focus on mutual benefit, instead of looking for a situation where one wins or loses the negotiation. Before going for negotiation it is very important to assess the situation from the other person’s point of view. If possible doing a role play will be the best way to put you into the other person’s shoes. This will help you to assess what the other person’s wants; his limitations, demands, etc. It would also be better if you gather information about the other person, his requirements; areas where he can compromise; etc. and then proceed for negotiation.

If you think you can handle the negotiation on your own and can bring out the positive output, then it’s well and good. Otherwise, you can do all the ground work and can involve a senior person or senior manager to emphasize the importance you are giving to the deal. This sends a message to the other person that you are serious about the negotiation. It is equally important for you to know your limitations in terms of negotiation before going for it.

You have to have a very clear idea as to where you can compromise and to what do the rules and regulations or your authority permit you to do so. It is also important that you introduce the benefits to the other party as per the needs and the situation, instead of revealing them all at once. If you proceed with this kind of approach with a step by step plan then you will improve your skills in negotiation.

As it is important to know the points where in you can compromise and can agree, it is equally important to know the areas where you expect the possibility of misunderstanding. This is an equally important aspect in negotiation. Knowing the areas where the other person has chances of disagreeing helps you to prepare in advance and can help you turn the negotiation in your favor.

In negotiation, the emotions of the other person play an equally important role as of yours. It is also very important to assess the situation from the point of gain and loss. What you are going to lose or gain by the negotiation and what the other person has to lose or gain from the negotiation. If you can assess this, you have an upper hand in the negotiation.

In negotiation, it is very important to know about the other person, his situation, and his limitations, and capabilities as a negotiator. If you are clear in these aspects it will be very easy for you to tune in into the deal. You should always proceed according to the situation and should take step by step approach, which will help you have control over the situation.

Your strategy and way of approach should always be short and simple. You should always be prepared to handle any kind of surprises that come during the process of negotiation. It would be better that you propose the agenda so that you have control over the situation and know where you can discuss each point. But it is not always possible that you will propose the agenda first as it depends on the persons and the circumstances you are in. But you should always prepare to handle the situation either way.