When we picture ourselves in a negotiation, we often see ourselves using our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to make a point.
Or perhaps at the board drawing out a scenario. Or maybe even handing papers to the other side for them to review. What we don’t often see is ourselves on the defensive. However, if the other side consists of skilled negotiators, there is a very good chance that at some point in time during the negotiations we’re going to end up with our backs to the wall.
What we need are some defensive strategies that we can use when this happens to us.
When we enter into a negotiation, we’d like to think that our minds are clear and that we are gong to be able to think systematically throughout the negotiations as we use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques.
However, all too often it turns out that we are being affected by bias that can change how we think. Most of us believe that we have the ability to determine the difference between a situation in which we can rely on our intuition and those that require us to take a step back and give things some more thought.
However, studies have shown that in most cases we are wrong.
The next time that you start a negotiation, what will be running through your mind?
If you are like most of us, you are excited to get started and you have a fairly clear idea what negotiation styles and negotiating techniques you’ll be using to get what you want out of this negotiation. However, have you really done your homework?
If you want your next negotiation to be successful, then what you do before the negotiation starts may determine how it turns out.
When we start a negotiation, we are filled with hope that by using our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques we’ll be able to eventually walk away with a deal.
However, during every negotiation we are faced with two possible mistakes we can make. The first is that we end up walking away from a deal that we should have agreed to. The other is that we end up agreeing to a deal that we should never have agreed to.
How can we avoid making both of these errors?
So who will you be negotiating with during your next negotiation? Are you going to be dealing with a hard bargainer?
There are some negotiators out there who seem to think that if they want to get their way in a negotiation then they are going to have to use hard-bargaining negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to make it happen. This means that they’ll have no problems resorting to using extreme demands, unethical behavior and perhaps even threats to get what they want. These are the very negotiators who don’t realize that negotiation is not a win-lose activity.
However, since you’ll be dealing with them, what should you do when they start to apply their hard bargaining tactics on you?
When we are engaged in a negotiation, no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used we can make the mistake of falling into common cognitive traps if we are not careful.
These traps are sneaky and if we are not on the lookout for them then they can sneak up on us and they’ll end up holding us back from accomplishing what we are trying to do in this negotiation. When we do this, we end up making the negotiation that we are involved in more difficult than it has to be.
In order to prevent this from happening, we need to learn how to identify the four different traps.
As negotiators we all understand that one of the most powerful tools that we have are concessions.
However, it’s how we view concessions that really matters. All too often a negotiator can come to view concessions as being a big deal – they are something that has value to us and making a concession that really means something is going to end up costing us something in terms of money, time, or something else. However, this is where we may be wrong. It turns out that we can often keep a negotiation moving along simply by making a token concession.
This type of concession costs us very little, but it can make a big impact on our negotiation.
So here’s a question for you negotiator: just exactly what is a mutually beneficial agreement?
Sure, we all think that we’d like to be able to use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to reach one of these in our next negotiation, but would we recognize it if we saw it? One way to define this is to view a mutually beneficial agreement as being one in which each side grabs as much as it can from a finite pot of resources. Hopefully you don’t view it this way. A much better way to view it is as competitive value-claiming with collaborative value creation.
Now the big question becomes just exactly how to go about doing this.
If there is one thing that all negotiators know and understand is that in order to be able to reach a deal with the other side, you first have to be able to trust them.
We also understand that during the course of a negotiation, trust is something that may develop naturally over time. However, sometimes we can’t wait that long. If we don’t trust the other side, we can still make safe deals with them. These types of deals will involve using our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to make few concessions, few tradeoffs, and we won’t share very much information with the other side. However, deals like this may mean that we are missing out on big opportunities.
What we need to do is to find way to build trust on the fly…
Let’s face it – there are a lot of different moving parts to the game of negotiating with all of the different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are out there.
When we spend time thinking about how we can become better negotiators, it can be all too easy for us to very quickly become overwhelmed.
When this happens, we generally end up delaying taking any steps to become better. In order to take this large task and break it down into something that is more manageable, we need some guidelines on how to proceed.
So here’s an interesting thought for you: when is a negotiation over and done with?
I suspect that most of us would say once the deal has been signed by all parties. It turns out that this is not the case. Instead, reaching a deal with the other side and having that deal signed may just be the start of your negotiations.
Are you ready for this?
Congratulations – you are a negotiator! This is an impressive accomplishment. However, now you are facing the question of what’s next?
We would all like to become better negotiators and boost our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques; however, often we find ourselves unsure of how we can make this happen. The good news is that being a negotiator means that you’ve mastered a large set of skills. In order to become a better negotiator, you simply have to identify additional key skills and master those also.
Let’s take a look at what you still have to learn.
This business of negotiating is a tricky business indeed. No, we don’t always want to show up at the negotiating table and use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to lay all of our cards out in front of the other side. However, there appears to be a fine line when it comes to lying.
Just exactly how far is too far?
More importantly for you as a negotiator, how should you handle it if when you are negotiating with someone you start to realize that they are not being truthful with you?
Yes, yes – I’m sure that we’ve all at least heard of the book “Getting To Yes” and with a little luck a number of us have actually read it. The gist of the book is that you can use your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to negotiate better deals if you can find a way to create a deal that benefits both parties.
This “win-win” deal is highly desirable, but at times it can appear to be very hard to achieve.
As negotiators, what we need are some tips for our next negotiation that will show us how we can make win-win work for us.
If ever there was a fundamental question in negotiation, it would probably not be which negotiation styles or negotiating techniques to use, but rather it would have to be the classic “should I make the first offer or wait for the other side to make the first offer” question.
For the longest time, the thinking went that we should sit back and allow the other side to make the first offer. The reason for this was so that we could learn valuable information based on what they asked for. However, negotiating research has shown that the cost of waiting for the other side to make an offer far outweighs the benefits of us making the first offer.
Looks like we’ve got some research to do…
Let’s face it – negotiating is not an easy thing to do. There is all of the preparation that goes into it, there is the effort of actually doing it using all of our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques, and then, with a little luck, there will be a deal that both sides will agree to when it’s all over.
Unfortunately it can be all too easy for us to do one of the two things that we really should not do: reach a deal with the other side when we really should not or walk away from a deal that we should have agreed to.
In order to prevent this from occurring we need to take the time to prepare for each negotiation and, as a part of doing this, take the time to analyze the zone of possible agreement (ZOPA) for this negotiation.
If this was a perfect world, then every time that you went into a negotiation you would be facing someone who was doing this for the first time. They would be unsure of themselves and they would end up making all sorts of very basic mistakes.
However, it’s not a perfect world and more often than not you are going to find yourself sitting across the table from a skilled negotiator who is wise to all of your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques.
When this happens, you are going to have to make sure that you have the defensive negotiation strategies that you’ll need in order to get the job done.
So just exactly how does a negotiation end? Either both parties give up and walk away with no deal being reached, or you are somehow able to use your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to find a way to close the deal.
It’s this deal closing thing that can be so tricky to do sometimes. In fact, we can find ourselves in situations where we have tried to wrap things up, get the other side to agree to a deal, and we’ve failed. When we find ourselves in this kind of a situation, what is a negotiator to do? Give up?
Nope, you need to go back in there and try to wrap this negotiation up. You just might have been doing it all wrong.
Welcome to the modern world that we are all living in! In the old days, if you wanted to negotiate with someone you had to show up, sit down at the negotiation table, and then proceed to use your negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to have a lengthy discussion with them.
In our modern times, this is no longer necessary – we can now negotiate online. However, as negotiators we need to understand that negotiating online is very different from negotiating in person. There are different challenges that we are gong to have to be prepared to deal with.
Despite the fact that we’ll be negotiating online, we are still going to be looking for ways to create both value and rapport with the other side.
At lot of us go into a negotiation like we are getting ready to go to war. We do our research, make sure that we know who we’re going to be going up against, prepare our demands and then use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to charge into battle. To us a negotiation is all about competition. The more points that we can score, the better the chance that we’re going to win this negotiation and the other side is going to lose. However, maybe we’ve been looking at this all wrong. Is it possible that the goal of any negotiation should be about creating value?