Successful negotiation can be learned by anyone who follows a few rules of the game. The negotiation strategy plays a decisive role here. Whether it is maximalist, compromise-oriented, defensive, avoidant, or cooperative, the strategies are as different as the negotiating partners.
For long-term success
Cooperative negotiations have the advantage that neither party feels they are taken advantage of. As a result, they are seen as more successful in the long term compared to confrontational negotiations. So keep the conflict at the factual level and leave emotions out. This ensures you protect the personal relationship with your negotiating partner and create trust that will form the basis for future negotiation successes.
Know your goal!
When you go into a negotiation, you should know your goal. That means you need to think about your motivations. Find out in advance about your negotiating partner and think about what interests they might be pursuing. Compare your interests with your own and seek solutions. Also think about what alternative goals you could pursue. That helps ensure your requests will not lead to a dead end in the discussion.
Create win-win situations
Cooperative negotiation – such as the Harvard method – is not about accepting bad compromises. That is because mutual interests do not necessarily exclude each other. Here is a common example: Two sisters are quarrelling over an orange. They agree to cut the fruit in half. One sister then eats the inside and discards the peel. The other sister throws the inside away and uses the peel for baking. Conclusion: If the sisters had exchanged their interests in advance, both would have benefited. Instead, they only formulated their positions or claims.
You should actively listen to your negotiating partner. Interpreting non-verbal signals and paying attention to body language is also important. A person’s posture, gestures and facial expressions can reveal a lot about their attitude. Ask the other person about their motives. The person who is asking questions leads. So you can direct the conversation. Using open questions you can make your negotiating partner less reserved and learn something about their position and their interests. You should only make a concrete proposal when you know the other’s point of view.
Use the anchor effect
When it comes to money in negotiations: Be the first to throw a concrete number into the room! Studies show that the first number mentioned sets a benchmark for further negotiations. This will likely lead to an advantage on your part. Another tip: Name an odd number! This psychological trick can help you convince your negotiating partner that you have really thought about the amount and that it is justified.
You will see: If you follow these tips, with a little practice you will soon become a negotiating pro!