Becoming a Great Negotiator

If you want to become a good negotiator, a fine place to start is with the realisation that you have been negotiating successfully every day, all your life, and others have been negotiating equally successfully with you.

You negotiated a loan to buy your house; with your neighbour to stop parking his car in front of your gate; with your partner to go away for the weekend with the team; with your best friend to return – eventually – the hair-dryer she borrowed.

Your kids have been negotiating successfully with you, since forever, for extra time on the X-box, more pocket money, an extra hour out playing on a bright night, a later curfew during half-term. And they are darn good at it. They marshal the facts, present them well, add in a bit of emotional blackmail, give you those eyes, the killer smile, and the job is done.

So negotiating is an activity we are well practised at, and one that is relatively simple when the stakes are low and the outcome is not earth shattering. It gets tougher when the bar is higher and the outcome is going to seriously affect you or those you are responsible for.

Failed negotiations can lead to loss of money or jobs, businesses closing, relationships breaking down, de-motivated teams and lots of other disastrous consequences.

It is worth getting some training if it is something you will be doing as part of your career or professional role.

From: Speak Now, Communicate Well in the Workplace

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