It is a fact that everyone in life has a preference. Some may pretend they are good to go with whatever is available but when you engage those same people in a discussion they end up voicing their preferences. It is also a fact that no one can have what they want always in life. This means in order to move forward in life, you would have to negotiate your way along your journey.
Indeed defines negotiation as a dialogue where two or more sides work together to reach an agreeable solution for all involved; as a type of discussion used to settle disputes and reach agreements between two or more sides; and as a process of “give and take” resulting in a compromise where each side makes a concession for the benefit of everyone involved.
Negotiation is an important part of everyday life, both at work and at home. In your personal life, you might have no trouble speaking your mind when it comes to choosing a restaurant or movie for instance. Or being able to convince your family and friends to do something for you. This is because when we are in our comfort zone with family and friends, it is not too difficult to make our opinions and preferences known.
But unfortunately, when it comes to the workplace where we spend one-third of our lives, the situation is different. Some typical examples are when it comes to important workplace discussions about salary, workload or job responsibilities. A lot of people find it hard to be quite as assertive in the work environment when it comes to negotiating in these important matters. Does this sound familiar?
No matter where you find yourself on the leadership ladder, there are various situations where negotiations are needed daily in the workplace. If you feel uncomfortable when it comes to negotiating at work, you are not alone. Many people feel intimidated at the thought of having these discussions with their boss, bargaining with clients, or going against the flow of their co-workers. However, negotiation is a critical and essential part of all aspects of life especially at the workplace. Therefore, there is no need to fear using the skill of negotiation in the workplace. In fact, improving your confidence in this area will have a positive impact on all aspects of your life, not just at work.
ProjectManager opines that negotiation is critical for any group project, be it a picnic or an email campaign, but in the workplace your ability to negotiate is equal to your success and happiness on the job. It is a skill and art, involving some practical tips and methodologies, but also a great deal of psychological insight.
Negotiation skills are not only a benefit for you; they serve the whole organization. Poor negotiations or a lack of negotiation skills can impact the bottom line and ruin customer relationships. Having the right set of skills will help you in any endeavor, and the same is true with negotiating.
Negotiations can get heated, but no side is served by letting that pot boil over. The worst thing anyone can do in a negotiation is paint themselves in a corner by threatening this, that or the other. It’s just self-destructive, and negotiations are supposed to be constructive. According to them negotiations are hard, but tools are easy. If you have the right tool then your job is easier, more productive and more efficient.
Careercliff adds that good negotiations contribute significantly to business success, as they: help you build better relationships, deliver lasting, quality solutions – rather than poor short – term solutions that do not satisfy the needs of either party, and help you avoid future problems and conflicts. Can you remember when you won a negotiation successfully? Successfully means, the win-win negotiation, where both parties came into a close deal with some sort of achievements? It is the best philosophy for dealing with negotiation. Effective negotiation strategies in the workplace and in business communication has some unwritten rules. Negotiation is the part and parcel in the workplace. We are in it frequently. Successful negotiation skills can bring great success in life in many ways. How to negotiate in business is a major concern for companies.
Negotiation in the workplace benefits:
- Business profits
- Relationship development
- Next opportunity
- Confidence development
- Career development
- Competitive advantage
- Business growth
- Personally development
- Emotional control
Some people commit blunders during the negotiation process. By this, they lose the golden opportunity to win. And create damage in regards to deal business and relationship.
Furthermore in a Harvard Law School article on The Importance of Negotiation in Business and Your Career, they mention the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities to negotiate your future career success as one of the important key ingredients that is normally overlooked. Because your role in your organization is almost constantly up for negotiation, the importance of negotiation in business and your career cannot be overestimated. They give the some guidelines that will help you capitalize on the advantages of negotiation in business.
Negotiate for long-term career success – We all know the importance of negotiation in business when it comes to our starting salary and benefits. But the best negotiation in business recognize that these concerns are only a narrow component of a bigger picture. We also should negotiate for the tools we need to become a fulfilled and well-compensated person over time, recommends David A. Lax, the coauthor of the 3-D Negotiation Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals (Harvard School Publishing, 2006).
Negotiate Your Role – once we are on the job, often times we neglect to negotiate assertively for our career success. We sometimes overlook the importance of negotiation in business, because we do not know what might be possible. In addition, the other party (such as a boss who has not given you a raise in two years) may appear to have no incentives to negotiate with you, leaving it up to you to start the conversation. You should look for ways to motivate the other party to negotiate with you by making your value visible.
Negotiate your deal’s success – explore your organization’s complex interest by meeting with key personnel inside your organization. Find out how they view the potential deal and what interests of theirs you may need to accommodate to ensure successful implementation. Then secure a mandate to negotiate on behalf of these constituents, such as authority to explore certain kinds of deals and perhaps make tentative commitments on their behalf. The next is to work constantly to preserve and strengthen you negotiating mandate by keeping key organizational members up to date on your progress, and involve them as appropriate. Finally, educate these individuals about any special needs or challenges that arise such as cultural issues or policies that put constraint on your external partner.
Below are four pointers from ProjectManager to arm you make your negotiation fruitful:
- BE PREPARED
Never go into a negotiation blind. Without context, no level of negotiation skills will help you. Therefore, know the product, service, or whatever the subject of the negotiation may be. You want to have prepared yourself by understanding not only what you will be negotiating, but you will be negotiating with and what kind of person they are. Create a task list of items to research before entering negotiation so that you will have everything covered. That way you will know how to present a compromise that will appeal to the other person.
Often, when negotiating, emotions can take over and one can find themselves taking over the other person. That sort of aggressive approach is sure to backfire, or at least keep the negotiation heated. No one wins in that sort of exchange, and a lot of time will be wasted because of miscommunication. Instead, try active listening, where you hear not only what the person is saying but how they are saying it, including their body language. By listening intently, you will learn more than by getting into a shouting match.
- BE DISPASSIONATE
Emotional outburst might feel good at the time, but what they do is show the other party that you are no longer in control. This gives them an advantage, because if you give in to frustration or other heated emotions, you will be more likely to concede something that you do not want to or, worse, disrupt the whole negotiation process.
- THINK OF THE OTHER PERSON
Empathy is fine, but really what this tactic does is address the give-and-take of any negotiation. If you can help the other person, if you are aware of what they need, what their goals and objectives are, then you can know what to put on the table. Even if you do not know what they want, you can always ask. It can help to cut the chase and is sure to win points with the other person, which can foster the collaborative atmosphere present in all successful negotiations.
Since negotiation skills is a necessity for everyone in every aspect of our life’s journey, let us as leaders, employers, employees, co-workers and entrepreneurs strive daily to improve our negotiation skills in the workplace so that we can truly enjoy that one-third aspect of our lives.
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Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Soft Skills Expert, Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified Hig
h Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Soft Skills Expert and Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
Dzigbordi has been featured on CNN for her entrepreneurial expertise. She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017.
She can be reached on [email protected] and @dzigbordikwaku across all social media platforms.