Negotiation is a fact of life. Everyone negotiates something every day. At work we negotiate about schedules, budgets, task allocation, you name it.
One thing is clear: certain people will shy away from negotiating because they fear the confrontation. One way to minimize the whole confrontation thing is to establish a tone for a mutually worthwhile conversation
Think about using questions like:
1. “What would you like to see as one of the outcomes today?”
2. “What else can I tell you about my situation?”
3. “What else can you tell me about your ideas so that I can better understand your perspective?”
4. “What do you need from me that would be helpful?”
You get the idea.
You’ll know you’ve reached the most cooperative agreement when everyone at the table says, “This is the best decision possible given all the facts we have.” Emotionally, no one will feel worse off than before, and may have even greater respect for each than before.
The biggest possible payoff: A result that offers bigger benefits than anyone originally thought possible.
Any method of negotiation should be judged by three criteria:
Should produce wise agreement if agreement is possible;
Should be efficient;
Should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.