There are various situations that we find ourselves in, both in the workplace and outside of work, when we have to negotiate with other people. Have you ever had to (or wanted to) negotiate salary with your manager? How about having to negotiate project terms and conditions with a client? What about when you had to face negotiations related to responsibility and roles with your team? Or on a lighter note, how about the times where you had to negotiate Italian, Chinese or Thai for dinner? Our livelihood, career, and reputation might depend on how well we perform at these times. The ability to negotiate successfully requires a collection of interpersonal and communication skills used together to bring a desired result.
It is important to understand that negotiating is an art and requires a significant amount of practice to master the trade. In order to achieve your desired outcome, one must first assess the negotiation process itself and recognize the required skills. While each of the six-step process seems quite simple, your ability to collectively master all of the steps will determine how successful you become in delivering desired results.
1. Preparation– gather all pertinent facts, understand your audience’s point of view, assess potential objectives, prepare responses
2. Discussion– each party puts forward their case, assertively communicate your desires, openly exchange ideas, actively listen before speaking, gather information
3. Clarify Goals– Clarify each party’s viewpoints, interest and goals. Prioritize needs, gain an understanding of underlying drivers behind requests; Be clear about what you want
4. Seek a Win-Win Outcome– Consider all points of view, work towards an outcome where both sides feel they have gained something positive, build rapport; as part of the problem-solving process, know that you may need to compromise or suggest alternative strategies
5. Gain Agreement– Take into account everyone’s point of view, begin to formulate a mutually beneficial solution, make a decision; know that you may agree to disagree and need to move back to discussions
6. Implement– Once agreement is achieved, move forward with the decision
Improving your negotiation skills with these strategies can dramatically enhance your results at the bargaining table. Effectively mastering interpersonal skills and implementing the negotiation process will lead to successful negotiations. Whether it be asking for a higher salary or negotiating with your spouse or kids about a meal, a little technique can go a long way!
About Helene Klaassens: As a transitional business coach, Helene partners with clients to help them manage change in their careers and personal lives. Helene’s client-focused coaching practice evolved during a 20-year career as a Senior Director of Market Research at a New Jersey-based global pharmaceutical company.
Helene Klaassens has obtained her coaching credentials through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and is a Certified Professional Coach (CPC) and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner (ELI-MP). She holds a Master’s degree in Administration and Supervision of the Educator/ Trainer from Montclair State University, and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from William Paterson University.
Join YWCA Bergen County and presenter Helene Klaassens on June 20th for WEN is Now: Negotiate Your Success! Register online today! Get more information about WEN is Now Memberships and upcoming monthly topics.