The art of negotiation: some tips for managers

Managers have to hold meetings (and negotiate) quite often: with clients, business partners, suppliers, supervisors, subordinates and colleagues. While each negotiation is unique, you can come out of each one better if you heed the following advice shared by William Ury, a British expert on negotiation and mediation.


These tips from William Ury were published by Forbes.

Tip no. 1: Find out what the other party's real needs and demands are

What someone says they want and what they really want and need are often two quite different things. When someone adamantly insists on a request, even though it might not make sense to you, it may just be a symptom of a completely different, deeper problem. They could be pushing for an unrealistic solution purely because they feel isolated or unheard. Learn to read between the lines, to go to the heart of the problem and uncover the real, original motivations of the negotiators.

Tip no. 2: Separate people and real issues

Do not let your emotions get the better of you. Separate people from actual issues. In negotiations, we often tend to focus on the people around us rather than what they say or the values they hold. Try to look at the whole issue objectively, do not take anything personally, and do not attack the people who are in opposition to you either.

Tip no. 3: Try to find a win-win solution

Negotiations are often like tug-of-war. But there are different ways to approach the issue. Try to see the bigger picture: instead of tug-of-war, come up with an entirely new solution that moves the whole debate to a different playing field, one that (at least to some extent) meets the needs of everyone involved.

Tip no. 4: Insist on using objective criteria

Stick strictly to objective data. Do not allow emotions and emotionally coloured arguments to become part of the negotiations. If necessary, repeatedly remind all participants of the basic, objective data, and do not let the debate become too emotionally charged.

Tip no. 5: Be patient

Negotiations require patience. They often start with high ambitions, big egos and heated emotions. The longer you negotiate patiently and calmly, the more these emotions will cool down and you will achieve a more constructive and objective debate.



Article source - prestigious American business magazine and website
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