The Four Steps in Negotiation
What is negotiation? It is, quite simply, the act of conferring with another in order tocome to terms or to reach an agreement. However, to be successful at negotiation, youshould be aware of underlying issues, and be prepared for the negotiation process.Consider the following four steps.
The first step in negotiation is to be sure you are clear on the outcome you want.Outcomes look at the end result—the solution—and should be stated specifically andpositively. The trick is to have this conversation with yourself before you enter intonegotiations.
The second step in negotiating is to find out as much about the other party'sposition as possible. Knowing what is influencing your opposition will enable you tonegotiate more strategically. Any number of outside issues might be affecting youropposition's position. These issues can be economic, social, political, emotional, personalor physical in nature. Do a little digging and attempt to find out what is driving theopposition's thinking before you reach the negotiating table.
The third step in the process is to be sure you are negotiating with someone whocan make the final decision. Having someone in the middle just muddies the water.However, there are times when using a skilled negotiator is necessary or more productivethan doing it yourself. Hire a negotiator if the situation is:
deadlocked—if all else has failed
out of your range of expertise.
Finally, you and the party you're negotiating with have to be clear that you have areason to be in negotiation—that you are both working toward a mutually satisfyingoutcome. Once you have clarified the other party's outcome and your own, you have apremise for negotiating. You can work toward a mutual outcome.Skillful negotiation is both a goal and an art. Tomorrow's manager works toward
and strives to achieve a common goal. The successful negotiator should viewthe other party as a partner, not an adversary, in achieving a goal. It should be a win-winnegotiation.