We tend to approach negotiations like a fight, but they don’t have to be. Negotiating is not about winners and losers. It’s about crafting a relationship and understanding the other person’s needs.
In this TED video, organisational psychologist Ruchi Sinha breaks down what you need for a successful negotiation.your research
Do your research. Firstly, verify whether what you’re asking for is realistic.
Build a solid rationale for your request: look at industrial reports and websites, talk to people in your professional network, talk to trusted mentors. Make a table summarising your thinking. This may sound like a lot to do, but when the other person sees all this homework, you’re more likely to get that “yes.”
When asking for things, complex feelings such as fear, anxiety, anger and even hurt might surface. It’s important to have a strategy to manage them.
A strategy can be defensive pessimism – accept that obstacles are likely, and put your energy into how you might overcome them.
Another one is emotional distancing. Be less attached to any specific outcome and reframe negotiations so that you don’t view them as a threat to your core identity.
If you start feeling upset or hurt during a negotiation, remember it’s also okay to step back, and ask to continue at another time.
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
Take the time to anticipate the other person’s needs and challenges.
What pressures may they be under? What risks would they be taking? Do they even have the power to give you what you’re asking for? What implications might a “yes” have? Make sure to express your own needs, but also assert your concern for the other.
Unsuccessful negotiations often don’t come from disagreements, but misunderstanding the other person. Listen well, ask questions, and you will find unexpected opportunities for win-win solutions.