Here are some great tips for any negotiation at work, home or with others

Silhouettes of a man with glasses and woman conversing with each other and the scales of justice in the background

Here are some tips on negotiating closure whether at work, home or in life. Working on my latest book (no title yet), one chapter relates to building bridges to negotiate closure. Researching for that chapter I discovered nearly 100 blogs on negotiations that had been written over the last five years. Researching these further and narrowing them down, I wanted to share with you what I see as some pertinent topics for your consideration. Take a look at the titles and see which may resonate with you. I would love to hear back from you on these or others that you found helpful or interesting.

When is the right time not to negotiate?

That’s right, the first thing to thing about is whether now the right time to negotiate? If not when. If you have a teenager who just missed curfew and you waited up to make sure he or she came home safe, this may not be the right time to have a discussion. Maybe the less said the better at this time with something, like “I am glad you are home safe. We were worried. We can talk about this tomorrow.” Perhaps a better time may be when you are both rested, calm and can address the situation on better terms. You can apply this same approach at work and in life.

Negotiations, neuroscience and stress

This is a two part blog with a part 1 and part 2. Part one address the first three items related to attitude, preparation and trying to be friendly. Part two addresses clearing the mind of worry, balance, and emotionally charged negotiations. The comments presented here are based on neuroscience. Understanding more and taking the time to apply recommendations from neuroscience can make a significant difference in your life.  Small things can make a big difference. Check this out.

How negotiators can stay focused at the negotiation table

We may start out focused in a negotiation knowing our position, what we think are our interests, what we perceive as someone else’s interests and think we know what we want. At the same time, we can lose focus when we fail to anticipate how we may react, the impact of relationships with others (other stakeholders), and forces from the outside world. By staying focused, not making it personal and considering objective criteria, it may be possible to find a solution for both parties.

What about texts in a negotiation? What do you think?

In todays world a tremendous amount of communication is completed with texts. Are there times when texts may or may not be appropriate during a negotiation? This blog explores some of the pros and cons and gives some insight with some do’s and don’ts for your consideration. For simple negotiations texts may work great.  For tense negotiations being able to not only see the words, but to also hear the tone and see the facial expressions and body language may go a long way towards understanding.

This is how to build value with multiple issues

Often negotiations may be about one primary concern such as money, time, relationships, feelings, trust, emotions or other concerns. However, digging deeper other issues may quickly emerge too. It is important to capitalize on differences, ask questions to try and understand and not to find fault of blame, and consider negotiating multiple issues at the same time.

What is the Best Alternative to a Negotiate Agreement (BATNA) and how can you use this in a negotiation, especially with difficult people?

Before going into a negotiation consider your BATNA in case you cannot reach an agreement, but also pause to consider what BATNA might be for the other party. How might you be able to use this in a negotiation? Six points are raised for your consideration.

Why do negotiations fail?

In this commentary three principle reasons are presented. These are

  1. We walk away from a good deal
  2. We make a deal that we regret later
  3. We negotiate a deal that is too week to last

All three of these areas are explored to give you some thought on addressing these areas in your next negotiation.

What is an anchor and why does it matter?

This past week I was humbled and honored to address a University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management class that addresses conflict resolution for the second time. One of the items I brought up to them was the concept of an anchor (when one party throws out an initial price, percentage or alternative beyond the initial known positions) and the implications in a negotiation. This blog presents some insight to consider on when and how to do this in a given situation based on links to actual studies.

Apply these five techniques for better results in negotiations

This commentary explores these five elements in the framework of a negotiation.

1. Reframe Anxiety as Excitement

2. Anchor the Discussion with a Draft Agreement

3. Draw on the Power of Silence

4. Ask for Advice

5. Put a Fair Offer to the Test with Final-Offer Arbitration

Reframing in neutral terms can go a long way towards de-escalating situations. Anchoring was elaborated on in the commentary presented above. Keeping one’s mouth shut, actively listening with open ended questions by paraphrasing, summarize, and being empathetic (demonstrate an understanding of the others feelings) goes a long way in a negotiation. Be proud, but be humble too. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Stay true to your values and ethics. Be fair as you learn more and gain insight into the other side’s interests.

This is how you can use framing in a negotiation

By listening to the other party and reframing what you heard from them or considering your perspective and reframing it in neutral terms can help move a negotiation forward. This can expand alternatives. By contrasting your and their numbers it may be possible to develop a reality check that you may find can break deadlocks and lead to a mutual understanding.

This is how you can enhance your reputation at the bargaining table

Are you know for being cooperative, collaborative, diplomatic, a principled negotiator, a soft negotiator, a hard negotiator an authoritarian, or something else? How do you want to be known? It has been shown that those that are collaborative in nature actually do better, tend to increase the size of the pie and come up more win-win solutions. Being known as a collaborating negotiator may very well help you in future negotiations too.

This is when you should walk away from a negotiation

There are times when it is simply best to walk away from a negotiation. That is accept your BATNA and move on. Several reasons are presented but here are four areas of consideration

  • When a trusted third party suggests it is time to go
  • When mediation is not an option
  • When you are focused on sunk costs to recover rather than pertinent information now
  • When your focus is on fairness rather than objective criteria

This is not all inclusive, but this blog presents some things to think about when negotiations cannot break free of a deadlock.

Final commentary

These dozen sound bites and associated blogs are some of my favorites that I thought you may find useful. If you have any favorites of these or others please come back to me. I would love to know what you think too.

About the author

Mike is a professional speaker, and a mediator/negotiator/facilitator that addresses business valuation and other issues with the IRS, and issues for clients as a conflict resolution expert. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 11 books including, The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]