Asking questions works better than making demands in any area in life. You don't always have to get your own way to win in a negotiation. Patience, listening skills and presenting alternatives can smooth over ruffled feathers. Experienced negotiators listen patiently and ask questions and then propose the alternatives. Recognize the other party has opinions and propose valid options to get to a goal. It's not just your way, even when you want it to be.
Successful negotiators disagree without undermining the rapport they have taken time to create. They do this by listening patiently and confirming by repeating back to the speaker what they have just heard before they start contradicting the statements or proposing different options.
Whatever you do, do not try to push your opposing party into a corner, this will not make matters any better for your negotiation. It's not a murder trial! It's a negotiation where you should be working towards a mutually beneficial outcome. First and foremost, make the statement that you understand where they are coming from. Showing commonality & compassion will not cause them to react negatively to you. Then, at this point, you can disagree with them, but do so without insulting or putting them down. Don't let the disagreement become confrontational. By all means, don't out do the opponent.
Rather than a direct confrontation, use the salesman's feel, felt, found formula. It's been used for a hundred years but it works.
Think It Out To Yourself
Mean it when you say it. I understand how you feel (Be sure you do) then add “I've felt the same way" (You probably have) and conclude with “But in my experience I've found. . . . " Then slowly present or propose an alternative solution. It's a negotiation, not you getting everything and they get nothing.
Identify With The Opponent
What you strive to accomplish with this strategy is keep rapport and disagree in a non-confrontational manner. Most of all you've identified with the opponent and hopefully your suggested solutions will guide the opponent to a different point of view.
Another method of non-confrontational disagreement is to state how you've solved a similar disagreement in the past. Most opponents are willing to listen to suggestions and solutions that worked before.
Alternatives And Solutions Are The Best And Easiest Way To Negotiate
That way you are not criticizing the opponent and you are cooperating. Be first to present alternatives - that's plural. Many of your opponents will say no to all of your suggestions. Prepare for that. Time is a significant part of the negotiation and it takes time for people to consider alternatives and options. They need time to think about it. People are begging to be lead, make suggestions. Encourage the opponent to participate. Show that you can go beyond what's normal. Show them a better solution. When they are confronted with something better, when it's staring them in the face, it'd hard for them to argue.
The intensity of a negotiation can create clashing and violent differences of opinions. Let the other party have equal say so, so they don't get frustrated and become hostile. The more you listen the more you know what they want and you can pin point the solution or alternative.
Open ended questions, such as “Why do that?. . . ", “What are you thinking. . . " or “What other suggestions would you like to make. . . ", “Do you have other options. . . " or “What's the consequences of that proposal?"
The idea is to create reciprocity, equals working towards a common benefit.
Using these techniques will help you to gain perspective in any negotiation, and tend to help you reach the goals you set forth to accomplish.
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