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How to be a better negotiatior

In negotiations, people assume different motivational styles in order to achieve their objectives out of the discussion. Three of the most common styles are: 1) the individualistic approach (seeking only to maximize your own goals without consideration for the other party); 2) the competitive apparoach (preferring to widen the gap between what you gain and what the other person loses); and, 3) the cooperative approach (seeking to reduce the difference between the outcomes of both parties).

It should come as no surprise that the cooperative approach is the one which will ultimately yield you the best results. This approach is a blend between a completely altruistic style (where you're giving away too much value!) and a style that is too competitive or individualistic.

When taking part in a negotiation try to keep the following things in mind. In doing so, you will improve your ability to achieve the results you are after, without jeopardizing your long-term business relationships.
  1. Understand what your goals and objectives really are. Prepare notes and don't focus too much on an arbitrary bottom line that you've set for yourself.
  2. Emphasize actual commitments with specific promises from the other party.
  3. Know what your other options are. These are your alternatives should you not reach a deal right now.
  4. Look for ways to add more value for everybody involved. This involves a bit of creativity in order to make the outcome better for you and your counterpart (who will therefore be more willing to agree to your proposal).
And as a refresher, remember to first read our previous article on how to be a more effective negotiator!

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