If you work within an agency, there may be times when you need to prepare to negotiate. But, you should always remember that there will always be a give-and-take within the process. As you will see, there are many skills that will help you prepare, and negotiate, successfully.
Reasons To Negotiate
You may think that negotiations only happen between teams at different companies in order to create a deal. However, that is not the case. There are several different ways to negotiate within your own company. You can negotiate a contract with your boss, discuss your role within a team, or come to an agreement about loan time off or other schedule issues. Negotiations within your own team can happen in a variety of ways.
Learning In The Trenches
Before you begin, you need to understand that successful negotiators realize that compromising is only part of the process. There is much more to it than that. Knowing what each person wants isn’t enough. You have to understand why people want it. According to Fisher and Ury, skilled negotiating is “back and forth communication where some interests are shared and some are opposed” where the interest is why you want something, and not what you want.
Analyze The Problem
Before you even begin negotiating, it is important to analyze the problem. You need to consider the issue, the people involved, and the goals. For example, if you are discussing a contract with your boss, you might negotiate salary or benefits. A healthy discussion about everyone’s goals will help lead to a compromise that all parties can agree upon.
Prepare For The Meeting
Once you know the specific issue at hand, you can prepare your negotiation. However, it should not just include numbers, and facts. You also need to consider past discussions with the people involved, and how they think. If you know that they will not consider a salary that is too high, in their opinion, bring your numbers down. It is also wise to think about your relationship with these people. If you get along well, you will have better luck negotiating with them than if your relationship has gone sour.
Communication Is Key
Now that you have your numbers, and a clearer picture of your relationship with the involved players, it is time to have your meeting. Remember – You need to make sure you think, and speak, clearly. You may do great work. But, if you can’t communicate well, your colleagues may think negatively of you. It is vital to clearly communicate your goals, as well as the reasons behind them. Likewise, if you are unclear about anything someone says, this is the perfect time to clear things up. Misunderstandings – on either side – can ruin a negotiation, and even your professional relationship. So, make sure everyone in the room knows what they are thinking, and the reasons behind those thoughts.
Plan For Multiple Options
Remember that the other person may have goals that, in some way, conflict with yours. For that reason, it is wise to consider making multiple offers. Remember that, when preparing for the negotiation, your consideration of the other side is important. Knowing what they will – or won’t – accept will help you create multiple offers that they can think about. This will also show them that you took the time to tailor a plan that combines your needs with theirs. Doing so will often be looked at positively, and may create opportunities that would not have existed after discussing just one plan.
Negotiations often require planning, and consideration, about the facts, your goals, and the desires of everyone involved. Knowing all the key points, and preparing for them from the beginning, will show your colleagues that you cared enough to do the research. Thus, the negotiation will have better results, and you will look like a star within your company.
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