One of the critical skills in effectively getting work done through others is NEGOTIATION. There are 7 key principles that can help you navigate tough situations.
1. Identify what possible outcomes will work to support your purpose or objectives. There are many options and choice points usually through the course of negotiation. Be prepared with contingencies that may come up and you will not fail to gain a good outcome.
2. Build rapport. Let them feel superior so your adversary is completely at ease with you and the situations. Do not try to be friends. They are an acquaintance you want to gain respect and a fair agreement that supports your purpose.
3. Mentally prepare. The main state that your mind is in will govern your conversation and being able to adapt to the situation. In a state of frustration, you will make concessions or potentially change the dynamic of discussions. The requires building an effective plan to control your emotions as it will kill the deal. Know yourself and if you get to that point have your strategies ready to take a break. Focus on what you can control.
4. Ask questions. Your role is to have the other party give away as much information as possible. Use questions that begin with who, what, where, when and why. Another technique is answer questions with another question. Take the time to clarify questions and all information as it will help that there is clarity and you will learn tremendous amount the more you take time to listen.
5. Take notes. Along with asking questions and listening, take notes. It goes along well with asking questions and keeping track of information you are gathering. Don’t rely on your memory especially as you don’t know how many meetings may be required to reach agreement and the information will be a big advantage.
6. Know the decision makers. This is key to know who holds the power. The better you get to know all the players will ensure you can work to get alignment and know who the people who are in place to keep you from the real decision makers.
7. Focus on core issues. Realize that sometimes there may be one issue, sometimes there are many that can be tangents. There can be value in reaching agreement and establishing the pace on nonessential aspects. The success of your outcome will rely on the result you achieve in core issues so stay focused and keep focus on those elements that are must have.