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We are in a negotiation situation all the time. Even though you might be aware of it or not. It happens when we are negotiating a job offer. It also happens when we are negotiating for good behavior with children. It even happens when we are “negotiating” destinations for the next family vacation with our partners. It is a skill we are being challenged in every aspect of our lives.

In a negotiation, there are win-win scenarios; and win-lose scenarios. Win-win is where both parties would like to reach an agreement and get something out of the negotiation. That is a pleasant scenario for building a relationship. In a win-lose scenario, one party is coming here to take what we can give and be the winner. The approach will not be the same. We need to know what is the intention of the counterpart, then adjust our approach accordingly.

If we know that we are entering a negotiation, preparation is required. It is always better to prepare. We can prepare the tactics by ourselves. Or prepare with the team. Some times we enter a negotiation without knowing, that is why it is important to practice such a skill every time we have the opportunity. One day, My 3 years old daughter walked into my office, said” Mommy, I want a pink car.” After that clear, brief sentence, she looked at me and waiting in silence for the answer. I took the opportunity to negotiate with her to get good behaviors. Of course, I failed. However, children tend to put their demand on the table clearly, without shame, or emotion. Is it a good tactic for negotiation? Or does it only work for children because they are so damn cute?

In a negotiation, the party who has more knowledge about the situation would lay down the first offer. It is the principle of anchoring. Generally, the negotiation starts at the first offer. for example, If you are entering a new job salary negotiation, you can ask the hiring manager what would he/she offer and negotiate from there.

If you get into a deadlock, how to get out of it? Understand the driver behind the negotiation from your counterpart. Be creative with your offering to connect with the other party in order to move past the deadlock.

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