Negotiation 101: How to Prep to Ensure the Best Possible Outcome

Identifying and Trading Items of Value

Preparing in advance of a negotiation is critical for success, and so is maintaining the right mindset. Contrary to what Donald Trump or popular movies would have you think, the goal shouldn’t be getting the best of someone or shouting the loudest. Negotiation is about figuring out what each person wants, what each person can give, and aligning these to create the most value for both parties.

Examples, Please!

As a father of a three-year-old, I know that if I applied for an office job, the ability to shift my work day to start at 9:30am instead of 9:00am would be highly valued by my family and me. On the other hand, the cost of this time shift ascribed by my potential employer may be negligible because I put in the same number of hours and that is what they care about. It’s impossible to know the other party’s touch points without probing.

  • Develop a script for probing: Work on creating a script comprised of well thought-out and open-ended questions to ask the other party during the negotiation can help you to probe for new elements and understand the way they value each element.
  • Schedule a time and place: Negotiating face-to-face is critical. I find it invaluable to be able to see/hear and react to body language and facial expressions during negotiations.



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