Learn what makes a good negotiator,
with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
James Manktelow: Hello. I'm James Manktelow, CEO of MindTools.com, home to hundreds of free career-boosting tools and resources.
Amy Carlson: And I'm Amy Carlson from Mind Tools.
If someone asked if you were a good negotiator, would you be able to say “yes”?
Some of us might have to shake our heads over that one. But knowing how to negotiate well is an important skill that can quite literally change your life.
Good negotiation skills can help you get the job of your dreams, make your case for a better salary, or convince your boss to give you a great new project.
JM: Many people dread negotiation.
They see negotiating as a stressful battle between two people, where someone always has to lose, or get taken advantage of.
But, negotiation doesn't have to be this way. You can negotiate fairly so that both parties come away feeling as if they've won, at least to some extent.
This is called Win-Win Negotiation, and it's really important where you'll be having an ongoing relationship with the person you're negotiating with.
AC: In Win-Win Negotiation, preparation is important. When you're well prepared, it's easier to keep a clear head, especially if the situation gets tense.
Good preparation also helps you think about what the other person might want, so that both of you can walk away with something at the end.
As part of this, you'll want to think about your goals.
For instance, what do you want out of this negotiation?
What do you think the other person wants?
JM: You'll also want to think about your assets. What do you have that the other person wants? What are you comfortable giving away? What lines will you refuse to cross during the negotiation?
This is another important aspect to consider, since sometimes, we can end up giving away too much when we're feeling stressed.
You don't want to be left feeling defeated when you're finished!
And remember – the goal is for both you and the other person to walk away feeling satisfied.
Next, make sure that you know your BATNA – this is your best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
AC: If your BATNA is strong then you're in a good position. If you're BATNA is weak, then you're in a more difficult position.
You'll also want to think about the other person's BATNA.
JM: Again, the goal of Win-Win Negotiation is that both you and the other person walk away feeling as if you gained something.
As long as the other person is playing win-win – not win-lose – it is possible to negotiate with them fairly, without taking advantage or playing hardball.
The key to doing this successfully is to prepare early, to walk into the situation knowing the kind of negotiation you want to take part in, and to be alert to the negotiation style that the other person is using.
You can find out much more about Win-Win Negotiation in the article that accompanies this video.