Ten years ago we posted timeless principles to steer you through negotiations and, looking back, they truly were timeless. Each is as true today as it was then as they were a decade before we summarized them.
Negotiating is not about dividing up a limited pie in ways that are divisive. It is about making a bigger and better pie.
If each side sees the pie as small, then each side is going to want a bigger piece of that pie. But if the pie is large, both sides will be happy with a piece that is about half.
Conflict is at the heart of negotiation but only a positive view of conflict will result in a successful outcome.
Both sides must believe that a resolution will occur that both sides will be happy with.
There is a time to speak and a time to shut up in negotiations. When you do more listening than speaking, you actually increase your power.
If you don’t understand what the other side wants, really, really wants, then how do you know what you really need to give up and what you don’t? After all, you must
Recognize that you will only reach agreement by understanding the deeply-held needs of the other side.
Both sides make a lot of demands, but at the end of the day, only a few of the demands will generally be non-negotiable.
In power negotiations, when the stakes are high, let the other side believe what you or they want them to believe. But don’t lie or be dishonest.
If you can distract them away from what the biggest value is to you, it might help.
You can only succeed in negotiations with a win-win attitude.
As per our first point, you have to be focussed on enlarging the pie so you can divide it up in a way that both sides see a win.
Negotiating is an essentially human way of interacting.
That’s why you will get to keep your job when Procurement bot takes over inventory, re-ordering, spot-buying, and the vast majority of your job.