Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

4 Steps To Ensure A Successful Outcome In Your Negotiations

There’s a common saying that the one thing we fear the most is speaking in public. Given the number of conflicts we’re seeing between various parties in sports, business and political circles, it’s not hard to imagine that the next thing most of us would dread is having to negotiate a deal.

Indeed, it seems that most negotiations today tend to erupt into conflicts between the vested parties, thanks to there being a greater interest in escalating talks towards a showdown than focusing on trying to ascertain where some common ground can be found on which to establish an agreement.

According to William Ury, co-author of the best-selling book “Getting to Yes”, the reason why we’re seeing more conflict in negotiations today is due to the fact that “we’ve been used to a pie that was expanding. Now it feels like the pie is shrinking, and that engenders finger-pointing, unproductive behaviors and lose-lose-lose outcomes that make things worse for both sides and for the surrounding community.”

Ironically, those who are most successful at negotiating understand that it’s not about proving that your position is right, which understandably leads to defensive posturing from the other party, if not also allowing for escalating emotions to enter into the fray. On the contrary, to be successful in your negotiations requires one to be attentive and aware of the needs or concerns of those you’re negotiating with and understanding how your own position impacts those factors in order to create a mutually-agreeable solution.

So how can we keep conflicts out of our negotiations so that both parties can achieve what they’re after from the interaction? In her article “You Want What? Four Tips for Civilized Negotiating”, business strategist and author Barbara Findlay Schenck shares four steps to take to ensure both a conflict-free and successful outcome from your negotiations.

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12 Comments » | Tags: , , , , , , , , | November 25, 2011 by |

  1. On November 26th, 2011 at 6:17 AM Raj said:

    I guess negotiation is an art – One can perfect it over time as long as they give due consideration to both the parties involved in the negotiation. Its important to make a win-win situation.

  2. On November 26th, 2011 at 10:17 AM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Exactly, Raj. Looking at some of the negotiations that are making waves in the news today, it's clear that most people have confused negotiation as being an attempt to extract as much as you want from the other party, while offering minimal concessions from your end.

    However, as any successful negotiator will tell you, it's important for all parties to remember what's their common goal. Namely, of what each party can give the other to help each other out and doing so in a manner which strengthens the relationship to ensure future negotiations can also achieve a successful outcome on both end.

    Thanks Raj for sharing your thoughts on this piece.

  3. On November 27th, 2011 at 8:10 PM peterfclark said:

    Thanks for the post Tanveer. It sure helps when we remember that the people we are negotiating are people, just like us, even when they may be pushing our buttons. Civility never hurts, and is definitely the way for both parties to expand the pie and help each other out.

  4. On November 28th, 2011 at 12:05 PM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Thanks Peter.

    There's no question that it can be hard to relate to differing positions, especially when in the midst of a negotiation where we naturally are more focused on protecting our turf and seeking to gain what we're after.

    However, by making the concious effort to understand the other party allows you to find possible alternatives of what you can offer in order to achieve what you're after. Not always easy, but certainly it gives rise to more successful and lasting agreements.

  5. On November 28th, 2011 at 10:10 AM Mark said:

    I agree with Raj…Negotiation is an ART…not all people can do it…Example is no other than me

  6. On November 28th, 2011 at 12:31 PM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Hi Mark,

    I would clarify that not all of us can be great at negotiating. However all of us have the capacity to become better at negoitiating once we recognize that to success is not about being the last man standing; rather, it's about working together to find a common solution that helps to address the needs of both parties.

    From that vantage point, there's no reason to assume all of us can become better at the art of negotiation. All we need to do is to put that idea into action with regular practice.

  7. On December 3rd, 2011 at 10:10 PM An Roks said:

    Great post to ponder over and practice during business negotiations.

  8. On December 4th, 2011 at 2:35 AM Zack said:

    Negotiation is always a crucial step whenever you wanted to start something big together with an affiliate. Thanks for helping us out.

  9. On December 7th, 2011 at 9:16 AM Tanveer Naseer said:

    You're welcome, Zack.

  10. On December 7th, 2011 at 1:39 AM Joy Cebu said:

    I definitely agree. Successful negotiations brings out a win-win solution to a common problem by both parties.

  11. On December 9th, 2011 at 10:18 PM Dean Law said:

    Nice post Tanveer, I think it's possible that we can negotiate better when we're able to see both sides of the argument. It's true that no matter how thin you slice it, there is two sides to every thing. Negotiation is no different, but practice is still needed. Both sides usually have to give a little though, right?

  12. On December 10th, 2011 at 12:44 PM Tanveer Naseer said:

    Absolutely, Dean. We have to remember that the reason we're entering into the negotiation is because both parties have something to offer that would benefit the other. Naturally that means we have to see what we can do to provide them with that resource without too great a cost to ourselves and sometimes that means having to pare down our request to something that is more palatable or doable for the other side.

    Unfortunately, negotiation today is often seen as a win-lose prospect, where one party has to sacrifice something for the benefit of the other or risk some negative consequence. And as we can see from these negotiations, such a ploy rarely succeeds or ends up giving either side a desirable outcome.

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