What is Negotiation?
One of the most important skills anyone can hold in daily life is the ability to negotiate. In general terms, a negotiation is a resolution of conflict. We enter negotiations in order to start or continue a relationship and resolve an issue. Even before we accept our first jobs, or begin our careers, we all learn how to negotiate. For one person it begins with the negotiation of an allowance with a parent. For another it involves negotiating a television schedule with a sibling. Some people are naturally stronger negotiators, and are capable of getting their needs met more easily than others. Without the ability to negotiate, people break off relationships, quit jobs, or deliberately avoid conflict and uncomfortable situations.
In the world of business, negotiating skills are used for a variety of reasons, such as to negotiate a salary or a promotion, to secure a sale, or to form a new partnership. Here are a few examples of different types of negotiations in the business world:
- manager and clerk: negotiating a promotion
- employer and potential employee: negotiating job benefits
- business partners A and B: making decisions about investments
- company A and company B: negotiating a merger
- customer and client: making a Sale
The Art of Negotiating
Negotiating is often referred to as an "art". While some people may be naturally more skillful as negotiators, everyone can learn to negotiate. And, as they often say in business, "everything is negotiable". Some techniques and skills that help people in the negotiating process include:
- aiming high
- visualizing the end results
- treating one's opponent with respect and honesty
- preparing ahead of time
- exhibiting confidence