Life is a series of negotiations. We negotiate our way through traffic, we negotiate with family, with our boss, with a car salesman, and with our clients. Some of us are better at it than others. But whether it comes naturally and easy or whether negotiating is hard work, your negotiating skills are on the line every day. In the art of the deal, proper communication is critical. Here are a few things to consider next time you want to get your way.
Know your non-negotiables. Some things in life, such as your morals and convictions, should never be up for discussion, and they ought to be truly deal breakers. If you don’t know what they are, you’ll always find your life in the midst of a mess. Figure out your non-negotiables before your life becomes unmanageable.
Know what you want. I’ve seen people try to negotiate without knowing what they want out of the deal. To me that’s like my children arguing with their parents for the sake of arguing. Much like them, you are bound to be sent back to your room empty handed.
Know what you’re willing to give up. A successful negotiation is a give-and-take situation. Even if you get everything you want and never give up anything, the other party is often resentful. Decide what you’re willing to give up. Give the person on the other side of the table a chance to feel good about the outcome, even if what you give up is trivial or meaningless to you.
Know how to say no with grace. There’s never a reason to be rude. You can be firm in your stance and still smile and be gracious. While you can’t control anyone else’s behavior, you certainly should keep yours in check. I’ve never heard anyone say: “I should have lost my temper in that meeting.”
What else would you add to this list?