Getting Your Way: The Art of Negotiating.


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.

Getting your Way how to negotiate Maurilio Amorim

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?

  • Excellent post. # 2 (Know What You Want) is critical to getting what you want… like you said, we can't get what we want if we don't know what we want is. Oddly enough, a lot of people step into not only negotiations but other areas of life without knowing what it is they want. That's a sure way to drift by without making progress towards a goal.

    For me visualization and scenario running is a way I take that even a step further. I don't just know what I want, I visualize it and play out scenarios in my head before hand. I've found doing this not only for negotiations but also for simple things like phone calls with clients, travel, trips to the grocery store, etc is helpful.

    When you visualize it, you see the destination so it's easier to stay focused on what you want to achieve. When you run scenarios you quickly work through the route in your mind, think about possible objections or detours and prepare yourself for how to respond. It's just a quick mental exercise that help you work through the how things might flow so you can be more proactive in navigating your way.

    Works great for me, perhaps it might for others too.

    • Melissa Bradley

      "Seek first to understand"

  • Visualization is a great tool indeed specially if you're anticipating a difficult conversation. Not having to think "on your feet" for every scenario allows you to be more intentional and less emotional about your responses.

  • jeff Williams

    I would also add "Know what's important to the person/people you're negotiating with." If you understand what the other party wants the most than you can navigate your negotiation much better.

  • Right on Tracy.

  • absolutely. Some people don't know when to quit and they lose it all in the process.

  • Great post. The thread of those four insights is decisiveness. Negotiation is an art and we don't always get what we're looking for. However, if the parties involved are clear, reasonable and decisive then we can at least perpetuate mutual respect.

  • Great post Maurilio. Know your material/area as well. For me, in working in management at an educational association, having email, voice, or notes archived from previous decisions on similar matters helps. We get requested meetings, emails sent, or calls to us requesting this change, that exception, or some other change from the norm. I can't tell you how many times that if i wasn't able to pull up 6month-3 year old communication messages up quickly, then we would be busted, or make a wrong decision. You must know your material, and you must have quick (hopefully electronic) access to it.

  • Proverbs 23 is a great place to understand the art of negotiating. When we sit down to negotiate with someone it is because we believe they have something we need or want. They may have the power to give even more than we could have thought about, and they dangle it in front of us. We jump- we get trapped – they win – just because we failed to truly understand what the Lord wanted us to have in the first place.

  • Todd Shelton

    Before I joined the staff here at Asbury UMC, I sold cars for a while. In the training they talked about the point where you give the customer an option and then "Shut Up", the first peson to speak then, "looses" as they put it. I totally understand that concept, but, in some things, i felt that to be trickery. Perhaps i am too honest for that kind of negotiating, but, it made me very uncomfortable, knowing that they might accept a deal that they didnt really ned to get into right then, etc. It was an ethical problem to me!

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