Monday, 1 february 2021 | Redacción CEU
Negotiation is an inevitable part of our lives/is an inherent part of our lives. We negotiate when choosing a destination for our next family trip, when talking about what movie to watch at the cinema with our friends, when discussing settling on the rental lease conditions with our landlord, when hiring the professionals who will carry out a renovations in our house, etc. Attempting to avoid negotiations is a serious mistake, since sooner or later we will have to face them. Learning to control these types of situations may help us grow personally and professionally, especially when we occupy a leadership position. Today, on the CEU IAM Blog, we talked about how to negotiate and reach satisfactory agreements at work.
When we think of negotiating at work, the first idea that comes to our minds is the agreement of on a salary in a new company, a wage increase or contract conditions. However, there are many situations in which negotiations become crucial in our work routine. We negotiate when we agree on project delivery times, divide the work with our team, set the vacation period that we are going to enjoy, try to resolve a conflict between colleagues, agree on the approach to tackle deal with a job, etc.
On the other hand, negotiation is closely tied to leadership. As a general rule, it has been necessary to achieve that position of responsibility and, obviously, it is essential to play a good role in these types of jobs. It must be borne in mind that in a global, digital and constantly changing work environment like the current one, the interlocutors can change frequently and come from very different cultures. This means that negotiations may also become really complex. Likewise, leaders not only have to negotiate with investors, suppliers and clients, but also with their own team, their peers and other members of the organization.
In these types of situations described, whether we occupy a leadership position or not, it will be necessary to make our voice heard, as if it is since if it were silenced it is very likely that our interests, demands or objectives will not be considered/it would be very unlikely for our interests, demands or objectives to be considered
The keys to negotiation at work
An important question when approaching a negotiation is to understand well who our interlocutors are. Many times, the goal will not be to achieve the maximum benefit at the lowest cost (understand this is to be understood not only in strictly economic terms). If we are going to have a long-term relationship with a client, an employee or a colleague, it is not smart to choose an approach in which only we win/…which we are the only ones who end up winning. What can make us feel that we have succeeded might also lead us to making our interlocutor feel cheated and consider breaking the agreement or the relationship over time.
Once we understand that we should not adopt a short-term approach, we present three aspects that we consider relevant and that can help improve negotiation skills:
You should know well your interlocutors at the negotiation table
If we had to choose only one tip, it would be this: be ready! Being prepared to negotiate, even when a negotiation occurs spontaneously, is a great advantage.
The more information you have about your interlocutors, the better: What is their situation? What are their interests? How do they usually behave? How have other negotiations in which they have participated ended up? The ways to obtain this information may be as numerous as your wit is sharp: search for information on their social networking sites, study their previous work, talk with your colleagues, google them, etc.
The objective is to assimilate all the information that may be useful when sitting down to negotiate with your interlocutors. That way, you may come to understand what their interests are, what to do to move the negotiation forward, how to avoid potential conflict and where to find a common path. By putting yourself in the place of the person you are speaking with, you may find the right way to reach your interlocutors/them and make them see what you see.