What Makes A Good Negotiation?
I admire the negotiation skill of some friends of mine because they seem to be naturally good at it. I had to learn through reading and observations, negotiation doesn't come natural to me but I've done good progress over the past few years. I believe It's an important skill that's needed in almost all aspects of life. From our personal, casual to professional lives.
Along the way, I discovered some tips, tricks and traps. But before getting into that, we first have to understand that everything is negotiable. We just have to find the position in which we're able to engage the negotiation. I used to think otherwise, that there's no other way apart from the default option.
What Does It Takes?
Well, I've realize that a good personality is a prerequisite to a good negotiation. This is because negotiation requires one to be 'light hearted' and open to different possibilities which means not taking things seriously and being calm. A stiff personality will just create too much friction and it will be hard to come to a mutual agreement.
Imagine getting into a negotiation room where all parties have already made up their mind. Because of the friction, it will only take a few minutes before the air becomes tense and your body finds it hard to breathe.
Another thing is not showing outright any sense of need or want because if the other party knows about it, he/she can leverage it to your disadvantage. I learned this the hard way, I thought being honest and laying out all my cards on the table will get me what I want but alas, it often doesn't work that way in the real world.
The reason why I say the hard way is because it caused me some good relationships both on a professional and personal level. Ever since, I've vowed to not make the same mistake again no matter how good natured the other party seems.
Then there's the trap of the anchoring effect which is a mental bias that we all naturally have. It is when the first number that is said is seen as an anchor so any offer or counteroffer will be around that number point. Let's say I want to buy a smart device that's listed at $2K. I will think that's what it is worth and my offer to buy it will be around the $2K mark, probably one or two hundred dollars less.
However, if I had done my own research from multiple sources and come away with my own assessment, the device might not be worth that much. It could be oversold. The anchoring effect only works when you don't do a proper research and take things at face value.
That's why the most important thing is being well informed about the thing you're going to negotiate about. Although it'll take you some more work, it will also save you from experiencing many pitfalls on the subtle art of negotiation. I believe ultimately that having a good personality and being well informed is what it takes to make a good negotiation.
Thanks for reading!!
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