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We all face negotiations every day, all day. Even short workplace exchanges sift down to a negotiation for someone’s time, budgetary resources, or human resources. Regardless of whether you are engaging in one of these daily negotiations, or a more high-risk, high-impact situation, here are 5 steps to make your next negotiation impactful, and increase your personal effectiveness at the same time.

  1. Be upfront about what you want. There’s no need to mince words. By being direct about what you want, you will have the opportunity to define the terms that will get you there and find ways to make it advantageous to the other party.
  2. Ready to give in? Don’t do it. Early in the negotiation, stay firm on your initial position and don’t give in too early. During this stage, you will learn about what the other side really values. Let them talk around the situation, and digress. This will all lead to a greater understanding of your counterpart. This leads us to point number 3:
  3. Talk less, listen more. Talking can often result in more responsibility or commitment on your part. Stand back a bit. Keep quite and wait for others to volunteer their resources, at least in the first stages of negotiations.
  4. Don’t rush and don’t give in! Negotiations can be uncomfortable. Most of us get fidgety when we’re dancing around a negotiation, which leads to rushed resolutions. If you can get comfortable being in the negotiating space, you will already be ahead of your counterpart.
  5. Be ready to walk away. That’s right. Starting any conversation knowing that you are willing to walk away shifts your situation to a win-win negotiation. You are ready to win or walk away. You never lose.

Build a history of consistently impactful negotiations and you will find that you are regarded as personally effective with a professional presence that will be the bedrock of your career.

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Learning about and teaching your team members effective negotiation tactics is just one of the ways to foster a productive workforce.  Many leaders don’t recognize what impacts positive performance.

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