Andréa Sumé

Learning the Basics of Negotiation

It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself to be naturally skilled negotiator, learning the basics of negotiation is crucial to improving your performance. Understanding the key concepts like ZOPA and BATNA can help you prepare for negotiations, create value, resolve fairness issues, and reach an agreement that is beneficial to all parties.

Sometimes, negotiators are not able to achieve their goals of success by narrowly focusing on their own desires. This can lead to poor results for you, but a great one for the other side. Be aware of the interests of both parties to avoid being narrow-minded. Recognizing the different interests of a situation helps you understand what is important to each side and provides a more empathetic approach to the situation.

Begin by considering your personal interests and what’s at stake in this process. Then, determine the interests of the other side by examining the reasons they came to your table, their underlying concerns, and any prior relationship with your company. Understanding the other party’s interests can improve trust and create an enduring base for a productive partnership.

Consider any concessions you might be willing to make. Bring these options to the table and you’ll be able to close deals faster. Be careful to not compromise your position, or give the impression that you’re trying to play hardball. It’s best to find an opportunity to win that leaves both parties happy with the outcome.

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