The Secret To Successful Negotiation Starts Right Here – Ask For What You Want

This is what I am coming to understand.

As you seek to get better at all of the aspects of your work, it is better to do something as well as you can, now, than not do it at all because you have not yet mastered the skills needed.

This is what I mean.

A while back, I wrote a blog post on “how to market yourself.”  And my point was that it may not matter all that much how you market yourself.  Use almost any method (there are lots to choose from), but most of all, actually market yourself.  You know – get out there and market yourself!

I’m ready to dispense almost the same advice about negotiation.  Sure, there are better ways to negotiate.  Aim for win-win; aim for collaboration; protect the relationship with the one(s) you negotiate with.

But most of all, negotiate.  Ask for what you want.  Let the other party ask you for what they want.  Listen to each other.  Ask, listen,…negotiate.

Now, there are plenty of valuable tips.  Like these:

• From Women Don’t Ask: — Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever:
Before we decide to negotiate for something we must be first dissatisfied with what we have.  We need to believe that something else – more money, a better title, or a different division of household chores – would make us happier or more satisfied.  But if we’re already satisfied with what we have or with what we’ve been offered, asking for something else might not occur to us.  Ironically, this turns out to be a big problem for women:  being satisfied with less.

• From Getting to Yes — Negotiating Agreement without Giving In (Second Edition) by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton
Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria:  it should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible.  It should be efficient.  And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.  A wise agreement is one which meets the legitimate interests of each side to the extent possible, resolves conflicting interests fairly, is durable, and takes community interests into account. (emphasis added).

a negotiation classic

Getting to Yes presents the four parts of the Principled Negotiation method:
1)    Separate the PEOPLE from the Problem
2)    Focus in INTERESTS, not Positions
3)    Invent OPTIONS for Mutual Gain
4)    Insist on Using Objective CRITERIA

But the real lesson comes from the title Women Don’t Ask.  The counsel is this; after you know what you want in a negotiation, ask for what you want!


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