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When you Negotiate do you do so on a Bridge to Nowhere

» Introduction
When you negotiate, do you know where you’re headed? Do you account for unforeseen occurrences before you enter into the negotiation arena? Yes, negotiating is like being in an arena; it’s a game of combat.
» Step 1
Do you even possess the ‘right’ mindset to negotiate, when you start to negotiate? As the cliché goes, ‘if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there’. The question is, what road should you be on when trying to reach a successful outcome to your negotiation?

Too many times, people enter into a negotiation unprepared. As the result, they leave or lose dollars, prestige, and opportunities that they easily could have had. If they were astute enough to maneuver the maze of tactics and strategies they encounter, they’d find greater benefits from the negotiation.

In not being prepared, or lacking good negotiation skills, people find themselves in a position of not really knowing what they want from the negotiation, or what they can achieve. Even worse, they don’t know what the other person is seeking from the negotiation. In essence, they don’t know how the other negotiator perceives them, from a value proposition, nor do they know how to assess the value of the other negotiator.

Before you negotiate …

· Understand the person or group with whom you’re negotiating. Gather as much information about them that you can find

· Validate the information you gather on your negotiation opponents

· Assess their perception of you, as it relates to whey they sense value in your offering

· Discuss your negotiation thoughts and situation with a source that is validated and skilled at negotiating. Make sure he or she can give you insights into how to successfully negotiate using a myriad of tactics and strategies

· Know the mindset you possess, as it relates to what you want from the negotiation and how badly you want it. To ease the possible mental pressure that such a desire might impose upon you, don’t trap yourself in that one negotiation by not having a feasible recourse of action. Have a backup source whereby you can achieve the outcome you seek.


If the outcome of a negotiation has dire consequences, or if you’d like to walk away from every negotiation with a little more than you otherwise might have, get help. Don’t try to negotiate against a larger entity that has greater resources by going it alone. If you ‘go it alone’ you weaken your position before entering the negotiation. Just because you’re wise and can ‘do it all’ doesn’t mean it’s wise to ‘do it all’.

When you negotiate, don’t be like the person that fell from a 60 story building and as he passed the 30th floor said, ‘everything is alright so far’. When negotiating, assess the direction in which you’re moving at all times. Prior to any negotiation, plan for the course of action you’ll take to get back on track, if you have to take a detour and consider seeking advice to assist you.

Understand the consequences of being a negotiation loner. By being a loner, you forgo additional insight that could occur in the negotiation and you lose an additional perspective. In essence, you could get so caught up in the nuances of the negotiation, that you might not see the forest for the trees.

Don’t get caught on a bridge to nowhere, only to find after you arrived at what you thought was your destination that the time, anxiety, and outcome was all for not. Get help before entering into a negotiation that really means something to you … and everything will be right with the world.


The Negotiation Lessons are …

Never enter into a negotiation session thinking you know it all. By possessing such an attitude, you set yourself up for a letdown.

Always possess a positive mindset when negotiating. Even when things aren’t going the way you would have them go, don’t panic. If need be, call a ‘time out’. During that ‘time out’, think of resources you can reach out to in order to get additional insight. Of course, it would be better to tap your negotiation resources before you find yourself in such a position, but as the cliché goes, “better late than never”.

When it comes to getting insight into negotiation strategies and tactics, don’t be penny wise and dollar foolish. If you’re willing to invest your time negotiating, place a value on that. Maximize your negotiation time investment by getting assistance to help you maximize the outcome of the negotiation.

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