Negotiation: It’s not always a two-way street

In any type of partnership or contract, a two-way street is ideal, where both parties give and take and find a mutually beneficial arrangement, but it doesn’t always work out that way in business or in our personal relationships. The art of negotiations and recognizing when there is a deal-buster is important. We don’t have to have it our way, but it is important to be respected even when you disagree. When negotiation is required, keep in mind that you are opposing the other party. Knowing the opposition and understanding how they will likely respond will strengthen your position. Here are some ideas that can help you have more effective negotiations. Be a detective Learn as much as you can about the opposition. Understand their objectives and be clear on yours. You will be able to uncover areas of potential conflict by identifying points that are significant to you, representing the interest of your practice and clarify points that are important to the opposition.  You'll also learn what might be most important to the opposition. Explore their strengths and weaknesses and how you can you use these in your negotiation strategy. The more you know, the better you will be able to anticipate the responses you are likely to receive. It is also important to know where both parties are already in agreement. These shared objectives can help build essential rapport before opening up issues where there is likely to be conflict or disagreement. Have a plan Develop your strategy for negotiations carefully and be prepared to provide supporting documentation for your case. When possible, quote credible sources that share your position. This will help influence the opposition and strengthen your position at the bargaining table. Identify potential deal busters It is important to recognize that even with best efforts that are times when you hit an impasse that cannot be overcome. Those are the deal busters. Know what yours are before you begin negotiations so time is not wasted and you can work to end the process respectfully. It is important to honor each others' position in a way