The right and wrong way to negotiate

We often enter a negotiation, believing that we are on the right side and the other party will have to agree with us or go away. It is in human nature. And we can not do much to change it. Even if you do not show it directly, it is still a matter of attitude and how well you can manage the will to win. There are many theories and practices on negotiating, but many people are not ready for what they want at every price and change it to what will work for me and the other side, balancing needs and opportunities. Over time several universal rules have evolved to conduct an excellent negotiation and get the best results. There are things recommended and not recommended to do when negotiating. Here is the shortlist to help you organize yourself and get the best of a negotiation.

Wrong: Speed up through the proposal

Negotiation is a process that can start after we got a proposal for something. Many people miss the analyzing part of the process and get directly to the decision. If the request looks excellent at first, they accept it, and if it looks terrible, people often reject it from the first time. The negotiation process is here to help us get to the best decision with less or no compromises. Living in a fast-paced world, most people go fast through everything that gets in their sighs. We do not read in detail the contract with or bank or our mobile operator. We do not invest time in finding what can get wrong and clear it before we sign, and as a result of that many people start complaining after they have signed a contract, to show to others that the text, explaining the details, they are complaining about, is in the small text of the agreement. Impatient to check the next task in our to-do list as completed, we often speed up through everything. And all the discomfort that creates after we take our “final decision” we express as negative thoughts toward the supplier or the other side of the contract in public forums, platforms, and organizations meant to defend us against our style of thinking.

Wrong: Defending ideas instead of listening

Most of the negotiations fail because we do not listen. Despite that, we teach others how important it is to listen; when we face the same situation, our emotions rise over our logic and brain. One often missed step is active listening. Most people are eager to share what they want to say, which produces uncomfortable situations where stress rises, and defense mechanisms turn. Most people do this unconsciously because they need to see their ideas on the table.

In some cases, the other party stops listening to ensure that the uncomfortable situation will end soon. As a result of that, there is no positive outcome, and things do not move ahead. It slowers effective and efficient decision-making and makes both sides in the negotiation feel unappreciated and hurt.

Wrong: Reacting to another person behavior emotionally

We tend to form reactions to what we see and mostly on what or how we feel about one situation. Relying on emotions often leads us to the path where we struggle to make meaningful decisions and raise stress and anxiety. Feelings are not wrong, but reacting to them, in the same way, increases the level of stress. Many courses and training teach emotional intelligence basics, but no one teaches us that no matter how well you are trained, emotions are not a logical response to the situation.

Right: Analyze information as you get it

Often we use information in a raw format. The inconvenience that this creates can measure by the level of success in our negotiated deals. The information does not have any characteristics by default. Based on our understanding of the situation and what output we are looking to get at the end, we assign them. Before looking at how to act, we need to prepare, and the real preparation includes getting all the information in one place, moving through it, and then formulating our position.  

Right: Look at the other party reactions, but wait for your response

Nothing special, and still, misunderstood step from many people. To answer the other person’s emotions in the right way, you need to give yourself time and see the real sense of these emotions. Then and only then will you have enough information to formulate a decision and reaction that won’t trigger additional emotional stress, but help you stay calm and the other person to lower the pressure. 

Right: Listen with understanding and acceptance

While we want to look good in our own eyes, we often focus on presenting our ideas, no matter the signals the other party sends to us. Listening is not so hard if you want to be quiet for a while and let the other person share his opinion. It can be a good start for a conversation. Then, it will be your turn to share your thoughts. Doing that insists you focus on presenting your position without interfering with the other person’s position. That will lead you to the point where you show that you have listened, understood, what the person has said, but you have your topic that you need to present for discussion and consideration. And the magic – here comes the negotiation start.


People often mislead negotiation with pushing to the end till the other party accepts or entirely denies your position. Going the path of negotiation, many people understand that there is one right and one wrong decision and that their own decision stands on the right place in most cases. Looking carefully through what we may have done wrong and focusing on maximizing the positive effect of the communicative interaction between us and the other side can guarantee success and win both sides’ negotiation process.

Now…Are you ready to switch to the positive elements in your next negotiation?


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