Nowadays, everyone tries to negotiate something. Whether you are in the office with your mobile operator, in the bank office, asking for a loan, or phone with someone you want to hire to repair your home, you do what you think negotiation is. And many people start with a lot of positive energy to turn that process into a toxic situation with no positive end. According to short research on negotiation success, conducted back in 2019 and published on the Inc.com website, sixty-three percent of people who start negotiating do not get what they want and turn negotiations from positive to adverse action. The research included people from different social and workgroups. Even the salespeople and lawyers who are preliminary accepted as good negotiators fell behind the healthy percentage of positive negotiation results. The group of people who scored higher in this research was the spiritual leaders from different religions. What they have shared as a result was more than astonishing – ninety-one percent of them have succeeded in negotiating with the people in their communities and have convinced them to join their churches and invest in community initiatives.
Does this look amazing to you?
If yes, then you are in my group. While reading the article, I was thinking about what makes these people part of a church. This institution is here to serve others, so successful in negotiation puts them far ahead of people traditionally accepted as good negotiators.
That research caused me to create my questionnaire and ask another 4691 people the three reasons for them being called successful negotiators.
What I received, as a result, made me think about the topic. The word that came from more than eighty-nine percent of the participants was AFFIRMATION. The basics of good negotiation are the ability to affirm something.
What also came out as a result of my research was that successful negotiators affirm three simple things. Based on them, I reconsidered my negotiation style, which led me to 95% success in my negotiation on critical projects I was and I am showing now.
Here are the three elements that negotiators need to focus on if they want to be successful:
I have been in many situations where there was no clear goal, but people negotiated for the sake of the negotiation process. And unfortunately, the results have always been like a minor disaster. Before even starting to talk on the subject, the first thing to do is to define your end goal and share it with the other party. Just a short example. I started a negotiation with my mobile operator several months ago. While the person on the other side came in with the only intent to fulfill its sales target, I have put the goal upfront – The exact amount of money with a different package. We needed thirty minutes to understand each other, but I got what I wanted to have, and the operator got me as a client for the next two years. Putting the goal directly on the table clarifies and focuses both sides on this one goal, instead of a bunch of personal goals for each other who do not correspond to each other.
It sounds so easy, and at the same time, fifty-eight percent of people miss this element when negotiating. A team from Harvard Business School found back in 2020 that people often forget to declare and insist on commitment. This element is essential because it defines the level of involvement in the negotiation process as much as both sides commit to specific steps in the process as much can be achieved from them as a result. Negotiations often fail because people are not committed to what they speak about. As low as the commitment is, the lower the positive deliverables will be at the end of a negotiation. Sounds so easy and straightforward, and at the same time, less than twenty percent of the people who enter negotiation commit to something and stick to what they have achieved until the result is accurate. That is why both sides need to sit down and agree on what they see as deliverable after the negotiation, to what point they will agree to interact with each other, and what expectations must be fulfilled for the opposite side to feel as negotiation is a win-win situation
The third element for successful negotiation from start to the end is for each side to answer two questions: “What is in for me?” and “What is in for you?.” Defining the value for both sides is a crucial element in evaluating the efficiency of the negotiation. If there is no value for one of the parties involved, then there will be no commitment to stick to what is negotiated and after the negotiation plan. Unfortunately, we enter the negotiation often, trying to search only for the first question’s answer. Moving from this one-dimensional thinking of what we will get to what both sides will get as a reward from the negotiation is crucial for the talks to deliver positive results and build sustaining in-time model for interaction. The value is what we all seek. When we move from me to us, this creates meaningful opportunities for future development of relationships and results.
Negotiation is an endless topic. If we explore it carefully and use our time focusing on the importance of both parties’ elements, it will be successful. Everything else harms the negotiation and is just a compromise that we make and push the other party to make with itself. Following this compromise strategy often crashes the negotiation and moves us back to the start of the process. Dealing with the compromise and turning it into a meaningful commitment guarantees a winning result for everyone.