If you think about it, you are constantly being pushed to negotiate in your life, irrespective of what you do for a living. You may have discussions with your partner about what to watch on TV that night, with your friends about where to go for dinner, your kids about how much screen time is too much, your boss about your vacation time, and so on. All of these are, in fact, negotiations – i.e. a discussion between two people where you are trying to reach an agreement. Some of you may be required to negotiate as part of your work, or during official transactions. Sometimes, things will turn out the way you desire. But, sometimes, they won’t. While it may be admirable to compromise and inevitable to accept certain outcomes (your kids will find a way to stay glued to the screen!), there are age-old tips and tricks of negotiating that may help you on these daily encounters. Here, we bring you some of these suggestions:
- Listen first. Pay attention to what the other person is trying to say which will help you frame your own arguments. Sometimes, it may be helpful to sit down so the other person knows you will spend time to hear their side.
- Keep your cool. Anger or irritation will never get you the results you desire. No yelling and no walking away.
- Avoid empty threats. This will only serve to diminish the other person’s respect for you.
- Find common ground. Let your kids know that you want them to enjoy their evening as well when they are arguing for more screen time. Let them know that you are on the same page before you make your own suggestions.
- Think of other options that would satisfy both parties. Seldom in this world do have limited options, so try to come up with one that you and other person are both interested in.
- Take your time. Sometimes, you may need to pause for a few minutes. And sometimes, you may need to pause for a few days. Maybe your boss was in a surly mood when they rejected your vacation request. Try again. Maybe your husband will realize that it’s not okay to hog the remote daily.
At the end of the day, you won’t win every argument or negotiation. It’s okay to feel frustrated about losing, but it’s also okay to feel okay about losing! Every relationship will have a different dynamic so you will have to come up with and utilize negotiating strategies that work within that particular relationship. The next time you are faced with negotiating, whether at home with your family or externally at your workplace, try to think about the communication strategies that you are using to help you win. Hope the above suggestions help!