So when you are negotiating, follow these four easy steps:

  1. Never use the word “negotiate”.  People immediately think of one person winning and one person losing.  And their immediate goal is to not lose!  Instead use the word “brainstorm.”  This will cause both parties to be more open to ideas. When people think of brainstorming they immediately thinking of sharing all information in order to come to the best conclusion.  You will find that they will candidly share with you obstacles they face.
  2. Focus on the outcome desired AND why the other party will benefit from this outcome.  If you can’t answer that, you will be weak throughout the negotiation since you won’t have conviction behind what you say.  Don’t get hung up on one solution.  Keep yourself open for options.
  3. Address challenges and objections you think the other party might have right up front.  Remember a person can’t really “hear” you until they feel you understand them.  By addressing concerns, issues and objections they have upfront you shatter the “yea, but” argument that happens so much in negotiations.
  4. Choose your words carefully.  Avoid any negative words such as” but or however” since these negate everything you said right before.  Instead use “and”.

You might be surprised at what the other party will offer up as solutions!  And most importantly, remember you are there to gather information and get a result not to win an argument.

Read about The Masters of Negotiating by ordering your copy of The Masters of Impact Negotiating. Over a dozen negotiators, including Anne Warfield, share their passion for persuasion.