Here are Two Key strategies to keep in mind when negotiating:

1. Have a game plan or strategy.
Your game plan or strategy is a starting point — a brief outline of what you would like to accomplish and how.  It is not a rigid rulebook to be applied throughout the negotiation.  It is instead a guideline that allows you a place to start.

Remember, you are working with another human being, someone who doesn’t appreciate being backed into a corner any more than you would.

Set a strategy with clear goals and possible tactics but be willing to revise it as circumstances and interests warrant.

2. Begin with the right mindset.
Most people go into negotiations thinking one of two things:

“I have to win at all cost.  I don’t want to look stupid.  I have done my homework and, by gosh, I know what X, Y, and Z cost.  I am not going to be taken advantage of!” 


“Please, please, just be reasonable and give me X, Y and Z without a hassle.  I really don’t want to fight with you over this.”

Do you see any problem with these approaches?

Each one has faith in you but not the other party.

That immediately makes negotiation difficult. If you believe the other party will try to take advantage of you, then you lose you biggest edge — the perception that the other person will do anything they can do to help you.

You need to start with the mindset that we are both here to achieve a mutual outcome and we just need to figure out how to remove the barriers to that outcome.  Trust me, people can tell whether you believe in the best or worst of them. They will try to live up to either expectation.

Go to the Resource tab and click on Articles and Negotiations to find a selection of Negotiating articles that have more information and tips that can change the course of your negotiations and increase your take actions.