negotiating agreement without giving in
What is Reaching a Negotiating Agreement – Without Giving In?
Can you reach a negotiating agreement without giving in to unrealistic demands?
No is perhaps the most important and certainly the most powerful word in the English language. For many people, it is
also the hardest to say. Saying no the right way is possibly the single most valuable skill in negotiation. But to reach a negotiating agreement, without giving in to demands that may compromise your goals or principles, it is an essential concept.
Many negotiators feel they have to choose between either waging a strictly competitive, win-lose negotiation battle or caving in to avoid conflict.
Instead, bargainers can and should look for negotiation strategies that can help both sides get more of what they want. By listening closely to each other, treating each other fairly, and jointly exploring options to increase value, negotiators can find ways of attaining a negotiating agreement without giving in to the need to rely on hard-bargaining tactics and unnecessary concessions.
Even so, you may still find yourself in hard-bargaining situations. You may find yourself with a need to say no – to your counterpart or to yourself – while working toward a negotiating agreement without giving in to unproductive reactions.
What does this look like?
Challenging the assumption that you can either use power to get what you want (at the expense of the relationship) or use the relationship (at the expense of the power), a “positive no” calls on you to use both at the same time, engaging the other in a constructive and respectful confrontation.
And for saying no to yourself? Our focus on our own problems and concerns often prevents us from putting ourselves in our counterpart’s shoes. So put yourself in your own shoes first—that is, to listen to yourself first, identify your deepest needs, and think about how they can be met.
Find out how to build powerful negotiation skills and reach a negotiating agreement without giving in. Download our FREE special report,Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
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