Defining the Outcome
In any negotiation, it is important to define what you want to achieve – your “outcome.” This may seem like a simple task, but it can be surprisingly difficult. You may have multiple objectives, some of which may be conflicting. You may also have only a vague sense of what you want. Clarifying your objectives is the first step in developing an effective negotiation strategy. Once you have a clear sense of your desired outcome, you can begin to formulate a plan for how to achieve it. There are a few different ways to approach defining your outcome. One is to think about your BATNA – your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. What is the best possible outcome you can achieve if you walk away from the negotiation? This can help you to identify your bottom line – the minimum acceptable outcome.
Another approach is to consider your ZOPA – the Zone Of Possible Agreement. This is the range of outcomes within which both parties can find some degree of satisfaction. Identifying your ZOPA can help you to focus on realistic possibilities and to find creative solutions that meet the needs of both parties. Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can begin to develop a negotiation strategy. If you have multiple objectives, you will need to prioritize them. You will also need to consider the interests of the other party and how to best meet them. With a clear understanding of your goals and the other party’s interests, you can begin to develop a plan for how to achieve a successful outcome.
Managing the Process
Managing the process of negotiation is a critical skill for business leaders. Here are some key techniques for effectively managing the process.
Define the goal.
The first step in effective negotiation is to clearly define the goal. What is it that you want to achieve? Without a clear goal, it will be difficult to assess whether or not a negotiation is successful.
Set the parameters.
Once the goal is clear, the next step is to set the parameters. What are the terms of the negotiation? What are the acceptable outcomes? By setting clear parameters, you can avoid costly mistakes and wasted time.
Understand the other side.
To be successful, it is important to understand the perspective of the other side. What are their goals? What are their parameters? What are their interests? By understanding the other side, you can be better prepared to meet their needs.
Prepare your argument.
Once you understand the other side, it is time to prepare your argument. What points do you need to make to persuade the other side to accept your terms? What evidence do you have to support your position? By preparing a strong argument, you increase your chances of success.
While it is important to have a clear goal and strong argument, it is also important to be flexible. Negotiations are dynamic and ever-changing. Be prepared to adjust your position based on the needs of the other side.