Explore the basic framework of every negotiation, and learn how brainstorming and trading things of value generate more satisfaction with the outcome.
- In your everyday work, you have multiple daily opportunities to negotiate, to solve problems and create value. So let's say you're working on a big newproject and you've discovered that you need two more engineers on your team to accomplish the goals of the project. For that you have to get your boss' buy-in. Before you sit down to talk, you noddle through your options and you come up with a plan. Let's call it plan A, hiring two new engineers.
And, now knowing that things don't always go according to plan and that you might run into unknowns or hidden constraints, you've come up with a plan B, hiring one new engineer and borrowing another from an existing team. Designing options is smart preparation that will help you be creative at the bargaining table and set you up for trading things of value and finding your way to agreement. Now let's take a look at how you might get to that agreement with a basic negotiation framework.
The first part of the framework is all about unpacking your ask and getting to no. The second part of the model is getting to yes. First you spend a little time making small talk and connecting. Then you ask a few diagnostic questions to test your boss' thinking about your need for more staff. Next you anchor with plan A, hiring two new people to work on an upcoming project and meet the deadline. Then you frame it by pointing out that new hires will bring a missing expertise not only to your team but to your company.
Let's say at this point your boss puts up a budget roadblock and says no to two new hires. Rather than capitulating and saying, "Okay, thanks anyway," this is where you use mirroring and labeling and question asking so you can at least get to a point of agreement about the need for support. Now that you have that agreement about needing support, you might float your plan B, making one new hire and filling the other role by borrowing someone from another team.
Now you're showing a little give and take, trading things of value, and you're on your way to agreement, solving your staffing needs together. In negotiation terms, plan B was a concession you made. Your preference was to hire two new people, but in reality, plan B accomplishes your goal just as well. Not only do you get what you need, but your concession creates some good will. According to the research on concessions, when both parties experience a little give and take, they tend to be a lot happier with the outcome.
Spend time upfront designing ways to trade things of value and you'll be much more prepared and creative when you do run into roadblocks. Remember, anytime you feel stuck, ask diagnostic questions to get you unstuck and on the path to finding a solution that works for you and your conversation partner.
- Identify the different types of negotiation.
- Distinguish the difference between asking and negotiation.
- List core negotiation practices.
- Explain anchoring and framing for mutual benefit.
- Describe tactical empathy.
- Explain the principles of influence.
- Create an influence plan.
- Analyze conflict styles.
- Recognize contentious negotiation tactics.