Discover ways you undermine yourself in negotiations. In this video, Elizabeth Robillard discusses how we focus on our own weaknesses, bargain ourselves down, and mistake toughness for effectiveness.
- Sometimes we are our own worst enemy when it comes to negotiating. It is easy to miss negotiating opportunities at work but we also can get in our own way in how we approach a potential negotiation. Let's talk through a few of the more common ways we handicap our negotiating position. We focus on our own weaknesses. We think of all the reasons that we will not be able to get what we want so we back off and fail to negotiate even though we know it would be better if we could.
We limit ourselves before we even start. We may make the first concession in our head. We carry on a private debate and convince ourselves of all the reasons we won't be able to get what we want. We bargain ourselves down. We should remember that the opening offer is as good as it is ever going to get. If we discount before we start, we limit our possibilities for gain. Our style can also hinder us.
We can mistake toughness for effectiveness. We see the negotiation as a game with winners and losers. We want to be on the winning side, but instead of focusing on winning, we should think about what would be good for us and good for our organization. Finally, we are too concerned about how others will see us that we forget about or own interests and concerns. We want to make sure that the other person is happy. The trap is that we say we will do it for the relationship or that we want to be fair to everyone.
Those are admirable aims, of course, but only if your negotiation partner shares them, if not, you can sacrifice your own interests before you even enter the negotiation. Before we work on the specific strategies you can use in negotiation, start by assessing the ways you might handicap yourself at the start. In the exercise files we provided a self-analysis worksheet. Download the worksheet and answer these questions. First, how do I get in my own way? Second, when have I failed to recognize negotiation opportunities? Third, what are my weaknesses that I'm too focused on? Fourth, when was a time I bargained myself down before I made the ask? Fifth, when have I tried to ensure that others are satisfied at the expense of my own needs? And finally, when have I mistaken toughness for effectiveness? Performing this self-analysis will position you better to prepare for the negotiation.
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- Review methods for avoiding common negotiation pitfalls.
- Determine what you really want.
- Clarify how and when to use your bargaining power.
- Recall strategies for making mutually beneficial agreements.
- Recognize ways to anticipate potential responses.
- Use turns to respond and restore your position in a negotiation.