The art of negotiation

Monika Tutterová

Management Coach, Alumni Class of 2003

The art of negotiation consists of one very important principle — believe it or not, this principle can help anyone to get what they want. Let’s take a closer look.

The art of negotiation consists of one very important principle — believe it or not, this principle can help anyone to get what they want. Let’s take a closer look.

To negotiate successfully, you may think that you need certain abilities and skills, and you would be right up to a certain point. Skills can be learned, and anything is possible if you have the need and the will to learn. 

So let’s assume that the skills are there and negotiations are about to start. Later, things get pretty tough, and you endure long, stressful negotiations just to achieve a compromise. Your energy levels are low and all you want to do is go home. 

The key principle that will save you is to carry out the necessary “mental preparation” before any negotiation or a meeting. To do this, you must stop for a moment, concentrate and answer the following questions for yourself: 

How will the meeting go?
How will I feel in the meeting?
What will I have achieved when I leave the meeting? 

Here are some examples of good answers: 

How will the meeting go? The meeting will go very smoothly, it will be shorter than expected, and there will be a very pleasant atmosphere. 

How will I feel in the meeting? I will feel confident, I will know all answers to all questions, I will be at ease and even make a clever joke. 

What will I have achieved when I leave the meeting? I will walk away with the result I want, which is …. They will agree to all our terms and conditions and I will have a list of things to focus on for our next meeting. 

It is important that you structure all your answers as positive outcomes that will certainly happen! Note that I have emphasized "will" — it is essential to avoid uncertain words such as "like" or "hope" or any negative emotions. 

I wish you all the best of luck in negotiating!

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