In a global business community, relationships are king (or queen). And the ability to skillfully negotiate day-to-day agreements is one area that can quickly make or break professional relationships, effecting goodwill and future business.
We’ve all been in negotiations that end up feeling like you’ve been steam rolled or got the outcome you wanted by taking a win-at-all-costs approach. Both outcomes really only offer short term gains.
The problem in business is that over time, the simple yes or no approaches to negotiation ruin relationships and get poor outcomes. The alternative – negotiated yes – invests in high value outcomes for all parties and builds longer term relationships.
So, how do you negotiate and keep the value of the relationship central?
Yes if …. is the language of the creative negotiator.
It involves the C-word. Collaboration.
Where to start?
Collaboration starts with understanding the situation. Ask some questions.
1. What’s really needed here?
What’s the need behind the request?
Where’s the flexibility? Time, cost, people, output, outcome ….
What are the priorities?
2. How else could the need be met?
Is there a different way of framing the request?
Explore a bigger picture or common ground
Get creative with ‘What if ….’
A great starting point to the request of ‘I need you to have that report done by COB.’ when you have big day of high priority matters, might begin ‘Okay. I can have the report on your desk by COB, if it’s compiled by another team member. Can that work for you?’
Guess what? Being able to say yes to the person and find an option for the task, opens the door to a discussion. One that aims to get everyone’s needs met.
Over time, cultivating a yes, if ….. approach leads to happier, healthier, more sustainable relationships.
Want to know more about crafting high performance relationships? Contact Maree Machin – email@example.com