Negotiate Well and Negotiate Negotiations: 8 Leadership Tips


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"Chef, isn't it enough if I finish reporting next week? I just can't get anything in… ”You probably know situations like this from your everyday life as a manager from time to time. But do you also react appropriately? 8 tips to negotiate correctly.

Negotiate Well and Negotiate Negotiations: 8 Leadership Tips Good Negotiation and Negotiation Negotiations: 8 Leadership Tips


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Michael Lorenz Michael Lorenz

Michael Lorenz is managing partner of grow.up. Management consulting.

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Good bargaining: it is useful for that

We conduct negotiations on a daily basis: with colleagues, supervisors, employees or business partners.

This often raises the question: do we represent our point of view convincingly or do we often allow ourselves to be knocked open by colleagues and employees? Because: Competent negotiation is not for nothing one of the most important, but at the same time the most underestimated tools.

Often, however, we overlook what the real goal of a negotiation should be. It is almost never a matter of enforcing one's will in any case, but above all of finding a sensible, mutually acceptable agreement. Ideally, the interests of both negotiating partners will be fulfilled, so that the agreement will last for a longer period of time and that the topic will not be back on the agenda two weeks later.

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In 8 steps to successful negotiation manager

The following four rules will help you to keep track of your goals in the future and bring negotiations to a successful conclusion.

1. Always stay objective

Actually, negotiations could be so easy: we communicate with our counterpart, everyone brings his arguments factually and together define a suitable approach. So far the theory. Unfortunately, we are not always dealing with topics that can be solved purely by logic and according to objective criteria. For example, when a co-worker comes to you to negotiate a salary increase, a lot of emotion resonates immediately. This is completely normal, after all we are all human!

However, this often leads to the fact that the objectivity in the heat of the moment ever gets lost. You already suspect what your employee wants to discuss with you as soon as he enters your office, right? Colleague Schmitt would probably like to ask for an extension of the deadline, while Mr Martens is certainly looking for a technical upgrade to the equipment of his workplace. Over time, we just know how people are ticking around us. For the daily togetherness that is advantageous in itself - in negotiations, this expectation but ensures that you start already with prejudice in the conversation.

2. Do not mix people, roles and viewpoints

So, even if it is difficult for you: Make an effort to separate the negotiating position of your counterpart from his person and previous situations. Only then can you be as open-minded as possible in the negotiation and argue as neutral as possible. Although we always have to deal with people while negotiating, they are often in a role. And out of this role and not as a human, they do not want something or something.

In other words, my contact person at the customer really believes that we will improve the quality of the seventh series of seminars when we change everything for the seventh time. She does not do that out of spite. She is only afraid to implement the respective requirements of her boss word for word. When we confuse man, role and purpose, we become emotional. We think the other wants to deliberately annoy us. When we emotionalize, we can not negotiate well. Emotions are the sure way into the conflict.

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3. Think in objectives, not in viewpoints

Even if you make a great effort, you will experience repeated negotiations in which the fronts harden. What to do if each side insists on the correctness of their arguments and sticks to their position? Although it may be tempting: Do not play the boss card or your power position to end the negotiation by authority.

In this situation, the challenge for you is to look past the arguments on your own interests and those of your counterpart. It is best to ask specifically: "What do you want to achieve with this argument?" or "Why does this goal seem so worthwhile to you?" Under certain circumstances, motives will come to light that you have not considered before.

4. Dealing with the interests of your negotiating partners

It also happens again and again that negotiating partners are indeed in a role, but behave - in our view - not role-compliant. Imagine a shopper who only bought the last two service providers for price and fell heavily on his nose. Even though I think that a buyer must always be price sensitive, this can be very different in my current situation.

Honest engagement with the interests and intentions of the negotiating partners usually revives a stalled negotiation and keeps it in flux. In many negotiations one would have been able to agree retrospectively - had the respective motives been disclosed.

5. Create choices

Only if I do not want to build a lasting relationship can I confront people hard.

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I grew up in the Rhineland. There are beautiful destinations. Some of them can only be seen twice in life. For example the Drachenfels in the Siebengebirge on the Rhine. The first time as a trip in the third grade and then much, much later in advanced age.

“Cup of coffee 3,80. But there are only jugs out here. ” With the beautiful view and on the wonderful day, the pot of coffee can also cost € 7,80. We don't want to build a lasting relationship. However, if you intend to build a long-term relationship, the ideal goal of a negotiation is to find the solution that is mutually beneficial.

6. Find solutions

If the arguments are largely exchanged, it is time to get to the solution. In some cases, two options may be sufficient - often an either-or not. Therefore, it makes sense to increase the number of possible options.

For example, an employee would like to work in the home office two days a week? The chance of an agreement is significantly higher if you don't just consider a “yes” or “no” - but create options. Ideally, you will even discover a combination solution with which both sides can leave the table satisfied. Choices make it easier for the person to move towards you and your suggestions.

7. If no agreement is possible: Look for criteria that can be agreed upon

If an agreement between the parties is not possible, it can be difficult again just before the end of the trial. If you can see that they can not go any further, they should stop the negotiation and find common decision-making criteria that will allow the selection of alternatives developed in the previous step.

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Agreeable criteria are those that are independent of the objectives of the parties. You probably already guessed it: criteria like "I don't feel comfortable with it" do not apply here. Easy-to-understand criteria such as costs, sales, studies, recognized reports or even assessments by an expert are particularly helpful.

8. Use neutral assessment criteria

In a salary negotiation, for example, compensation studies by recognized organizations such as the VDI or renowned consultants can provide clues to possible criteria that can be agreed upon. This phase becomes especially important when both sides negotiate a lot, wrong decisions are expensive or difficult to revise. You know this phase from the unification efforts between unions and eg the public employers.

While one as a bystander thinks: "My goodness, Ver.di's demand for a EUR 200 raise for the lower income groups in the public service is really not that much", the employer is dealing with three-digit millions. Every year.

When it comes to a lot, you should insist on the application of neutral and objective assessment criteria. The time invested is worthwhile, because the solutions found in this way are usually sustainable.

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  1. Lisa

    Who can negotiate, is clearly in the advantage!

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