Negotiation is a process for reaching an agreed outcome between two parties who seem to have opposing outcomes. The negotiation process involves developing rapport and establishing a common ground.
A good technique for negotiation is to work through the following steps:
- Allow others to state their case without interruption.
- Validate the other person's proposal – 'That's a very good point.'
- Give direct feedback, showing sensitivity to their viewpoint – 'I understand why you see it that way.'
- Remain flexible, and make suggestions about how the situation could be resolved. 'Would you feel better about it if I ...?'
- Express feelings. 'I am concerned that ...'
- List all available options – 'Perhaps we could ...'
- Find common ground – 'We both want clients to have the best service possible.'
- Engage in problem-solving by using open-ended questions and accepting feedback. 'How do you think we could do it differently?'
- Get agreement by identifying the highest common intent. 'We can both agree on ...'
Once you have established your common ground, work from there.