When you hear "negotiation," what comes to mind? When I ask this question at seminars, women often respond: men in suits arguing and yelling; buying a car; attorneys. When I ask how many women enjoy negotiating, only a few hands go up.
Before you show up to negotiate, it's imperative you know exactly what you want and why you want it.
How do you decide what you want?
Ask yourself, "In an ideal world, what do I want as a result of this discussion?” Write down your answer. Then ask, "Why do I want this?” Be real about your motives and again, write down your answers. Continue to ask yourself these two questions until you've exhausted your wants, needs and desires.
Then ask yourself, "What else might be possible that I haven't considered?” Maybe you need to talk to a few people who have been in a similar situation. Now it's time to list the items in order of importance. This allows you to see where you can be more flexible and when you need to stand firm.
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Do your homework!
If possible, do more homework than the person with whom you're negotiating. The more you know, the greater the chance you'll walk away with a good deal. Attorneys rarely ask a courtroom question to which they don't already know the answer. They've done their homework and present the information in a way that influences the jury while eliminating the opportunity for any surprises. You need to gather up the facts so when you sit down at the bargaining table, your confidence, awareness and intelligence shine through.
When it comes to doing your homework, use at least three sources. For example, if you need a new printer, check out three similar models. If you're up for a promotion and need to know what the going rate for your skills and talent might be, talk with three individuals who might have the answers.
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