When a counterparty makes an offer or a demand, it’s an easy trap to allow the rest of the negotiation to become anchored around that starting point. Adopt strategies that seek to widen the parameters of a negotiation.
Preparation- failing to prepare is preparing to fail.
Always ensure you make the time to prepare properly for a negotiation. Have a simple framework to turn to for quick and meaningful preparation.
Avoid getting stuck at “no”.
Develop a strategy for dealing with “no” and pushback in negotiation- otherwise this can result in overlooking a source of new information, and the opportunity to establish a path towards creative options.
Purposefully manage the process.
Have the language to talk about and steer the negotiation process, especially when things aren’t going as expected. Yes do thorough homework on facts and issues, and also envision an effective process, so you are not at the mercy of your counterparty’s approach.
Ask enough good questions.
Negotiation is not a race to arrive at a solution. Slow down the pace and ask enough questions with the right language and skill to allow getting to the real issues.
Negotiation is not a game – it is not about ‘out-playing’ the other party.
Negotiators can become caught up in and focus all of their energy on playing games. Early plays for power and theatrical routines may get the heart pumping for some, but will often do more harm than good to the negotiation process.