You may think you don’t negotiate. You may also think negotiations are for car salesmen and foreign diplomats, right? Well, wrong. Think of these scenarios:
- You and your friends are trying to decide where to go for your big night out. Their restaurant of choice gives you hives just thinking about it, but you don’t want to be a wet blanket and put your foot down. You need to sway them… gently.
- Your husband wants a new car, a man cave, and Saturdays to play golf and drink booze with his mates. You need to persuade him… diplomatically.
- Your cell phone bill was twice what you expected because you hadn’t realized you were being charged per text. OR those free calls don’t include retrieving voice messages. You want the Customer Service rep to credit you and reduce your bill. You need to persuade him… convincingly.
- Your boss wants you to visit a client out of town next week. You have other plans at home. You need to change her mind… quickly.
We each are involved in dozens of interactions on a daily basis in our personal and work lives, many of which involve some sort of transaction. For example, getting a room upgrade at your favorite hotel. Getting a manager to extend the deadline on a work project. Getting a sales rep to extend the warranty on your out-of-warranty refrigerator that just died. Getting your neighbor to stop parking in front of your house. Getting a client to take a higher price. The list goes on and on.
When faced with these types of interactions, skilled negotiators don’t just “come out on top,” they elicit a win-win scenario that leaves everyone feeling good. And that’s what we’re aiming for: Not ripping the other person off, but finding that sweet spot where everyone feels that his or her needs were met.