How to Negotiate without the Scare Factor

How to Negotiate without the Scare Factor

negotiation Picture this: rooftop happy hour with your group of friends. The light is golden–perfect for your Snapchat story. You’re sipping on a glass of rosé in celebration of a major life milestone (e.g. new job, promotion, new house, new car). Everyone wants to know – what you did to negotiate.

Your friends are a curious bunch. They want the details of what you did to negotiate.

What was the process like? What did you say? And what did they say? Did the car salesman try to strong-arm you into closing a deal? Was the offer process for the house incredibly competitive?

Your most enterprising friend looks up from the menu, where she’s been debating between ordering the oysters or tartare. You know the one–she’s always dressed to a T. Every time you talk to her, she seems to be booking a vacation to a remote tropical island, getting promoted, or learning Mandarin–for the sheer love of learning.

She has the quietest voice out of all your friends, but every head turns in her direction. She asks, “Did you negotiate?”

At this point, dear reader, you have a choice.

You can tell everyone that you didn’t because it would have made things awkward and you were afraid of offending the other person. Or you can regale your A-player friend with the story of how you followed the five steps below to achieve the outcome you wanted.

If you’ve never negotiated before or are simply looking to improve your skills, use these five tips to take the scare factor out of the process:

1. Change Your Mindset

The single biggest hurdle you will face in your negotiations? Not getting started at all.

People tend to avoid negotiating for one reason: fear. They’re afraid of being rude, offending the other person, causing an adversarial or stressful situation, or losing the deal altogether.

To change your mindset, watch the video below from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business on negotiation. The single biggest takeaway? Negotiation is not adversarial, it’s problem-solving. If you approach every negotiation with an open mind and have confidence that you can partner with the other person to achieve a good deal, then you can overcome this mental hurdle. A good negotiator perfectly blends being courteous, matter-of-fact, and firm.


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