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The 7 Most Common Negotiating Mistakes

PM ADVISORY 

By Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez

USA
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While even the word “negotiation” can evoke fear, stress and anxiety for many, the intent is quite simple: to discuss and ultimately agree on a deal.  Whether it’s a multimillion dollar contract or just deciding where to meet for lunch, life is rife with negotiations.  And, the negotiation process is a lot like a chess game where strategy reigns supreme — one thoughtfully considered move at a time. Make a careless, short-sighted, ill-conceived move and suffer the perilous consequences.

Even when faced with the most daunting of deals, regarding the act of negotiation as a ‘game’ may alleviate the apprehension and give you the confidence to make power plays that will ultimately facilitate your desired result. Unlike strategy games like chess, however, the most effective deals are a win-win proposition for all parties rather than a winner-loser result.

To help individuals maximize their bargaining prowess in business and in life, below are the 7 most common mistakes that are made during a negotiation:

  1. Lacking confidence

Many people think they need to show a certain kind of confidence, like being loud, bold or brazen, to successfully negotiate a deal. Others think that a lot of experience is required to be a good negotiator.  Most of the time it merely takes tenacity and good old preparation to ensure you are aptly equipped to assert mutually desirable terms, anticipate objections, and discern what motivators or “hot buttons” will resonate with your opponent. Projecting confidence also means having heart, which is endearing to others whether or not you have years of negotiation experience. This can also result in the opposition having a less defensive stance, making them more amenable to your stipulations. Without projecting a notable level of confidence, and backing that up with solid, well-researched information, failure will surely prevail.

  1.  Thinking something is non-negotiable

When you think like a negotiator, everything is negotiable! It’s a mindset you have to operate from in order to become not just a good negotiator, but a great one.  When you decide that the terms for anything can be changed in your favor, a world of opportunity presents.  Of course, as with most things in life, there will be rules to adhere to with each deal on the table, which are needed to evade chaos and keep discussions on track. However, even rules are negotiable! They can be modified if you simply propose an ethical, viable and mutually beneficial alternative solution. Powerful negotiators are rule breakers!

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About the Author

pmwj25-aug2014-Lewis-AUTHOR IMAGEEldonna Lewis-Fernandezflag-usa

USA

Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals in the USA and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She is currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International—a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills—as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation.  Eldonna may be reached online at www.ThinkLikeANegotiator.com.