How to begin any negotiation
If you're a negotiator . . . let's see . . . that means everyone who is in the workforce along with every mother, of course, and every child and teen, and anyone in any type of relationship . . . please go on over to Harvard's Program on Negotiation and pick up its free report on Managing Conflict on the Job and at Home.
When asked, "how do I start the negotiation," we always say "start with small talk." I've written several pieces on the benefits of small talk, the most recent one at Forbes, here.
Now Harvard tells us that people who begin their negotiations with "how are the kids?" or "how about those Dodgers?" are four times more likely to reach agreement. That's how powerful building rapport with your bargaining partner is.
Here's the slug from the Harvard report. Download the full article right now.
Those who had engaged in small talk felt more cooperative toward their counterparts, shared and reciprocated more information, made fewer threats, and developed more respect and trust than did those who skipped small talk. This rapport had an economic payoff: “small talk” negotiators were more than four times more likely to reach agreement than their “no small talk” counterparts, who more often than not walked away from offers that would have left them better off.
Here's another nuggest of critical advice whose source I can no longer remember so I can call it my own.
"The most dangerous negotiation you can have is one you don't know you're having."
If you don't know you're negotiating something every single day, it's time to start learning. Try one of our September Master Mind classes.
I took a She Negotiates course led by Victoria and Lisa Gates to learn more about the art of negotiation. The course was enjoyable--the examples and games she uses to impart information made learning fun and easy to retain. She was also highly professional in leadership of discussions and in explanations of the technical aspects of the methods she teaches.
I also found the class profitable. I've used several of the techniques Victoria teaches, both in low-key personal negotiations with family members and in high-stakes discussions over salary with potential employers as I currently seek employment. I highly recommend Victoria if your'e thinking of learning more about negotiation through the She Negotiates course or others.
What you'll gain is worth twice what she charges--I'm certain you'll consider her reasonable prices money well spent.