REACHING AN AGREEMENT
Successful leaders need well developed negotiation skills. So plan your negotiation strategy with care.
The ability to ask simple questions and listen intently to the replies are very important when trying to reach an agreement.
If necessary find out the traditional negotiation requirements of other cultures. Seek advice before you negotiate in foreign lands. Gifts and ‘administrated fees’ may be expected.
The five best tips to reach an agreement between conflicting groups
* Plan your strategy
Before you start write down what you hope to achieve and your final fallback position. A sound plan can save you much time.
* Look at things from the other side’s point of view
Write down what you believe is the other parties bottom line and focus on their pressure points.
Seek information by questioning to clarify issues.
Look for problems below the surface – not the obvious ones, but the unspoken problems, such as people, their personalities and their attitudes. Try to separate people and personalities from the situation.
Listen hard and refrain from commenting.
* Look for options where there are mutual gains
Focus on mutual interests and benefits, not on non-negotiable positions. What’s in it for me? What’s in it for them?
* To gain something be prepared to give something
Be prepared to make concessions. (Those who agree in principle have little intention of putting it into practice.)
Aim for a written agreement or an acceptance if possible. A verbal agreement isn’t ‘worth the paper it’s written on’.
* Be polite and ethical
Never lose your temper under any circumstances. If you are tolerant in one moment of anger, it will save you many days of regret.
When you cannot make progress adjourn, rethink and plan your strategy for the next round. Try, try and try again. Be willing to walk away if necessary and prepare for another day.
Always express appreciation for the other sides time and efforts. Small courtesies can make a big difference.
“You only fail when you give up.”
Source: “Secrets for Success. This book could change your life”. Published by Moss Associates Ltd and Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.