Negotiating Space

Today you will probably negotiate with someone – unless you live on a deserted island.

Many of your meetings and conversations with co-workers, your boss, your spouse, children or best friend are really negotiations. Interactions you have with a buyer, seller, waiter, or taxi driver? All negotiations. Next year you are going to experience thousands of negotiations.

As you get ready for all of those negotiations you’re going to have, I want to remind you of one of the most fundamental aspects of any negotiation-leave yourself room to negotiate. I call it Negotiating Space.

Negotiating Space is something that really impacts your ability to achieve a satisfying agreement-for all parties. My research proved that people who give themselves room to negotiate do better than those who don’t. If you are looking to buy something you will do better if you make a low initial offer. If you want to sell someone a product, service, idea, concept, or change-of-policy-start out with high demands.

The process of high demands and slow, reluctantly given concessions is a strong one. This negotiating process helps reduce the other person’s aspiration level and enhances their satisfaction level. It gives you a chance to test the strength of the other person’s position and their willingness to stand firm. This process helps you gather valuable information about the other person’s position and feelings. And most importantly, the information you gain from following this process helps you uncover “Both-Win” opportunities.

Wherever you decide to start your negotiation-have a good, logical reason for starting where you do. This helps avoid an appearance of flippancy.

When you give yourself Negotiating Space, you may discover that you are better off than you thought. And, it provides you an opportunity to maybe discover a really unique Both-Win outcome.

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