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Negotiations in English
One of the most important skills anyone can hold in daily life is the ability to negotiate. In general terms, a negotiation is a resolution of conflict. We enter negotiations in order to start or continue a relationship and resolve an issue. Even before we accept our first jobs, or begin our careers, we all learn how to negotiate. For one person it begins with the negotiation of an allowance with a parent. For another it involves negotiating a television schedule with a sibling. Some people are naturally stronger negotiators, and are capable of getting their needs met more easily than others. Without the ability to negotiate, people break off relationships, quit jobs, or deliberately avoid conflict and uncomfortable situations.
In the world of business, negotiating skills are used for a variety of reasons, such as to negotiate a salary or a promotion, to secure a sale, or to form a new partnership. Here are a few examples of different types of negotiations in the business world:
* Manager and Clerk: Negotiating a promotion
* Employer and Potential Employee: Negotiating job benefits
* Business Partner A and B: Making decisions about investments
* Company A and Company B: Negotiating a merger
* Customer and Client: Making a Sale
The Art of Negotiating
Negotiating is often referred to as an "art". While some people may be naturally more skillful as negotiators, everyone can learn to negotiate. And, as they often say in business, everything is negotiable. Some techniques and skills that aid people in the negotiating process include:
* Aiming high
* Visualizing the end results
* Treating one's opponent with respect and honesty
* Preparing ahead of time
* Exhibiting confidence
Throughout this lesson, we will review important techniques and skills to learn before negotiating. We will also examine certain tactics your opponents may use at the negotiating table. These pages are designed to prepare you for for negotiating in English in the business world, but they will also help you achieve your goals in everyday life
Добавлено (25.01.2009, 01:17)
The Negotiation Process
It's time to negotiate! Here are a few golden rules to successful negotiations:
1) Always try to negotiate for at least 15 minutes. Any less than that and it is unlikely that either party has had enough time to fairly consider the other side. Generally, the size or seriousness of the negotiation determines the amount of time needed to negotiate it. Setting a time limit is a good idea. Approximately 90% of negotiations get settled in the last 10% of the discussion.
2) Always offer to let the other party speak first. This is especially important if you are the one making a request for something such as a raise. The other party may have overestimated what you are going to ask for and may actually offer more than what you were going to request.
3) Always respect and listen to what your opponent has to say. This is important even if he or she does not extend the same courtesy to you. Do your best to remain calm and pleasant even if the other party is displaying frustration or anger. Remember some people will do anything to intimidate you.
4) Acknowledge what the other party says. Everyone likes to know that what they say is important. If the other party opens first, use it to your advantage, by paraphrasing what you have heard. Repeat their important ideas before you introduce your own stronger ones.
5) Pay attention to your own and your counterpartner's body language. Review the chart below to learn how to interpret body language during the negotiations. Make sure that you aren't conveying any negative body language.
Language to use to show understanding/agreement on a point:
* I agree with you on that point.
* That's a fair suggestion.
* So what you're saying is that you...
* In other words, you feel that...
* You have a strong point there.
* I think we can both agree that...
* I don't see any problem with/harm in that.
Language to use for objection on a point or offer:
* I understand where you're coming from; however,...
* I'm prepared to compromise, but...
* The way I look at it...
* The way I see things...
* If you look at it from my point of view...
* I'm afraid I had something different in mind.
* That's not exactly how I look at it.
* From my perspective...
* I'd have to disagree with you there.
* I'm afraid that doesn't work for me.
* Is that your best offer?
Body Language Possible meaning
Avoiding Eye Contact
* Not interested
* Not telling the whole truth
Serious Eye Contact
* Trying to intimidate
* Showing anger
Touching the face/fidgeting
* Lack of confidence
* Willing to compromise
Shaking the head/turning away
* In disbelief
* Disagreeing with a point
Добавлено (25.01.2009, 01:19)
Coming to a Close or Settlement
There are a number of signals that indicate that negotiations are coming to a close. This may not always mean that an agreement has been reached. In many cases, there are many rounds of negotiations. The preliminary round may uncover the major issues, while subsequent rounds may be needed to discuss and resolve them. Here are some signals of talks coming to a close:
* A difference of opinion has been significantly reduced
* One party suggests signing an agreement.
* One or both parties indicate that a period of time to pause and reflect is necessary.
Beware of last-minute strong-arm tactics.
Even if you make the decision to treat your negotiating opponent with honesty and kindness, the other party may not extend you the same respect. Be prepared to stand your ground firmly, yet cordially, especially in the last few minutes of the negotiations. This is the time when manipulative parties may employ certain tactics in order to try to fool you into losing focus or lowering goals and standards. Remember that conflicts are generally resolved in the last few minutes. The theory behind last minute tactics is that one party may be more willing to give in out of fear that all of the concessions or progress made up to that point (perhaps hours or weeks of talks) might be lost. People also get tired or have other commitments that need to be met, such as making an important phone call before another business closes, or picking up children from school. Here are some last minutes tricks that negotiators often use at this time:
* Walking out of the room
* Offering a short-term bribe
* Telling you to take it or leave it
* Giving an ultimatum
* Abrupt change in tone (used to shock the other party into submission)
* Introducing new requests (used at to get you to concede with little thought or consideration)
* Stating generalizations without evidence (dropped without significant statistics/proof)
* Adopting the Mr. Nice Guy persona (used to try to make it look like they are doing you a favour in hopes that you will lower your expectations)
Language to use in closing
* It sounds like we've found some common ground.
* I'm willing to leave things there if you are.
* Let's leave it this way for now.
* I'm willing to work with that.
* I think we both agree to these terms.
* I'm satisfied with this decision.
* I think we should get this in writing.
* I'd like to stop and think about this for a little while.
* You've given me a lot to think about/consider.
* Would you be willing to sign a contract right now?
* Let's meet again once we've had some time to think.