Business Negotiation November 24, 2014

Don’t Hope For the Best

If there is one rule that doesn’t change, it is this: don’t hope for the best. Unfortunately, most of us continue to hope for the best when finding ourselves in negotiating situations.

Experiments verify that preparation before negotiation leads to better outcomes. Experience by others and myself confirms this. At the least, when entering a negotiation, it is wise to write down what you must have, what you would like to have and what issues you might ask for that are not as important. List these wants in order of priority. This minimal plan will prove helpful because it will lead you to negotiate with yourself.

Unless you negotiate with yourself and prioritize your wants, you will have trouble getting what you need. Nor will it be clear what you can live without. The problem is that knowing what you want is not as easy as it sounds. Few people approach an oncoming negotiation by bargaining with themselves about their own priorities, nor do they ask themselves the hard questions necessary to handle a well-prepared opposing negotiator.

Another rule for relationship based negotiating is there is always a story in a negotiation. If you don’t take the time to understand the other side’s story, you won’t understand the final outcome reached and why and how it happened.

The way to get the story is, of course, by listening rather than talking. Unfortunately, too many negotiators limit their listening to what they want to hear rather than to what the other is actually saying or intimating. Others lose useful information because they are busy preparing how they plan to respond to some point made by the other side to which they take exception. Experiments confirm that most of us are poor listeners even when the negotiating stakes are high.

Listening is always a wise concession that gives much but costs little. Only if you are disciplined enough to listen without interruption or criticism will you learn the real story behind every position or concession the other party makes. You will also gain something more valuable: the respect of the other for listening. Good listeners are rare, quickly recognized and appreciated by those they deal with. That’s why the words, “He or she is a good listener,” commands our attention in a positive way.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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