Negotiating in Life, Negotiation Strategies April 15, 2009

Negotiating Your Viewpoint

Ideas are like possessions; people don't like to part with them.

An exchange of viewpoints can be a very tough negotiation.

Remember these nine important items when you are negotiating your viewpoint. You will find yourself more successful in assuring your viewpoint prevails.

1. Talk less, listen more. The other person wants to be heard. Encourage them to talk freely about their viewpoint. This will provide you insights into why they feel they way they do. Chances are the other person will reciprocate and be more attentive when you speak.

2. Don't interrupt. Interruptions make people angry and block communication.

3. Don't be belligerent. While it might be more difficult to be soft spoken than harsh, a soft-spoken approach encourages the same treatment from the other person. An argumentative negotiating attitude is rarely successful in changing another person's opinion.

4. Don't be in a rush to bring up your own points. As a rule it is best to hear the other person's full viewpoint before expressing your own. Ensure they are satisfied that they have stated their full case.

5. Restate the other person's viewpoint and objectives as soon as you understand them. People like to know they are being heard and understood. This is an inexpensive concession you can make. It forces you to listen better and helps you to frame your viewpoint in the other person's terms.

6. Identify the key discussion points you are interested in and focus on them. Cover one point at a time and avoid trying to overwhelm with arguments. Use evidence to support your viewpoint (e.g. knowledge, legitimacy, time and effort).

7. Don't digress. Try to keep the other person from digressing. It helps to agree on nonessential issues temporarily. Agree to postpone a seemingly difficult issue until later so you can focus on areas where you are more likely to gain agreement.

8. Be for a point of view -- not against one.

9. Instill satisfaction in the other party--satisfaction that you have heard and understand their viewpoint. This way if your viewpoint is the one that ultimately prevails, you will have strengthened your personal relationship with them. And set the stage for future discussions when your viewpoints again differ.

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