Negotiating Tips September 19, 2012

Skepticism Pays

A good negotiator must be skeptical.

Not because the other party may be trying to be deliberately unethical or dishonest, although that may happen on rare occasions, but because when you take a skeptical approach it gives you the opportunity to avoid misunderstandings.

You often discover items or issues left out of the negotiation which may come back later and cause major problems between you and the other party.

Being skeptical will also help you avoid making wrong assumptions and give you more opportunity to find out what the other party really needs. This allows you to reach better, longer-lasting agreements.

The approach to evaluating what you are told by the other party can be summed up in four principles:

  • Never take anything for granted.
  • Check everything – and don’t forget to validate all your assumptions.
  • Put everything into its proper context – size, time, importance, today, past, future, etc.
  • Draw a sharp line of demarcation between facts and the interpretation of facts – validate your interpretations.

As you conduct your negotiation use these principles. You will be better prepared to create a better agreement. 

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Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

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CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

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SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

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Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

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SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

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INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

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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.

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PLANNER at HONEYWELL

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Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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