Does Negotiation really affect my life?. You bet it does!!
There will be many times in life when you hear phrases such as “I deserve more “, “I want my fair share”, “They do not give me what I am worth”. These are typical phrases used when people are unhappy with their wages, their salaries and their terms and conditions (T and C)
The problem is encapsulated in questions to those complaining such as “why do you deserve more?”, “what is your fair share?” and “what are you worth?”
These complaints all have their root´s in times when we were young and inexperienced. You may remember some arguments you had in the play-ground over the distribution of sweets, or being asked to play in goal when you wanted to be the star centre forward.
The issues get more serious as we enter into adult life when the success we all hope for is not forthcoming and we are stuck in low paid positions.
A Fact of Life
There is one fact of life and one dominant thought that should be in everyone’s mind when we believe we are under valued. That is “You only get what you can negotiate “. This fact has to survive alongside that of stealing and defrauding of others possessions and wealth.
We, probably, have all watched the movies when a negotiator is brought in to resolve a bank hostage crisis, a terrorist stand-off, or a hijacking. In some ways you will put yourself in the negotiators place as the star and carry out the negotiations were, once successfully concluded, everyone is slapping you on the back and congratulating you for doing a great job.
So what makes a successful negotiator. It comes down to each at the negotiating session being able to walk away from the negotiation feeling they had got what they wanted. Therefore, there needs to be an understanding, by the negotiator, of what each party at the negotiating table wished for before he entered the situation which resulted in the need for negotiation.
A Simple Example
Taking a simple example. A second hand car dealer has a car on offer for £3600 which is his dream price Let us offer 60% of the dream price (£2100). Cries of disbelief at the offer. However, the second hand car dealer needs to sell the car and he knows a negotiating process may be the only way to sell it. To our £2100 he responds with £3150 (90%). We counter offer £2450 (70%) . After a few minutes and maybe a break in the negotiating the final price is agreed at £2625. The dealer bought the car, only two days before, for the true value of £2000 and here we are buying it off him for £2625. The dealer has made a 25% profit and we have lowered his asking price from £3600 to £2625. We have saved 27%. Therefore, both the dealer and the buyer can walk away with the knowledge that they have succeeded in a negotiation.
More Serious Cases
The example shows a simple case of a buyer and a seller coming to an agreement. However, there are much more difficult scenarios in which the buyer and seller could be two parties in a war situation and a third party , an in-between, a skilful negotiator to help the two warring parties to come to a peaceful settlement.
However, on a day to day basis, the most concern to anyone is to make a living and this means taking a job or a contract or a business arrangement. Each of these areas of work will require discussion of the terms and conditions of the working arrangements and compensation.
If you enter into any one of these situations it will be needed to put the strongest case you can make to achieve the best terms and conditions you can. The key to remember is that you will only get what you can negotiate. The person or organization you are entering into negotiation with will want the world for no cost. That is not true, of course, as the experienced negotiator will be aware he has to give something to get something in return, on the basis that nothing is ever free.
The main point is to be very well prepared before you start any negotiation. Facts and figures and a shopping list must be compiled. The hourly and/ or unit rates must be known for every activity that is likely to discussed. If there are any similar situations that can be used as yardsticks for negotiation then these can be tabled to lever a better negotiating position