When people think of negotiation, they often think about negotiating salaries. While income is one of the biggest negotiations you will make in your life, the truth is we negotiate all day long. Signing a client? You have to negotiate. Booking holidays? Negotiation again. Trying to get your three-year-old to eat the vegetables on his plate while he’s screaming for cake? Possibly the most tedious negotiation of all.
Few people realize that negotiation is an intricate process and a skill that needs to be developed. Unfortunately, this is not a skill that is taught to many people. If it is taught, it tends to be in heavily male-dominated industries. Expert negotiators, especially women, have often researched negotiation tactics and have become quite skilled through self-study and practice. They are also usually naturally socially intelligent. Major gift officers, for example, consider negotiation to be part of their continued success. Approaching donors for planned giving is a negotiation game, and they are notoriously good at it.
The process is heavily based on psychology, so it is important to thoroughly analyze the big picture before you attempt to engage. There are a lot of moving parts in a negotiation and it is essential to read the room. Trying to negotiate without first setting a goal, building rapport, or knowing what the maximum outcome could be will set you up for failure. Making sure that you are prepared and ready to deal with rejection is essential. Although difficult, learning to brush off a “no” is important. There is little time for hurt feelings in this process. It is important to jump back up with a new tactic or offer if you want to succeed.
Researching, considering obstacles, and being confident in your skillset are vital to getting what you want. We’ve made it easy for you to learn these skills at your own pace with these articles. Tuck them away and refer whenever you need to win.