Many people have a negative view of negotiation.
But what many people don’t realize is that every almost every piece of communication they will ever have is a negotiation.
Don’t believe me?
I encourage you to really think about it. When was the last time you were trying to work out where to eat dinner with your partner?
This will ultimately end up in a negotiation.
Maybe they want to go to the pizza place that you went to last week. Perhaps you want to go to the new sushi restaurant down the road.
Ultimately you are can only go to one of the two places.
You need to negotiate to determine which of the restaurants will get your custom that night.
Another area where you will constantly you will find yourself negotiating is when you are running a tech project.
Working with teams
When running a tech project you will be working with people of all different skill sets and backgrounds.
That will be the software development team. But you will also be working with sales marketing product managers a whole number of stakeholders who could be involved in the development of your project.
To be able to work effectively with such a wide range of people you need to be able to negotiate. This will help you get your point across effectively.
Being an effective negotiator will help you clearly communicate the different parts of the project important for that overall delivery.
Furthermore, it will help you understand how to ensure that the project that you deliver is fit for purpose for all of the stakeholders.
Everyone involved in the project will have different motivations
You all need to work together and communicate effectively to be able to deliver something.
I know that it may seem weird to think of this is a negotiation between the team members.
However, I want to encourage you to stop thinking is negotiation is purely a sales thing. You can see negotiation as a useful tool to ensure effective collaboration.
Why does negotiation have a bad reputation?
Negotiation gets a bad reputation.
Traditionally people see it as slimy salespeople trying to get away with taking everything. Then these people give nothing in return.
It is seen as a ‘me me me’ game. This is instead of something that can help both parties get a good result.
The stereotype is enforced by all TV shows and films don’t help when it comes to making negotiation look good.
Traditionally it is being seen as a way for those in power to take from those who are not in power.
Basically, it’s not good.
However, I want to change your opinion on negotiation.
Why this isn’t true
Negotiation is actually a great way for both parties to get what they need out of an agreement.
Everyone can go home happy.
If you are willing to listen to the other person, you can end up with the best solution.
When I say the best solution, I mean the one that balances out your needs and the needs of another person.
Just because you didn’t come up with an idea doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value.
Also, just because you may not have as much experience with the project as the other person doesn’t mean that what you bring to the table isn’t valuable.
Getting the balance right with negotiation
Ultimately it is a balancing act between all of the different needs of the different people involved in the project.
By listening to one another and negotiating mindfully you can read you can deliver something great.
This is particularly important when working in teams with different team members of different backgrounds. You need to be able to negotiate to help them understand your point of view but also to understand this.
Now let’s discuss some tips and tricks that will help you negotiate effectively and get your shit done.
3 Tips on how to negotiate with people in projects
Here are three tips that you can use to start negotiating effectively.
Step 1: Listen
Tip number one is to listen to the other person.
Just let them talk. Let them keep talking until they have told you everything you need to know to fully understand their point of view.
Not only will this make them feel valued, but it will also ensure that you are able to tailor what you were saying to fit with their needs. This helps to communicate more effectively a move towards your goal.
Step 2: Know your Boundaries
You need to understand where your line is when it comes in the negotiation.
There will undoubtedly be things that are absolutely essential for you to get for the project.
You need to understand what these are and you need to communicate them effectively so you don’t let miss out. Know your boundaries or you end up giving away something that was really important to you.
Consider yourself warned.
Step 3: Prepare
The final tip is to be prepared.
It is important to prepare and understand exactly what you’re going into before you go into a negotiation. Before any kind of communication for that matter.
Think about what you want to get out of the situation for the project. Then think about what the other person might want and map these areas to one another.
This will help you get your point across more clearly. Then, you and the other person can work together effectively.
Let’s get you negotiating!
Though negotiation is not a skill that is often discussed outside of business school, I think it is important that we are educating the tech world on the importance of negotiating effectively.
Even if you are not trying to sell something so someone something directly, you always find it useful to be able to negotiate with others. It is also important to be able to see their point of view.
Whether you’re trying to gain funding for your startup or explain the importance of one feature to the product manager, if you can negotiate effectively it will be easier.
Let’s recap the 3 tips
To summarise again the three tips we have discussed are:
- Listen to the other person ensure that they feel heard
- Know your boundaries
I hope I have managed to convince you that negotiation doesn’t have to be in a bad word.
You can use this skill to help do good and deliver great things within the world.
Now off you go to master communicating!