Critical Thinking Session

How can we negotiate well?

    Negotiation skills are important in life, especially when you face a conflict of interests. For example, let's say your salary doesn't meet your expectation, and you want to ask for a raise. However, for your company, giving a raise isn't a light issue, because it simply means losing part of their profits, and they need a good reason for that.


    It might not be only about a salary, but you may want to change some negative traditions in your workplace, such as asking only ladies to serve tea, treating newbies with disrespect, or requiring employees to join some events outside their workhours. Whenever you face such a conflict of interests, you need to negotiate.


    However, a lot of people try not to do so, because it can easily put yourself in a situation you wouldn't want if you mishandle it. What you want to make sure is that the negotiation isn't only a way to make yourself happier, but it should also make your counterpart happier. Otherwise, you are just being selfish, messing around.


    So, how can we negotiate well in such a situation? Here are some tips I can share from my own experience.


1. Put yourself in a position where you can make a choice.

    I've worked for about ten companies as a regular employee, so it might not be exaggerative to say I'm the master of job changing.

    First thing you should keep in mind is that you should be ready to take another job by the time you start negotiating over your work conditions, which means that you are in a position to make a choice. If you are not ready for it, your company would easily take advantage of your unreadiness, which often causes you to be not well-determined, and they would show you your options, which is apparently not where you want to find yourself within.

    To make a choice based on your own decision, you have to be prepared for the negotiation, so you will have more confidence.



2. Build a clear logic behind your claim.

    Poor negotiators always make a mistake here. They subjectively speak their wishes and opinions with no reasonings backing up their claims. Now, this is bad, because you are giving no reason for your counterpart to listen to you.

    Whatever it might be about, you need to communicate in objective terms. You surely don't want to have any sort of emotional entanglement here, so try to keep your logic clear backed up by some reliable data sources.


3. Show love and respect for your counterpart's position as much as asking for your own.

    You need an objectivity in your speech when you negotiate. And yet, you have to keep in mind that you are facing real humans when you negotiate. They love their lives as much as you do yours, and they need to feel they are respected as you need to feel the same.

     Instead of just listing up what you want, try to satisfy what they want. You have to make their story as beautiful as your own.



1. Have you ever negotiated over anything? How did it go through? What was the key to the success or the failure?


2. What do you think is most important when you negotiate something with somebody?