Negotiation is a method by which people settle differences. In any disagreement, individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position (or perhaps an organization they represent). However, the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship to a successful outcome require analytical skills.
Negotiating skills are needed for any successful Project manager, as a tool on its own and as a tool to manage conflict. Almost every issue of significance during the course of a project will likely require varying degrees of negotiation techniques for resolution. Good negotiation involves lots of homework and teamwork.
There are four stages in Negotiation: Preparation, Exchanging Information, Bargaining, and Closing and Commitment.
Useful skills and behavior in Negotiations:
Analyze the situation: What do you want to get out of the negotiation? What do you think the other person wants?
Differentiate between wants and needs: What do you each have that the other wants? What are you each comfortable giving away?
Focus on interests: What we have in common?
Alternatives: Ask high and offer low but be realistic
Concessions: if you need to give in or make allowances, act as if you are yielding some value.
Listen attentively and carefully: I’m here to understand your point