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 In Start-Up Guide

It is important for individuals and businesses to become skilled in the art of negotiation – a valuable tool in business in reaching agreement with other businesses, suppliers, your employees an even at home with your partner and children – invaluable skills that you can apply to your start-up.

More traditional position-based approaches to negotiations are hard bargaining where the aim is for you to win and your opponent to lose or soft bargaining where you feel as though you are walking on eggshells. Both these strategies are likely to result in both sides not winning and not long-lasting because of damaged relationships.

Here are five principles to brush up on your negotiation skills:

  • It is important to separate the people from negotiations: both parties need to keep negotiations in perspective by observing the other’s viewpoint to comprehend why they feel the way that they do. This does not mean you have to agree with the other person’s perspective, though. A good strategy is for each side to share their insights to lessen the chances of fear being projected and could lead to finding some common ground which is a sure-fire way to assist with the discussions. If there are issues over and above the negotiations that are of a more personal nature, these need to be handled separately from the negotiations.
  • Invent options for shared gain: It is important for the negotiations to lean towards a win-win situation for both parties – this is preferable to engaging in a dispute over positions that can be resolved by one side winning and the other not.
  • It is important to focus the negotiations on interests rather than positions: When negotiating about interests you are negotiating about the requirements of individuals and not what they say they want or need. 
  • Impartial decision criteria plays an integral role: Do your homework in the process of setting neutral decision measures – both parties can work together to set impartial conditions that will create certain limits within which a solution can and will be found.
  • Know your best substitute to a negotiated agreement: Always enter into negotiations with the thought that you are taking this route as a way to get better results than if you won’t. Prepare by determining what will happen if you have to settle for plan “B” and always try to get a clearer understanding of your opponent’s situation.

Perhaps the most important tool for negotiating is to learn the very precious art of listening closely to each other and hear what the other party has to say. These are only five principles that will help you brush up on your negotiating skills; important aids necessary for your start-up.

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