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Being able to listen, discuss and compromise is an important part of everyday life and can be especially important when it comes to the working world. Workplace negotiation skills allow people to better share ideas, overcome difficulties and create a unified solution. As such, knowing how to negotiate in the workplace is something that is highly lauded by employers and a skill that it is important to foster among your project team.

Developing a culture of workplace negotiation can allow your team to harness cross-collaboration to increase productivity and avoid “silos” developing which inhibit the sharing of information. Getting a disparate or new team to work together needs trust to be built and a system to be established. If you want to make effective and productive workplace negotiation the norm with your team here are some tips to help.

How to negotiate in the workplace

Prepare your point

Preparation is key in most facets of professional life and also when it comes to workplace negotiation. Only by really understanding your own point and the details of what you want to achieve can you properly have a discussion with an opposing view.

Listen to the other party

While it is understandable that we will be excited and confident about our own views, taking the time to fully hear out other people shows respect and also helps in understanding what their issues are. They may be taking an approach you hadn’t considered, or they may not have considered the approach you are taking, either way, you won’t know unless you hear what they have to say.

Find points of similarity and difference

Once you have established your views, it can be a good trust-building exercise to take note of the points of agreement between the two views. Then, when viewing the disagreement, the gap will seem relatively smaller, e.g. “we already agree on 90% of things, we can surely get the last 10% over the line” rather than “there are two points on which we can’t agree, and they are too big to overcome”.

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Keep emotions and egos in check

Everybody has an ego and it is impossible to completely separate one’s emotions from the work that we do. That’s ok and in fact our ego’s help to drive us to improve and better ourselves and emotions help us to become engaged in our tasks. With negotiation however, it is important to remember that the other party isn’t trying to attack you or get the better of you, they just want what’s best for the project. To achieve this one needs to build trust but also to realize that one’s own mind can get often get in the way of a compromise.

Be comfortable with reciprocity

Compromise is a key element of negotiation. Naturally we’d all probably like to have things our own way all the time but that’s not what knowing how to negotiate in the workplace is all about. Giving in to the other party on one demand so that they will accept one of yours is a sign of strength and maturity.

For all workplace communication and negotiation, it helps if you are working from a centralized project platform. Clarizen provides world-leading project management visibility and team communication, making discussion and decision-making fast and effective. Try a free trial to see how we can improve your team’s negotiation capabilities.