How to... negotiate

- Be prepared

If a major disagreement needs to be resolved, then it is worth preparing thoroughly. Decide, in advance, where you will compromise and where you will not. Then stick to it.

- Aim to win-win

Set out to reach a win-win solution. Both sides should leave the negotiation satisfied. This helps to maintain a good working relationship afterwards.

- Be positive

Always start a negotiation with a positive statement, and be appreciative of the person with whom you are negotiating. Begin the negotiation by appreciating the points made by the other side, even if you do not agree.

Research suggests that the tone adopted in the first 30 seconds of negotiation predicts the outcome.

- Keep smiling

If the other person is angry or hostile, do not allow yourself to be drawn in. Keep smiling and be pleasant, and sooner or later they will calm down.

- Open your ears

Listen. And keep listening. This shows respect and good intentions, and will make the other person feel valued.

- Keep your options open

If you don't achieve what you want, resist the temptation to storm out.

Put the negotiation on hold and come back to it later.

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