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How to negotiate at work?

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by: careertunity
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Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2011 Time: 12:59 AM

Effective negotiation is vital for the success of any business. Many conflicts can arise if we do not follow the rules of proper negotiation; how to influence others and prevent conflict in our interactions can be major issues to deal with. 

Negotiation is the process of two individuals or groups reaching joint agreement about differing needs or ideas. Oliver (1996) described negotiation as "negotiators jointly searching a multidimensional space and then agreeing to a single point in the space." 

Negotiating is an integral part of our lives. Any decision taken involving somebody else is a negotiation. People negotiate because they need something, so it is important to learn how to negotiate properly and how not to get the other person upset. 

Such a process of negotiation can be carried out with your sub-ordinates, peers or superior management. However, the skills needed to carry out this process remain the same. Furthermore, these skills are relevant to any career and are applicable in many fields: from engineering jobs to marketing jobs.

Negotiating is placing a request - not a demand. When you demand something from your sub-ordinates you might get it at that moment, but it will certainly come back with their own unreasonable demands. Learn to request and you will notice how your negotiating skills improve.

Negotiating is learning to listen. As an employee, you have to attempt to understand your superiors and find out what they need and what their expectations are. When negotiating listen and do not interrupt, and most importantly, be sure you truly understand what is being said. 

Before negotiating it is very important that you understand what you need. If you do not understand your needs you cannot request others to do something. When you understand what you need, you will certainly have an advantage in the negotiating process.

Anger and negotiation do not go together at all. When you are angry you might not even know what you are communicating to the person, so it is very unlikely that your needs will be met. Anger also reduces your reasoning skills and your ability to think clearly.

During the negotiation it is important to be calm, show interest and show empathy. Be prepared to ask questions, when you do you will in turn receive answers and will better understand the issues involved.

Be interested in the person and in their concerns. When you are really interested it is easier to listen, you will understand them better, this in turn will lead to a more effective negotiation.

One can also attend a professional course to enhance one's negotiation skills. The Center for Management and Professional Development at the University of Dubai offers a 3 day course in ‘Communication Skills’ that teaches participants the art of negotiating

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