Do you think that you only negotiate at the beginning of a project when you set up a contract? Only negotiate when you are thinking about asking for a promotion or a raise? In reality it occurs almost on an everyday basis and often in situations we don’t even think about as a negotiation.
Last month, our Women in Design group organized an event to discuss and practice negotiations that occur in our everyday life.
The classic cartoon shown above depicts how people may think something seems “clear” to many parties, but that clarity may be something completely different to each party. The consideration of each party’s perspective and biases is important when you are entering negotiations with them.
It’s also important to understand that a successful negotiation is about reaching agreements and exchanging information, not necessarily winning. Working toward a collaborative agreement is essential part of integrative negotiation. The basis of integrative negotiation is rather than each party getting a small piece of the pie with a distributive strategy, why not make that pie bigger so everyone can get a little more.
After a presentation on some negotiation fundamentals, the group split up to role-play a few common scenarios:
- Negotiating with a Contractor
- Negotiating with a Client
- Negotiating with your Project Team
- Negotiating with Management
Through our role-playing and conversation after, the group recognized that we engage in negotiations more often than we realize. By analyzing or breaking down these conversations, we can be more prepared for the negotiations that once seemed more intimidating.