When is Negotiating Not Negotiating? 4 Tips for Improved Success

When you left home for work this morning, did you feel ready to face the day knowing that you were going to have a number of successful negotiations? Chances are, the word “negotiation” never entered your head. Perhaps it should have!

We often think of negotiation as a formal process conducted behind closed doors by high powered executives, politicians or world leaders. Yet everyday all of us negotiate. You may have to agree with colleagues on the content of a report or presentation; with a customer over a disputed invoice; with a supplier on the terms for goods or services; or with your partner on what to have for dinner tonight! All of these things are negotiations.

Our problem is that we don’t recognise them as negotiations, nor ourselves as negotiators. As a result, we enter these discussions less prepared than we could be. The result? Sometimes a less-than-successful outcome!

To help make all our daily negotiations more successful (for both you and the other party), you need to:

- State your case clearly and appropriately

- Organise your facts

- Control the timing and pace of your discussion

- Properly assess both yours and the other parties needs

How do you carry out these four points successfully? First, you need an understanding of some of the key principles of successful negotiation. Try this quiz to test your knowledge of negotiating by answering “True/False” to each question.

1. Should you ask for twice the amount you need?

2. Is your aim to prevent the other party from saying “No”

3. Will a small concession relieve the pressure?

4. A “Win/Win” result is always possible.

5. Is admitting to an error or omission a sign of weakness?

The following answers will provide some useful tips for your negotiating situations.

1. Should you ask for twice the amount you need? False. You will have to back down and will lose an important opportunity to influence the other party. Research clearly indicates that negotiators who make large concessions end up worse off. The secret of successful negotiating is to first identify your needs, then work out a range of options that will satisfy those needs. Start the negotiation by asking for the options that best meet your needs.

2. Is your aim to prevent the other party from saying “No”? False. In fact getting a “No” from the other party can be very useful because it gives you the opportunity to ask “Can you give me your reasons?”. This leads to uncovering the other party’s real needs and some options that will satisfy them ¡V options which you can probably supply.

3. Will a small concession relieve the pressure? False: If you make a small concession, chances are you are negotiating over options rather than needs. Additionally, the other party may think you are weakening and put more pressure on. Far better to state or restate your needs and then explore as many options as possible to satisfy them. As part of this discussion, you may come back to the offer that was just rejected, or you may find some even better options. Either way you have gained a lot more information and not weakened your position.

4. A “Win/Win” result is always possible. False: It’s desirable, but not always possible. Sometimes, even the best of negotiators have to “agree to disagree”. The way to improve your ratio of “Win/Wins” is to focus very clearly on your own real needs (not positions) and the needs of the other party. Searching for many different options to satisfy both party’s needs generates more “Win/Win” situations.

5. Is admitting to an error or omission a sign of weakness? False: Research shows that disclosing such information demonstrates honesty. In psychological terms, it breeds what is called “reciprocity” – if you do something for me, then I’ll do something for you. People are far more likely to be honest with you when you are honest with them. Pulling the wool over someone’s eyes may give you a short term result at the expense of a long term relationship.

Four tips to help you negotiate successfully

1. If you want a better deal, ask for one. You’ll never know unless you ask! Remember, make sure it will satisfy your needs – do not get locked into bargaining over positions.

2. Argue to learn, not to win. To meet your own needs you need to learn as much as possible about the other party and their needs. The more you learn, the better chance you have of getting a good deal.

3. Make proposals regularly during the negotiation – proposals move the negotiation forward. Use proposals such as “If you will provide . . . . then I might consider . . . .” The other party’s response to these proposals will give you a lot of information to work with.

4. Ask for, and give as much information as possible. For example, questions such as “Can you explain your reasons for . . . . ?’, “What are your priorities? and “What else is there that you think I should know?” are excellent ways of gathering the information you need.

Successful negotiating!

If you would like some more tips on negotiating, feel free to contact me via www.nationallearning.com.au.

Copyright © 2006 The National Learning Institute

Finding a Perfect Birthday Present for Men

It is really hard to find a good birthday present or a gift for men. According to surveys conducted in 2010 the most popular gifts for men were electronic devices.

Cameras, electronic car equipment, eBook readers, security and GPS systems, iPhones accessories and some home electronic devices have been bought for a present to fathers, brothers, sons, boyfriends and friends. Getting a gift for a man is determined by their overall interests.

Apart from the most popular electronic devices suitable for every man there are some more creative and specific gifts such as sunrise alarm clocks, solar iPhone chargers, mini helicopters or remote control toys for small and “big” boys

However, while gadgets and cool presents could make a really nice gift for men there is a new trend emerging when buying interesting presents for our loved ones, namely experience day presents.

There are plenty of experience day presents to choose from. Experience day presents give the receiver an original and unique experience he hasn’t tried before and quite likely wouldn’t have the chance to be exposed to if not given that present.

This type of present seems to be an ideal gift for men regardless of their age. It is also an ideal gift for those men who already have all the possible gadgets and devices we would normally think of when buying birthday presents for them.

Another great idea for gifts for men could be to buy a personalised gift, a present which no one else will be able to get. Personalised gifts usually make a receiver special.

In order to buy a perfect man’s gift it is really important to know who this present will go to. It is advisable to spend some time thinking about your gift recipient’s hobbies, interests and the way he spends his free time. Having thought about all areas of his life will make it easier to decide which presents are the most sought after and suitable for him.

It is worth pointing out that sometimes even a small present can be appreciated as much as a big one when it is what the receiver desired, the most important thing is to buy a present that shows we were thoughtful about its receiver.

Paramountzone is an online gadget and presents shop which offers cool gifts & fun gift ideas. It is a perfect place when looking for gifts for men or unusual gifts.

Ten Points on Poor Podium Use by Presenters

Encounters with podiums are frequent occurrences for people giving presentations. However, many people do not understand the benefits and pitfalls of using a podium when presenting. Acknowledging what may be wrong at the podium can be helpful to improve a presenter’s capabilities. This knowledge is further enhanced by learning tips at the podium or alternatives to using the podium. Below are ten points for presenters to consider before their next presentation behind a podium.

  1. Swaying back and forth behind podium makes the presenter look nervous and is distracting to the audience. Standing relaxed with legs a few inches apart and the knees not locked may help prevent the presenter from rocking motions.
  2. Leaning on the podium can either make the presenter looked too relaxed and casual or so lazy/dizzy that they must lean on something to keep from falling over. Presenters should stand behind or to the side of a podium rather than use the podium as support for their body.
  3. If the presenter is gesturing below the top of podium, this defeats the purpose of using gesturing as a visual tool. Gestures should be high enough and grand enough for the audience to see and understand how the gesture emphasizes the presenter’s point. If the podium is too high and the microphone allows, the presenter may choose to move to the side when emphasizing with a gesture.
  4. Presenters reading too much from prepared notes on top of the podium prevents eye contact with the audience. The presenter should know their topic well enough to only use notes as an outline for prompts to pick up where they left off after questions have interrupted their flow. If a presenter is uncomfortable with being separated from their notes, they can stand to the side of the podium and move behind it when they need to check notes.
  5. Grasping the podium may send the message that the presenter is nervous or angry about speaking to the audience, depending on their accompanying facial expression. If the presenter is prone to grabbing the podium, they may prefer to stand next to the podium, stand in front of the podium, or not have a podium to prevent this.
  6. Tapping or banging on podium is irritating to the audience and may send a negative message rather than emphasizing a point if that was the intention. Don’t use the podium to produce sound effects because it is never as effective as expected.
  7. Presenter podiums may be in a fixed location or they may be adjustable. If moving the podium is an option, then place it in a location that works best for talking to your audience, which is typically in the front and centered among the group. If the podium is fixed and its location restricts movement or audience interaction, then the presenter should determine if other options exist besides using the podium for their presentation.
  8. Hiding behind the podium may reduce some presenter’s fear of speaking; however the podium does separate the presenter from their audience somewhat. If the microphone is placed on the podium then the speaker may have no choice but to stay behind the podium or move the microphone to a preferred side where they will stand when speaking so they may still be heard.
  9. If a presenter is small or soft-spoken, they may require a podium with a microphone to amplify their voice. However, a microphone based podium may restrict the presenter or be harder for the presenter to reach. In this case, the presenter may request a wireless microphone or make sure they get to the presentation place early enough to adjust the microphone. The presenter should check with the person arranging the program to determine is a wireless microphone is available instead of the podium one if they prefer to can use it.
  10. Often a presenter is introduced by someone who may know little about them and therefore fumbles through their introduction at the podium. The introduction should show the presenter’s qualifications for giving the presentation. So the presenter should prepare some information for their introduction for this person to read. Then before the program starts, find out who is introducing the presenter and let that person know an introduction has been prepared and placed for them to use on the podium.

After consideration of these ten points, the presenter’s awareness is increases and their next presentation behind a podium should be better. A greater understanding of the benefits and pitfalls of using a podium is very helpful for presenter improvement and development of presentation capabilities. Presenters should use the tips and alternatives offered in these ten points to make better presentations and gain greater audience satisfaction as a result.