"Never underestimate karma," says McKee, who frequently works with people in the IT industry keen to enhance their negotiation skills. "The worst deals are the ones where someone walks away feeling that they really got snookered."
Everything is fair game. Whether you covet a new job, a raise, a business deal, a new car, some new bling or need to rectify a problem with a loved one, McKee says the "art of negotiation" is your secret weapon to achieving the result you want. Indeed, among the greatest strengths of very successful businesspeople is their ability to out-negotiate others to achieve their desired result.
Top negotiators know negotiating need not be back and forth, point-counterpoint banter. The best negotiations are a conversation, just as most of our conversations — even those with our friends and relatives — are a form of negotiation, McKee says.
It is just that the most proficient negotiators manage these conversations so smoothly that often the other party doesn't even know they are engaged in a bargaining process. The bottom line is simple: if there is something you want that is in someone else's control, knowing how to negotiate will stack the odds in your favour. The key is to be tough but fair, he says.
Treat your negotiations like a conversation, and deal with the other person like a person, recognizing that no one wins every conversation (something anybody who has ever been in a relationship knows).
McKee has some other guidelines to help ensure negotiations go smoothly — and the way you want.
1.First and foremost, be prepared to walk away. Never go into the negotiation believing that you must win on every issue. You'll probably win some and lose some. So first and foremost, you must be prepared to walk away.
"This is the single most important strategy to getting what you want out of life," McKee wrote in a recent piece called PowerTool 661: The "Yes Factor": How to Negotiate to Get What You Want Out of Life prepared for his Web site BusinessSuccessCoach.net.
"If you aren't prepared to say 'No' and mean it, then you are likely to end up settling for a lesser outcome. Before entering into the negotiation, know in advance exactly what you are and are not willing to concede, so that you do not need to process this information on-the-fly without adequate time to weigh the pros and cons of each."
2.Know when to forgo altogether. In deciding to forgo, timing is everything. Good deals typically come together quickly while bad deals take way too long. If negotiations seem to be taking forever, consider it a clue that it may be time to walk away. "If you have to 'force it', chances are it will come back to bite you later on," McKee says.
"If you map out your deal points in advance, if you understand what the marketplace is — and the marketplace can be any conversation, I don't mean that in a business sense only but if you know what other people are paying or what other people are expecting to get out of this negotiation — you'll know when you should walk away from it if it's a bad outcome that's prospectively there."
McKee says many people find the idea of walking away very troublesome, but believing strongly that you have to get the deal done at any cost can mean ending up with a very bad deal.
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