Have you ever wondered how your colleague gets the best of everything; probably something which he/she does not deserve. Have you ever had a dream of being the perfect ‘Go To’ person for any discussions?
Do you also feel that you should be or can be a person that wants to learn and apply the magic of ‘How to convince everyone around you’; that you are right; they are also right; and that they agree with you; even if they probably don’t!
Read the article below to get some insights into the wonderful world of ‘The Art of Skillful Negotiations’!
Story: In more than a decade of conducting training/seminars/stress management sessions, giving lectures, coaching and mentoring scores of people on various Soft Skills, and traveling across countries such as US, Singapore, Malaysia, Austria & Dubai so far, I've come to one undisputed conclusion: ‘Most people don't get what they deserve in their day-to-day lives; probably because they do not put in that little bit more of negotiation effort and rather conveniently leave it to destiny’.
Before you ponder over it too much let me clarify: I'm not talking about year-long vacations in Mauritius or something like that – I'm talking about what's coming to you in the context of your everyday life. Most of us are a little uncomfortable negotiating for ourselves; I mean for the things that really matter in life: For peace, harmony, fresh air, pure water, etc.
These are things which are taken for granted and realized only when our other ‘so – called important materialistic’ things start fading away!
Example: We go into a store looking for a refund on a defective smart phone screen we bought 44 days ago. “Sorry,” the sales representative tells us, “but our policy is no refunds or exchanges after 30 days.” So we curse, pick up our broken smart phone, and head for home, cursing the store with some swear words, right? Do we really do that? Nope. We negotiate; (rather aggressively) with the sales rep's manager, the manager's boss, or whosoever is in a position to help us. And by the time we get to the end of this article, we're going to stand a great chance of walking out of that store with either a new replacement smart phone or a full refund.
The question is: Why is everyone so hard on negotiating materialistic propositions. And too soft on finding personal space, peace of mind, some gratitude, and things that normally come FREE to us? The answer somewhat lies in the question itself. Fortunately or unfortunately; everything that we pay for has a shelf life and a “value” or “tangible benefit” attached to it, which forces us or gets the best negotiator out of the most reserved and shy person too.
However, if we travel around and look beyond around the globe, negotiation is a way of life.
In our country however, it’s a myth and probably common perception that negotiation and so – called buttering process is ONLY for Salespeople or Sales related professionals.
Well, really? Think about it. Are we being fair in this assessment?
Let’s check the following examples:
What does a child do when he wants a toy from his parents?
What does a wife do when she wishes to get some goodies from her husband on her birthday, anniversary, etc.?
What does a student or an employee do when he appears for a job interview and the salary topic comes up?
What does third party do when he/she is trying to solve an issue between two warring individuals?
What does a seller of a property do when he meets his broker or clients?
What does a senior citizen do when he is about to sign up for a Pension scheme?
Above all: What do ALL of us do when we worship god in any form whether it is in temples, churches, mosques, etc.????
The answer to ALL of the above and many more basic activities in life is one word: “We negotiate”.
Anyone who feels that the art of skillful negotiation is just for salespeople, diplomats, real estate brokers, lawyers, etc. according to me is just shying away from the fact that it is indeed an everyday activity of your life, which if mastered, can lead to positive results in all such activities. And moreover, you just need to be yourself and be ready to stand up for yourself whenever the situation demands; need to be street smart for sure!
In principle, there are both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ negotiations depending on the type of person in that situation you are dealing with.
Both have a different aura and a different experience. In many ways, learning to negotiate is like learning to play a game of Squash! Wherein you have a partner, could be taken as the person you are negotiating with. And you are constantly throwing the ball back to him; and in turn; he/she is also throwing it back to you with a counter statement; finally whoever cannot reply to the shot in time (same as in the game) loses the point; and hence, also loses the negotiation deal.
Negotiation is a process, and it’s fun. Even in the most serious of negotiations, both parties get to learn and evolve out of it much better, because the challenges, strategies, counter statements and other tactics make it an interesting proposition and worth the effort. And at the end of a skillful negotiation, be rest assured that if you have made your point well and succeeded, then you will surely have that peace of mind and a very pure and blissful feeling, which only you would know best!
Prof. Sameer Anil Karna
The author is Founder & Chief mentor of ‘The Training Curve’ and can be reached on email@example.com
Official page: https://in.linkedin.com/in/profsakinyourface