How to Negotiate With Your Coworkers

It is important for everyone in your company to hone their negotiation skills, not just for sales and client negotiations but to effectively communicate with each other and resolve issues that hold up productivity. If you are trying to develop a strategy to negotiate with coworkers, keep these methods in mind.

Prepare Well in Advance

Whenever you need to negotiate, you must have your priorities ranked from most important to least important. Likewise, you must have all the information you need to make your case. You should also have a comprehensive idea of the type of person you will be negotiating with and plan your strategy accordingly.

Listen to the Other Side

Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you when you are negotiating with a coworker. Instead of going on the defensive or taking an overly aggressive stance, listen carefully and thoughtfully to the other individual’s side of the situation. Pay attention to their body language and try to be empathetic to their plight. There may be issues you haven’t considered. By actively listening to their points respectfully, you set the stage for them to hear you out.

Although you may feel the need to express your emotions in a heated way, take some breaths. Anger will only build a wall between the parties involved. A rash response can bring negotiations to a halt. If negotiations do continue, your brisk response could give your counterpart an advantage because you aren’t feeling as in control, meaning may give in on certain important points.

Communicate Effectively

You must be a strong communicator in any negotiations. When you don’t express yourself effectively, you may create misunderstandings that lead to further conflicts. Being clear and concise in the way you present your side is the best way to present your optimal case. Remember, too, that you are working to resolve issues, so you want to collaborate with the other party. You may have different ways of looking at the situation, but you want to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Know When to Say When

Hopefully, after hearing each other out and a reasonable level of acceptance and concession on both sides, you will be able to end the negotiation with a solution that both parties agree to. One of the most important negotiation process components is knowing when to close the deal and accept the terms as they are. Fighting for further concessions that you aren’t likely to get is a waste of time.

What Are the Best Techniques?

There are a few key items to keep in mind when determining your technique to negotiate with coworkers. Consider using these tactics when you plan your negotiations.

  •  Be professional and non-threatening. Just as you don’t want to have an emotional outburst during your negotiations, you don’t want to issue an ultimatum or make unreasonable threats. This kind of behavior will only serve to burn bridges with the people you need to work with.
  • Get clarification. If you are having trouble understanding any part of the other party’s side, ask questions that allow them to elaborate on the issue. You can’t effectively negotiate a situation if you don’t understand where your counterpart is coming from.
  • Be empathetic. Remember that your coworker is struggling with the situation as well. Try to understand their side of the story, and don’t go on the attack because they feel differently than you. The key to resolving conflict is understanding and respecting both sides.
  • It’s not a competition. Don’t go onto the negotiation to win. You and your team members should ideally be working toward the same goal, so your negotiations should not be competitive. Instead, go in with clear objectives in mind and the goal of making your objectives understood.

When it becomes necessary to negotiate with coworkers, you should always aim to make the process as productive as possible to work together to achieve team goals. At Shapiro Negotiations, we understand the dynamics of interpersonal work relationships. As a leading expert in our field, we know the proper techniques for resolving workplace conflicts.


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