“In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” So said Chester L. Karrass, renowned negotiations educator. This statement about business dealings applies to everyday life as well – if you want something, you’ll likely have to negotiate for it.
Really, you negotiate daily, whether you realize it or not. Why, though, should you apply negotiation skills to your everyday life? Consider the following reasons.
1. Settle disputes properly.
Whether with your spouse, your children, or your neighbor, disputes, disagreements, and arguments are going to occur. Negotiation is the process by which two parties come to a mutually agreeable outcome without the use of force. Understanding its principles can alleviate the stresses of domestic disputes.
2. Improve your listening skills.
Listening is essential to negotiating properly. Improving your skills in this area will in turn improve your performance in every aspect of life.
3. Learn to be flexible.
Negotiations involve a give and take by both parties. Applying this flexibility in everyday life will contribute to improved contentment and less disappointment when things don’t go as planned.
4. Equip yourself to read between the lines.
Pay attention not only to what others say, but also to what they do not say. Be attuned to body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Doing so in everyday life will give you insight into the thoughts, motives, and intentions of those around you.
5. Make eye contact.
People often respond better when they know they have your attention. Regardless of the situation, making eye contact, nodding, and acknowledging what another has said will make them feel more comfortable. Knowing that you care enough about the situation to ignore any distractions wins you points, so to speak, and the other party may be more inclined to compromise.
6. Save money.
Some purchases involve negotiation as well. For instance, when you go to buy a vehicle, you likely haggle with the sales person over the price. Arming yourself with negotiation skills gives you a leg up. You’ll feel less intimidated by high pressure sales tactics as well.
7. Know when to let it go.
Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes a situation is simply non-negotiable, and sometimes “winning” an argument has undesirable results. When you view these events as negotiations, you may conclude that compromise on your part is the better option. This attitude can reduce stress and ease family tensions.
8. Practice, practice, practice.
Your seemingly insignificant negotiations in everyday life – what movie to see with your friends, haggling with your children over staying up past bedtime, etc. – can reveal much about your personal negotiation style. Pay attention to these interchanges. Correct any weaknesses in your style until you regularly see yourself working for win-win results. Then, apply what you’ve learned to your business endeavors.