Sunday, April 12, 2009

The art of negotiation

I've been thinking a lot about negotiation recently. It's something that, whether we realize it or not, we do every day.

Sometimes, we know it. We're working with a vendor to get the price down. We're talking to a customer about how to increase the value of the sale. Or we're buying a car.

But often its less obvious. I had a meeting with my boss on Friday to review web site designs. I knew going into the meeting that we disagreed on some fundamental issues. And although I didn't really mean to, I prepared for that meeting as a negotiation. I thought about what his position was, and tried to imagine why. I looked for flaws in his argument - and in mine. I thought about how he'd respond to various approaches.

In the video attached (one of my favorite "Kids in the Hall" clips), you see negotiation as most people approach it - with tunnel vision; fixed on their own point of view. Sure, it's cliched . . . but unless you think at least twice as much about your negotiating partners position as your own, you're not likely to reach a satisfactory conclusion.

Posted via web from chimoose's posterous

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