Negotiation: Check Your Ego

Whether you’re a brand new entrepreneur or a large corporation, business negotiating is both an art and a science. Here are some tips to help you make the most of this ancient practice.

Each side brings their own set of motivations.

  • You approach the negotiation with a list of priorities and needs, just as the other party does. You might assume their list is similar to your own, or completely goes against it, but it’s important to consider that they might have a different kind of list altogether.

Individual motivations can cloud perspective.

  • Even though you can’t spell “negotiation” without “ego,” you need to check yours at the door when entering these deals. If you confront the other party and challenge their priorities based on your ego, you can expect the deal to either fall apart completely or punctuate the end of the working relationship. In other words, you will close the deal but never do business together again.

Forget keeping score to achieve mutually beneficial results.

  • As much as possible, establish what matters to you in the deal and then inquire what matters most to the other party. Rather than pit these priorities against each other, try to see which ones compliment each other and focus on addressing those. Furthermore, disregard the items on your list that aren’t detrimental one way or another and chances are the other party will do the same with their own. There can be dignity in compromise so long as both parties feel they have achieved their main goals.