Question: I am the type of person that does not feel comfortable confronting people, especially when it comes to facing them during meetings to work out any kind of deals – whether it is about a pay rise, better business terms and/or staff disciplinary issues.
Somehow deep in me, I do not like the process of bargaining where, one side is trying to get the better of the other.
Due to this, I need to be watchful and always be on my toes. I believe the same thing runs into the minds of the other party as well. To me, this scenario is unpleasant. I really do not enjoy it but due to my role as a manager, it requires holding face-to-face meetings with people very often.
I need help to re-orientate my mind to accept this and also on how I can do a better job out of it.

Answer: It is already a good start that you want to perceive negotiation in a new light. By itself, negotiation (or bargaining in your words) will open up new opportunities, if not you would be missing out.
Tell yourself that in any situation, there is always a ‘buyer’ and a ‘seller’. Without them, there will be no transaction of any kind. It is like saying there is no life on earth. Therefore, once you have this mindset that negotiation is a healthy process then, you can move on to the number of things you can do next.
Firstly, you should not bargain yourself down and lose confidence. People who often feel this way think that they have ‘lesser on their plate’ compared to others, who think otherwise.
Always handle it from a position of strength. Believe that you have as much to offer or as much rights as the other person. In the same vein, do not feel over confident and resort to bullying others.
Always have a genuine agenda to get a win-win situation for everyone. With this attitude, you will sound sincere in finding a common ground for both parties. Once the other party sees this, they would lower their guard down and be less defensive.
All these will augur well for a healthy win-win negotiation.

Powerful questions you can ask yourself:
• What should your angle be when negotiating?
• What should you do to achieve a win-win negotiation?
• What should you look out for in a negotiation?
• How can this new way of handling negotiations resonate with your value system?

Article by Dr Michael Heah, an ICF Master Certified Coach with

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