We negotiate all the time, whether we realize it or not. You’re going out to lunch with a friend: he wants Italian food; you want Chinese. Your son wants the car; you want his room cleaned. Your wife wants to go out with the Dursleys; you’d rather have pungi sticks driven up your fingernails. The cleaners lost your suit. Garage sales, new houses. The list is endless.
Negotiation is merely the process of two or more people communicating to try and reach a mutual decision. Although there are many strategies, we believe that the best negotiation is a win-win, where everyone comes away with something they want. Of course, we try and make sure that our clients come away with more than the other guy.
To be a good negotiator you must have an ability to listen and understand what is actually being said, and what is being communicated through body language and facial expressions. You must know what your goals are, as well as your limitations and your needs. You must have empathy for the other person’s position. You must be thoroughly prepared, know as much as possible about the subject, and be organized, logical and clear thinking. You must communicate easily and effectively, and establish trust.
Successful negotiating is a fine art which is learned and enhanced by experience. Steve Bienstock has taught negotiation skills (“The Art of Negotiation”; “Win-Win Negotiation”) to many professional groups, including attorneys and educators (Virginia Association of Independent Schools; National Association of Independent Schools). He can analyze your situation’s strengths and weaknesses and discuss your options, while helping you achieve your goals.
If we can help you negotiate something, please call us at 301-251-1600.