As human beings and perpetual competitors in the game of life, we are regularly faced with personal and professional challenges. A good chunk of those challenges are disputes and negotiations with other human beings. The struggle is to get what we want while keeping our image and reputation in tact.
Whether you are trying to close a big deal with a potential client or negotiate an office lease agreement, the following tips will help you come to the most equitable conclusion:
- Learn as much as you can about the topic at hand.
- Keep in mind that both sides are responsible for the resolution and should have their say.
- Listen with the intent to really hear what the others are saying.
- Remind yourself that all humans share 99.5% of the same DNA, and use that as the most basic common ground for dialogue.
- Remember that all humans have the same goal in life; to survive.
- Understand the bottom line or desired outcome of all parties involved.
- Make a conscious effort to never attack any attributes that the other person cannot change, such as physical or mental disabilities.
- Be willing to take risks and get out of your comfort zone. In most cases, there is more than one way to do something.
- Work toward creating a “we” rather than a “me vs. them” resolution.
- Be patient and do not give up too soon.
At the end of the day, those who listen and respect others have a much higher chance of winning in life. As George Mitchell, a prominent U.S. Senator and envoy to Northern Ireland, said in his memoir, “What authority you have is derived from the respect and trust you’re able to generate.”