There are ways to have an effective negotiation and ways that get you nowhere:

For example, here’s an ineffective negotiation:

I want that. No, I want that too.

I won’t give in. No, I won’t give in either.

See what I mean.

We recognize that type of exchange as something that could occur between two small children in the schoolyard and certainly nothing that business people would ever find themselves doing…or perhaps they might!

Being able to effectively negotiate is an important skill for all business people. Whether you’re trying to settle a disagreement with an employee or working with your client to arrive at a mutually agreed upon budget, you’ll find that you often need to utilize good negotiating skills in order to avoid unnecessary argument.

Here are three things you must take into account for successful negotiating:

Be Prepared

Proper preparation is fundamental for effective negotiations. You must know all of the facts of the situation; being surprised has no place when attempting to negotiate an agreement. Take your time to do proper due diligence and don’t cut corners. Investigating all of the permutations of the situation will help you to ultimately arrive at a successful, fair and mutually acceptable agreement.

Engage in a Meaningful Discussion

This is the part of the negotiating process in which both parties will set forth their respective positions and make clear the desired outcomes. During the discussion stage each party will need to engage in meaningful probing in order to clarify the situation, as well as deploy active listening skills so that misunderstandings are avoided.


In an effective negotiation both parties are satisfied with the outcome and walk away feeling that something positive has been gained. Neither party should feel bullied or as if they have “lost everything” and hence come away extremely dissatisfied with the result. Both parties should understand and accept that some concessions will be required however by the end everybody involved must be in agreement with the outcome.

If you think about it, effective negotiating is important in all facets of our lives and not just in business. For instance, what if I want Chinese food for dinner and my husband wants Greek. We need to negotiate towards a mutually agreed upon outcome, right?

Pizza anyone?