There is no independent living in human nature. Therefore, conflict is unavoidable in a human relationship for growth.
Negotiation is a core activity in every social relationship for proper conflict resolution and maintenance of the relationship. Your ability to negotiate is essential because you cannot always have your way. Honing your negotiating skills is a great advantage to cementing every relationship, be it husband-wife, fianc?-fianc?e or friendship.
No matter the relationship and the advantage you seek, you shouldn’t be selfish. Instead, you should be strategic and tactical in making things work in your favor. There is no guarantee that you will win every time, but the more you negotiate, the better your relationship with others.
Here are 15 tips you should take note of when negotiating to save a relationship.
1. Be Observant
To maintain an excellent relationship with your partner, you must learn to observe. Your observation will allow you to know what makes the person angry and happy before you push forward your idea. Accordingly, observation gives you the information you need to get your desired result.
Imagine having a misunderstanding with your spouse, but you’ve observed that he is happy when he sees a basketball match. This observation is what you need to use to get the best out of the discussion.
2. Have a Plan
Negotiation in our relationships is not different from our everyday discussions. There’s always a reason and an end to every discussion. Therefore, it’s good always to have a plan for what you want to say and how you want to say it. When you expect a particular result, you can easily highlight your point to get the result.
In discussing with your partner, your plans for discussions will continue to sustain your relationship and improve your negotiating skills.
3. Have an Alternative Plan
In case your plan didn’t work out, you can plan to have the discussion another time. The best thing to do in this case is to be patient. Negotiation is not a do or die affair.
Having an alternative plan will protect you from losing out entirely from your desired result. Ask yourself what next? With an alternative plan, you will be prepared for tough situations and you won’t get caught off guard.
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4. Set the Communication Straight
You and your partner should set straight the pace of your negotiation.
Before you start the discussion, you should agree on communication guidelines. You should avoid assuming for your spouse or partner. You have to remain positive and avoid pessimism and emotional blackmail. Asides from maintaining good verbal communication, your body language shouldn’t be hostile. You should be friendly and accommodating with your partner.
5. Listen and Seek Clarification
For every successful relationship, your listening skills must be well developed. Carefully listening to the other person allows free flow of expression without holding back. When you want your partner to agree to what you want, you must first listen and acknowledge him/her before you talk.
It is through listening that you understand your partner’s proposition and how to tackle it. Listening with rapt attention also allows you to seek clarifications about the areas you don’t understand. Listening makes you receptive and calm to know what step you should take next.
6. You Can Compromise
When you are discussing with your partner, you may not achieve all your desired results, but to save the relationship, you can compromise.
Compromising means, you may not get what you want, but you can agree to cancel some conditions for your partner without anger. After listening to your partner’s suggestion, you can highlight what you want in a way that will portray sacrifice on both sides.
When reaching a compromise, you can ask your partner to sacrifice some terms for you to consider their proposition in return. This should never be a bribe, but something to ascertain changes. Reaching such an agreement makes relationships grow.
7. Be Calm
You should remain calm when negotiating. You don’t want your partner to feel less important or at your mercy. In a relationship, individual doesn’t exist; you are a team of two, working tirelessly for progress.
You should give your partner the room to own their territory. If you rush, he/she might become aggressive, and this will sabotage reaching a satisfying conclusion.
8. Be Stable
To save your relationship, you need to be stable in decision-making. This means that you shouldn’t be going back and forth. If your partner notices that you are unstable, it will affect the way they take your words. This means that you will lose credibility and integrity attached to the process of negotiation. If you make a decision, stick with it.
9. Never Compromise the Important Thing
It’s good to reach a compromise to allow peace in the relationship, but you should never compromise the important terms. Compromise should be a win-win affair; it should be for the benefit of both parties in the long run. For example, in a husband-wife relationship, if the compromise involves the spouse giving up a dream, career, or family, the spouse should take a step back.
10. Understand Your Goals and Theirs
The purpose of negotiation is to have someone do something to your advantage, even if there was initial resistance or disagreement. To get your friend or partner to honor your wish, you should understand what they want to achieve and push your aim to them. By studying your partner’s obstacles, motivation and goals, you can channel your objectives to solving a problem that they have.
11. Believe in Yourself
To get someone to do something for you, you must believe in yourself that you deserve it. When you don’t believe in yourself, it makes you devalue yourself and express your fear, instead of courage when communicating and negotiating. When you show fear in negotiation, the other person will see you as incapable. It has a great effect on relationships.
12. Have the Right Mindset
You can practice the common mutuality-boosting mindset approach used in communication. This approach allows you to connect with your partner. You should refer to your partner’s interest and goal first, then relate the topic of how it benefits both of you and, lastly, how it benefits you. The other person will listen to you longer and feel that you took their interest and needs into consideration in your propositions.
13. Have an Open Mind to Suggestions
Don’t be too rigid with your desires. When your friend or partner suggests something to you, consider different options before you answer. You can seek the opinion of other people to reach the right decision in your relationship. Ensure that you are flexible in your approach, consideration, and response.
14. Determine the Best Time for Discussion
You have to approach your partner at the right time. Watch your partner’s countenance before you launch. This is vital in your relationship because it determines how your ideas will be considered. When you negotiate at the proper time, there is a high chance that you’ll have your way.
15. Don’t Mix Personal Issue with Negotiation
Don’t deviate from the negotiation to discuss other unrelated issues. Your focus should be on solving the problem at hand only. Obsessing over the personality of the other person or their attitude can sabotage negotiation. Don’t comment about your partner’s behavior in a way that will create an offence.
At the end of the negotiation, it’s essential to satisfy both parties with the outcome. It is vital that you listen, engage, learn, and be fair in your conclusion.
Negotiation is about knowing and understanding the determinant factors and using that knowledge to establish a working relationship that adds value. Negotiating the right way will earn you a wish easily. You should maintain mutual respect and communicate your interest in clear terms.
About the Author
Tobias Foster is a journalist and editor at dissertation-today.com/. He has more than 5 years’ work experience and big ambitions. Philosophy, marketing, and business are his passion, and he has a wealth of knowledge in these areas. He is a master of his craft.