According to these two great books – Critical Conversation and Wharton MBA Course on How to Negotiate, I learn the right steps as follows:
First, any time we deem it serious to have a negotiation or critical conversation, it means these meetings matter – there is something we want to obtain or don’t’ want to lose which will likely happen if it didn’t go well. Therefore, the very first step is to identify what is at stake.
Second, not less important, we want the negotiation a double-win situation, at least, both parties feel that way. If any party felt being taken advantage, totally lost, made a blundering error, your “winning” outcome may very likely be unstable because the opponent could negate or seek revenge when opportunities come.
Third, never be drastically emotional. Once think through the worst scenario, understand the other party’s perspective, and more importantly, be aware of the chips you hold at hand objectively, nothing is unacceptable. Deal with it with composure.
Now comes the concrete steps – according to the method of listing – we need to follow strictly like the pilot before ascending:
- Tell the fact, not the judgment or conclusion single-sidely
- Tell the feeling
- Tell the need
- Tell the clear action needed
The conversation should be in respect and full candidness, respect is like air, you don’t feel it when it’s around, one second it is gone, you feel the loss of it right away. Hence we shall be mindful there are two layers of conversation ongoing, one is on the content level at the surface, the other is the feeling/emotional level down beneath the surface. Normal people tend to go nuts when, say after listing the above four steps, were coldly rejected by the other end’s simple ‘no’, if it goes off track, take a break and apologize if needed, do not blame him/her or refute back vehemently, instead, you should ask the righteous questions such as “what causes you to think/feel/turn down…” and solicit the true reason/need from them. You, of course, are very clear about what you need, so during the conversation, try to find what the core need from the other end, then think creatively to reach a common ground that both feel satisfied.
We always want to emphasize the mutual goal. it’s not a one-win-one fail game. It’s about to improve not to regress, or to complain, to find a better way to help not to challenge you etc.
Lastly, strong person is to pursue being stronger, not to ask for fairness, this is the mere fact of living in this world. So if things fell apart after this right method and diligent effort, just accept it calmly and strive to be stronger.
Wharton’s MBA course layout more steps as following before the negotiation
1. write out the goal/aim
2. respect opponent, who is the real decision maker, don’t be too aggressive, everybody is emotional
3. progressive advancing, don’t let know upfront, give out an outrageous first asking
4. acting in a way that is not resistible
5. non-exact exchange
6. use the principle of your opponent, then point out the inappropriateness of the principle application on his end
7. open and direct, obey the moral rule, law of society, law of nature, law of society may win in the short run, but the natural law always win lastingly
8. express and communicate well, reference the key conversation, how to listen, how to ask (for example, if he said “you are an idiot”, reaction is not to yell back, but to ask “what caused you to think I am an idiot”, remember to always ask, restate, and reflect)
9. find the real issue
10. accept the differences
11. list of these elements and follow the steps