My Menu

3 Career Tips to Negotiate Effectively at Work and Win!

3 Career Tips to Negotiate Effectively at Work and Win!

  • 7.4k

    Jan 11, 2017   Author : admin

Posted in: CAREER

The best way for people to deal with their differences is through negotiation. For most people, negotiation is a part of their daily lives. Every event is fraught with an opportunity for cooperation, conciliation and concession, from deciding an appointment or meeting time to figuring out who will wash the dishes after dinner. The division of labor on a group project, reading week plans, and where to go for dinner are all of instances that entail negotiation.


Put simply, according to Roger Fisher and William Ury of the international bestseller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, negotiation is “…back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed, as well as some that may simply be different.”

Learning how to negotiate effectively will mean the difference between accepting menial work conditions and thriving in the workplace. Negotiation helps set the tone for your professional reputation and shows that you are not a pushover. Here’s how you can negotiate more effectively:

Separate the People From the Problem

Often in negotiation, the problem and the relationship become entangled. However, in striking an agreement, you should view your employer not as your adversary but as your partner. Of course, having a prior-established working relationship helps. “A more effective way for the parties to think of themselves is as partners in a hard-headed, side-by-side search for a fair agreement advantageous to all,” says Fisher and Ury.

Focus on Interests, Not Positions

A position is something you have decided upon, something you state you want or a concrete demand. Saying, “I need to leave work before 6 pm” is stating your position. However, at this point, it helps to determine the reasons that undermine your position. If you can answer that, then you start to understand your interests. Interests are the desires, motivations, and needs that underlie your position. Some examples are security, work-life balance, economic well-being and control. By focusing on your interests and not your position, you are better able to reach an agreeable outcome with your employer.

Invent Options for Mutual Gain

A common error is to assume that the other party in a negotiation has opposing interests. This is called fixed pie perception: the belief that one’s own interests are at complete odds with those of the other party. If you fail to understand commonalities, you may waste time and energy or make an unnecessary concession separate from the actual issue at hand. Broaden your options by changing the scope of a proposed agreement or taking on the perspective of others and identify your shared interests. What do you think the interests of the other party are? Prepare to consider mutually beneficial options. What bundles of options give you the same value?

To do this, it helps to utilize an integrative approach. Begin a discussion that allows you to learn about the other person’s interests. Leverage differences in interests in order to improve the outcomes for both parties. Remember: your goal is to figure out where your interests are shared and where they diverge.

Next, try to envision things from their side. You do this by acknowledging their perspective and potential problems and explaining how you can fit into the solution to their problem, all the while asking yourself, “What are my interests?” Have a BATNA in mind (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). In other words, if you were to walk away from this deal, what would be your alternative? Your BATNA is your bottom line and helps determine the lowest value acceptable to you.

Highlight the length of time you have spent working for the company, as well as the skills and interests you bring to the table and how your potential for personal growth ties into the growth of the organization as a whole.

By using these strategies, you can lessen resentment towards your work and have a more amicable and even-handed relationship with your employer and those around you.

Images:, | MYC Writer: Simone M. Samuels

All comment (0)
Leave a comment
Subscribe to Updates
Related Articles