Negotiation is an operation that involves bargaining with someone having goals, requirements, and viewpoints different than yours. There are different approaches to solving a problem, depending on the situation, and the level reached. These include rational and emotional aspects and psychological factors such as how comfortable parties involved feel about the conflict or how they perceive or misperceive each other. Parties must look into how important or unimportant the problem is to meet their needs and the other parties’ needs. Looking into such perspectives will result in how parties approach the conflict: competitive, collaborative, compromising, avoiding, or accommodative. It is, therefore, essential that parties concerned have the will to settle differences, discover common ground, and reach a consensus.
One of the many scenarios that require excellent negotiation skills is when asking for a pay raise. As a sales representative, I recently wanted to negotiate an increase in my salary as I had progressively done an excellent job in increasing company sales. Negotiation as a sales representative is a necessary skill that helps to deal with customers daily. Asking for a raise, however, was a different challenge, and I had to be strategic about it. My pay was much less when I started working as I had little experience and education which i got with time. I got a diploma in sales backed up by my good sales report and expertise.
The first and most important approach to negotiation is planning and preparation. Preparing in advance helps to think about the deal you want to make and make amendments to your strategy to suit the particular situation. It helps to organize and accumulate information necessary to have an effective negotiation. As much as company sales had improved, we were rarely making profits considering the previous management, which led the company into debts. The current management was trying to cut costs as much as possible so asking for a raise would not be that easy. I had to research the history of the company with sales representatives. My experience and qualifications, and my good sales report which was progressive and promising enough were important information. This information gave validity to my claims as well as confidence in negotiating with my boss.
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After planning and preparation, my boss and I had to set ground rules on how the negotiation would take place. Setting ground rules involved agreeing on factors such as where the talk would take place. My boss and I decided to have it in his office in his free time so that there would be minimal time constraints and distractions. I expressed my demands but faced with some objection, especially on the issue of the company trying to cut costs. Once we both showed our positions, we explained and clarified our demands and decisions. The process was without confrontations or threats as that would have taken a different approach leading to a negative outcome. We both told our situations, an important part that helps the other party understand how you arrived at making such demands.
Bargaining is also an essential aspect in a negotiation strategy. I come up with an amount higher than the pay I wanted but not too exaggerated as I knew that it is usually scarce that we settle on the initial amount. My boss, on the other hand, explained the situation of the company and agreed that I would need a raise although what I had demanded would not be possible at the time. We then came to a consensus, and I decided to a salary that was much less than what I had expected, so i had to compromise. The negotiation was, however, open to the near future with the company making profits and my sales increasing. We then came to the closing of the agreement with my boss taking the necessary procedure to implement our agreement.
As observed, negotiation is a skill that is important and useful in our day-to-day personal life, relationships- both personal and professional. It helps to build links to foster goodwill despite the difference in interests. It also helps to deliver long-lasting and quality solutions instead of short-term solutions. With negotiation, parties can make concessions that may be of little importance to the party but mean a lot to the other. Also, it helps to avoid future conflicts and problems as involved parties will be equally satisfied with no barriers to communication in the future. Conflicts may result in positive and negative outcomes, but they must be managed rather than suppressed or let to escalate out of control.