Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Everyday Negotiation Preparations

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Everyday Negotiation Preparations

Article excerpt

Do you think the only time you have to negotiate is when you haggle over the price of a new car or a multi million-dollar acquisition? The fact is, we negotiate every day--over the deadline for a report and even for what you are expected to contribute to that report. Yet most of us don't prepare for these everyday negotiations--and often some people don't even adequately prepare for the big deals. So here are some tips for how to prepare for any kind of negotiation. Beware: Some are so obvious they often are overlooked--at the negotiator's expense.

* Come with alternatives: Never enter a negotiation without having an alternative in mind that you can accept. Options spare you from buckling too quickly if your first choice is rejected, and it saves you from appearing desperate.

* Research precedents: Be ready to report on past agreements; this approach will strengthen your hand.

* Discover interests: Try to find out your opposite's true interests. Often he or she will purposely cloak them, knowing that such intelligence bolsters your position. For example, if you knew your opponent had to meet a deadline, you could use that information to trade for some thing you wanted.

If the other party reveals what's behind his or her demands, you may be able to skip over adversarial negotiations and quickly come to a win-win agreement. …

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