Get What You Want

Whether you are finalizing a business deal, conducting a sale, interviewing for a job, or just trying to get your way, effectively directing the power of negotiation can really be a massive game changer in your life. Here, I simply want to explain four tips utilized by professionals that can be used in any negotiation situation in your life.

Find Commonalities

During the negotiation process, looking for things that you and the second party have in common can have strong effects on the outcome.

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When you share a commonality with someone, it’s more difficult for them to be confrontational with you during the negotiation process. For example, recently, I had a discussion with my own boss about entering a new position in my company. We didn’t see “eye to eye” on the requirements for the new position.

However, during the conversation, he mentioned his appreciation and even enjoyment of hard work, I empathize with him and expressed my own goals and similar views. After this commonality was found, it allowed both of us to realize that although we had many differences, we also had many common interests. This realization changed the entire tone of the conversation.


Some top negotiating experts claim that the best negotiators aren’t the ones who question, rather, they are the ones who listen. It’s more important to empathize with the speaker and allow the speaker to see that he/she is being heard. During the negotiation process, if the opposite party offers a view contrary to your goals, many people will ask questions.

However, according to 35-year negotiator, Richard Mullender, this is often the wrong approach. It also allows them to verbalize and clear their mind of all their thoughts.

“Saying something like ‘I feel like something I said really go you upset’. Or rather ‘I get the impression this is the main problem.’ allows you to easily interpret their real emotion without necessariy offending them.” When people ask questions about the opposing party’s view, they are somewhat changing the subject.

Furthermore, in response to the questions you pose, the opposite party is encouraged to think more deeply about their view, perhaps even further entrenching their views on the subject. Listening and reiterating what they say makes the other feel respected and helps build trust between the two parties.

Acknowledge Views & Offer Alternatives

If your view is being refused, a successful way to come to an agreement is to acknowledge the point made and offer a solution that may not have been considered. For example, if your customer can’t afford the price you are offering, consider saying something else like, “I realize that the money might not be readily available. But can we offer you a payment plan?”

Offering them a plan for making an installment upfront and other payments in the future can encourage the customer to take quick action and finalize the sale. However, if you harden you views and insist of your terms, the opposite party will likely also harden their views.

Eye-contact & Seating Arrangements

Top negotiator Mullender also recommends not sitting directly across from the person to which you are speaking. During the course of the conversation, every now and then, people must look away.

Sitting directly across from someone makes looking away more difficult. A 180 degree sitting position with two people sitting across from each other is confrontational. When you sit, you should sit slightly forward with your arms and palms open.

Finally, what you say should be backed up by how you say it. You can have a mediocre viewpoint on something. However, if you position your words in the right way, and carefully plan what you are going to say before you say it, you can avoid making mistakes.

Listening is very important, but training yourself to listen and at the same time be thinking of what you are planning on saying next can be a key to success.

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