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Develop win-win negotiation skills

Published on Thursday, 25 Aug 2011
Illustration: Bay Leung

Before you negotiate an issue with your colleagues, know what you want to achieve. Be willing to meet them halfway if you want to rectify a situation and reach an agreement with them. 

Prepare It is important to prepare for the possible outcomes before discussing an issue with your team. This includes being open to how your colleagues might approach the situation. For example, if you want to negotiate an increase in salary, you should have an exact figure in mind. You must also be willing to consider a salary that may be lower than you expect. 

Compromise  The best way to negotiate is to show your colleagues how they will benefit from your proposal, not just how it will benefit you. For instance, if you need to discuss your work priorities, tell them that you can do a task better if they are willing to go easy with you on the deadline. You should also listen to them if they want you to compromise on some matters. By making this a two-way process, you will come to a satisfactory resolution. 

Follow up Once you have agreed on something, it is crucial to live up to your end of the agreement and ensure that your colleagues live up to theirs. If you all have decided to make working hours more flexible, ask the team for feedback on whether this outcome is acceptable to everyone involved. This will confirm that the negotiation has been effective and suitable for the team members.

Jason Hemens, corporate communications manager, Michael Page International

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