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The myths of negotiation

Human beings are negotiators by nature. Negotiation is part of our daily lives, because without even noticing it, we are always negotiating: at home, at work, on the street or at school. Knowing how to negotiate well is essential for people who exercise leadership and who must solve complex situations, and it is clear that it is an essential additive for success in several areas; however, there are still many myths around it.

For a long time, negotiation has been seen as an action with the sole objective of defeating the person on the other sideat any cost, and has been understood as a way of showing that one of the parties is superior to the other. Some of the best known myths around this issue are:

Negotiating is lying, taking advantage, and being smarter.

Antagonisms where one wins and the other loses are not good, they don’t solve problems and they don’t produce benefits. In fact, in many negotiations, the actual objective is to listen to the other party and their point of view, in order to find alternatives that allow for the development of a win-win proposal, where there are benefits for all parties involved.

Negotiation revolves around ME (as a person, as a company, as a spouse, as a brother, etc.)

In negotiations, it is of great importance to recognize the problem at hand, to treat it with empathy, and that the interests of the parties involved are respected. Once all needs and interests are identified, the best solutions should be explored based on good communication.

Negotiation is intuitive.

It is true that there are people who are easier to negotiate with due to their personality, but definitely the three most important elements for successful negotiation are: preparation, preparation, and preparation.

Two good negotiators can never reach an agreement.

The objective of conducting a negotiation is to create a win-win strategy, so that good negotiators build agreements quickly, doing it in stages: starting with the preparation of easy agreements until reaching the most complex issues, which need further communication and preparation.

In short, negotiation goes beyond winning over others, and aims to benefit all parties. There are four fundamental principles set out in the Harvard methodology, which emerged in the 1970s, for successful trading and anyone who wants to learn to negotiate:

1. Separate people from problems: when negotiating you must be tough with problems and friendly with people.

2. Focus on the interests and not on your position: understanding the interests of the parties involved is essential to find the best solution.

3. Create mutually beneficial alternatives: exploring and analyzing the needs of those involved will help create the best proposal, in which everyone will obtain value in the negotiation.

4. Use objective criteria to assess how negotiations progress: use values such as respect, compliance, and commitment.

Whether at home, at work, or in any other scenario, learning how to negotiate can open a window of opportunity and even improve personal relationships.

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