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Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next 132 days, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

24 Compromise

Compromise is an essential part of negotiation. It is the dynamic interplay, the moving of chess pieces, that occurs in any negotiation. A shrewd or artful compromiser is generally a great negotiator.

Seldom do one or both parties receive exactly what they want at the outset or even the closure of their negotiations. Many a negotiation ends up as a compromise in order to keep the peace and maintain a relationship. But compromise is often an easy way out and thus, before settling on a compromise, a great negotiator looks for another way – perhaps a more collaborative approach – to increase the size of the pie and get a better win-win result. If that isn’t achievable, the next best thing is to settle for a compromise.

Compromise midwives an acceptable deal from two seemingly incompatible wish-lists. It facilitates a win-win solution, with a reasonable mutual benefit and an acceptable mutual downside or loss between the two parties.

It is always best to get the other party to suggest the first compromise. Whether their offer is generous, conservative, or stingy, it reveals their negotiating disposition, and gives you a ballpark figure that allows you to make an informed and strategic counteroffer. If they start out with too high a demand or too low an offer, a compromise would mean that they win and you lose. If they offer a “small give” as a compromise, you can make an equidistant counteroffer. This “inch-by-inch toward the middle” method is a common compromise strategy, though there may be complex variables in a deal that can be tweaked and adapted as compromise counteroffers.

Knowing your bottom line – what you’re willing and unwilling to accept – and being willing to leave the table with no regrets and no deal strengthens your compromise position from the start.

When a compromise is satisfactory to you, try to make the last concession, or to give a little extra at the end. This gives the other party the illusion that they “won.” It reinforces their willingness to finalise the necessary agreements, and leaves them with a good feeling about you and the deal. And this will work to your favor in any future negotiations you may have with that party down the line.


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