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Negotiate selfishly in their best interest

self interested and selfish resize

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 few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

106 Self-interest

As a general rule, all parties at the negotiation table are primarily concerned with themselves and their own interests. This includes you. In the heat of the negotiation process, this narrow focus on achieving your goals and getting the best possible deal for yourself is instinctive.

Behind these immediate concerns are other related but less immediate concerns – about how what happens in the negotiation will reflect on you, your finances, your self-esteem, your family, your reputation, or your career. Other concerns lurking in the background include how the result of the negotiation will affect the way others – your employer, your co-workers, your spouse, your family, and friends – regard you.

But, first and foremost, most people at the negotiation table are there in a spirit of self-interest. It’s just human nature. By remembering this during the negotiation, you can avoid a common mistake many people make in a negotiation – giving the other party the clear impression that you are negotiating against their self-interest. This will only create a needless adversarial response.

Instead, make sure that you include and directly address the other party’s interests, and give them the impression, even the assurance, that you also want them to walk away feeling good about the deal. This will make them feel better about you and the negotiation, increasing the likelihood of a mutually satisfactory outcome.


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