I had an interesting discussion today about the uses of negotiation skills in every day life.  One of the biggest misconceptions is that negotiation only happens when you are buying or selling something – in other words when you are doing a deal.  Some people even think it only happens when it’s a big corporate deal, where millions of pounds are involved.

The truth is somewhat different.  Of course, negotiation is important in big deals and where there is a tangible service or goods to buy and sell, but more often are the smaller, daily interactions that utilise those same negotiation skills.  Negotiation happens all the time, throughout our lives, both at work and at home.

Examples include:

  • Discussing with your team who is responsible for what in this next project
  • Having a difficult ‘chat’ about rule breaking in the office
  • Getting your idea heard at the next management meeting
  • Agreeing with your child what chores they need to do to get their weekly pocket money
  • Planning your quarterly budget with your department
  • Asking your boss to reconsider your remuneration package
  • Discussing with HR the need for your team to get some training

All of these are negotiations.

The same skills used on every big negotiation will assist your effectiveness in these ones too.  Remember the 4-phases:

Prepare – get the data on your side

Debate – communication skills

Propose – solution creation

Bargain – come to an agreement

Can you add some practical everyday negotiation situations to my list?