One of the hardest things in any negotiation is the communication bit. It’s in getting your point across, ensuring that you’ve been heard and that you’ve been understood.
Heard? Yes, because frequently, we are so caught up in our own story, we simply can’t be bothered to hear what the other party is about.
Understood? Yes, that too because if your head is so wrapped up in your situation, your predicament and your emotion, you simply do not have the capability to understand things from the other perspective.
Simple, yes this sounds but oh, so incredibly hard to achieve. Communication is fraught with so many dangers and hurdles and most of them are unseen which makes them that much more problematic. But if we focus on being clear and talking simply, we may succeed in getting our point across.
Use plain language. The business world still embraces those who deliberately choose wordy, distended sentences and paragraphs, sending you on a wild goose chase, none the wiser at the end of your journey. It’s not meant to protect them, it’s meant to confuse you. Yes, its intentional and will remain so for some time to come. Sometimes, you can fight it and sometimes, you can’t.
Don’t beat around the bush. Avoid long stories. Give them a story only if they ask for it. Otherwise, move straight to your point.
Don’t assume. When your strategy rests on assumptions you cannot or will not test, you’re up for some big surprises. Don’t assume – ask. It may sound stupid, even foolish. But you will have the information you need and on which you will base your decision-making on.
Write in short sentences. Ensure different points are tackled in different paragraphs even.
Cull, cull, cull. When you have finished, go through what you’ve written and remove all unnecessary words. Be brief, be concise and they will thank you for it.
Use bullet points where you can. It makes it so much easier to digest.
Where possible, always try to recap what’s been discussed so that you are moving ahead together, on the same path. In this way, if there is any confusion, it’s caught early.
Be clear about what you want. If you know you want it at 10 million, then state it. I have never seen the point of starting at 20 million, and the other party starts at the opposite spectrum and the two of you engage in a dance to get to the middle ground. It can take a very long time, time may not be on your side and you could have just cut to the chase.
Next : Tip #6 Be consistent.