Five Rules of Negotiation

There is so much information available on the "interwebs" about negotiation. What to say, when to say and how to get what you want. I come from a culture of negotiation. In Haiti, everyone negotiates everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. As a first-generation America, my siblings and cousins would regularly parody the notion that Haitians always want more and want to pay less. However, this simply is demonstrative of the culture to which we grew up in: speak up and ask for what you want. Otherwise, sit in what you get.

When we get down to the brass tacks, we can sum up negotiation in 10 Rules. Here are five for now, happy reading.

  1. Research, research and then go back and research. We live a world of nonstop influx of information. This blog is giving you info right now! Research everything. Leave no stone left unturned. Research will provide information to help you decide whether you're interested and gather any important data that you need to refer to during your negotiation. (Tip: do a Boolean search in any search engine to hone in on the information.)

  2. Keep your answers brief and concise. Unless asked to give more detail, limit your answers to two to three minutes per question. (Tip: record yourself and see how long it takes you to fully answer a question.) State your position and wait for a reply/rebuttal. Then move on!

  3. Include concrete, quantifiable data. Some negotiators tend to talk in generalities. Speaking in generalities will not convince the other side that you are or have a true asset. (Tip: be sure to include measurable information and make sure your objectives are SMART.)

  4. Repeat key strengths three times. Yes, three times! It is essential that you confidently and comfortably articulate the key strengths of your position (or item that you're negotiating). Repeating it three times not only reminds the other side but you are reminding yourself of your position (and prompting you to neurologically be confident).

  5. Put yourself on their team. In order to truly have a win-win negotiate, you don't want to haggle to the point that it reeks of self-preservation or me-me-me. Create an ally - whether with the prospective business partner or even settling a business dispute, there is always a mutual interest.

These five quick rules will help you navigate your next negotiation to a winning success!

Be a friend and share this. Blessings to you.

Elizabeth G.

Picture courtesy of, information inspired by the WorkForce One Self Directed Job Search Workbook.