Negotiations Touch Every Part of Your Life and Career
It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying a car or an enterprise software system: negotiations touch every part of your life, every part of your career, and will have a major impact on your personal success. Dealing with a regular client who, at the eleventh hour, wants a little extra outside the scope of what has been agreed upon? You’re in negotiations. Trying to get consensus on a critical marketing campaign? You’ve become a negotiator by default.
Then there are all the formally recognized situations where negotiation is explicit, highly formal and usually high-stakes: sales, procurement, mergers and acquisitions, partnerships and licensing arrangements, to name a few.
One of the fundamental principles we teach in the course of our business negotiation training is this: the concept of M.O.R.E., which stands for Motivations, Objectives, Requirements and Edge — Edge being the advantage you gain once you understand the other side’s unique motivations, objectives and requirements.
You are much more likely to succeed when you come to the negotiating table with not only a clear sense of your negotiation counterpart’s business realities at the organizational level, but also the individual drivers of those involved. And making assumptions at either level can be foolhardy.
That’s why we advocate for a methodical, patient and constructive approach to negotiation that stresses listening and learning as much as possible, and taking concrete steps to discover what passions or pressures really drive a request or demand.
Of course, this means understanding your own M.O.R.E. factors, as well. (We all know what Sun Tzu had to say about the prospects for a commander who knows neither himself nor the enemy.) What are you hoping to achieve? What course can you set to articulate your own value drivers so that you have clearer guideposts to follow and create better deals for everybody?
This is why we focus on the needs and roles of every layer of a client organization: from each chair of the C-suite, to the sales director, to the project manager, to the lawyer who must carefully define and protect key terms.
Based on our three decades of work with leading global organizations, we created a high-level role-based view of negotiation from various chairs in the organization, including: CEOs, CSOs, CLOs, project managers, sales managers and attorneys.
We will continue to add more categories to the list in the near future. As always, we would love to hear about your unique negotiation challenges. Leave a comment and start a conversation!