Reflection Report 1 : In all my negotiations so far, I always focused on how I should be achieving my target and in that process I completely missed what the other party is trying to do or what their actual goal might be. It is so true in the Job search negotiation during which I just focused on scoring more than 35 points and prepared my arguments accordingly.
When we started the negotiation, my partner took the lead and decided which issue needs to be negotiated first. He started with location and gave me an impression that his preference was to put me in Dallas although his actual reference was to settle for Chicago. His strategy was to show as if he is giving concession to me and negotiate on other issues. Although I understood his strategy quickly, I misjudged his preference and came to know about it only after we finished our negotiation.
The learning here for me is to explicitly ask the other party what his or her preference would be and thereby force them to a point where they will find it difficult to hide their intention. The other aspect that I’m not pleased with my negotiation style is I always wait for other party to make a first move so that I can get n idea of what their expectations are and change my strategy if necessary. Although this strategy helps me to negotiate effectively, I sometime miss out great opportunity by not starting aggressively.
For instance, I allowed my partner to start the negotiation in this case and choose the issue to be negotiated first. In all three issues that we negotiated, he revealed his expectations first by starting very aggressively (ASK, Dallas ; June) and forced me to anchor my negotiation around these boundaries. Hence, I had to negotiate very hard to get my pie for both salary and start date. Although at the end I negotiated very effectively and scored better than my target, I lost my bargaining power to go beyond my expectations.
Actually I should have taken the lead by bringing the issue that I felt important to me and telling what my expectations are. Going forward, I would definitely implement this strategy and give it a shot. While I’m trying to work on this strategy, I also would like to highlight what worked well for me and what skills I would like to retain going forward. I always start the negotiation much above my reservation price but at the same time leaving enough room to scale up or scale down my expectation based on the reactions from the other side.
By sending a very strong signal in the very beginning, I believe we are setting ourselves up for a failure. Once the other party perceives that we are not going to be flexible, there is a high chance that they may not be interested in negotiating anymore or show the same rigidness and things might fall apart quickly. As long as I’m in the ZAP, I would not go too point of no return and lose any opportunity to close the deal. This strategy has helped me to come to an agreement and be objective all the time.