The Art of Negotiation in 554 words
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I need a negotiation strategy, but where to start? UK Amazon
currently has 2332 books on negotiation. Google indexed nearly 4
million relevant (yeah right) pages. All I need is a simple,
straightforward strategy that I can put to use now.
Phased by the glut of information, I went within and remembered
the wise teachings from a senior manager in my early working life.
So, come closer, listen up, because he was very wise indeed
He said Do you know your LIMits?
My what? said I cautiously, wondering if he was asking about my
drinking capacity, driving speed or something equally off the
Being worldlier than I, he noticed my confusion and helped me
Lyndsay, if you want to be successful in life, you need to know
your LIMits. Let me explain. What would you Like to have? What do
you Intend to have? What Must you have? What are your LIMits?
Slowly it dawned on me that he was talking the strange
management language of mnemonics.
He wrote down the word for me like this.
And next to the letters he wrote
L like to have: your number 1, top of the pile, best
I intend to have: your realistic, shoot for the stars
but reach the moon outcome
M must have: your bottom line. Deal is off if this is
(The I,T and S are irrelevant, just convenient additions to
prevent asking what your LIM are!)
Testing the Theory
And so ended his lesson. Off I scampered like the eager young
graduate I was, itching to put this into practice. Thinking about a
possible secondment opportunity I wrote the following:
Like 10% bonus, new laptop, mentoring with new senior
Intend 5% bonus, attendance at special course, return to new job
Must same pay, relocation expenses paid, credit in my
The final deal I struck landed somewhere between Like and
Intend, with a few perks I had not even considered, so I felt it
was a success.
Why Negotiation Strategies Work
There are a couple of reasons why simple strategies are useful
but often forgotten.
The LIMits negotiation strategy encourages flexible thinking in
that there are 3 potential good outcomes. Compare this with the
most common alternative - success or failure and you can see there
is only 1 measly good outcome. You dont have to be a gambling pro
to work out which approach is best! The secret of the LIMits
negotiation strategy is if you dont meet all the criteria for
success, then the opposite is not failure, just a different
The other benefit of using the LIMits negotiation strategy is it
forces you to prepare, gaining you vital spare capacity when you
are in the thick of the negotiation. You will be clear about your
position and better able to get that across.
As I demonstrated, simple strategies are forgotten because we
seek out newer, shinier ideas in books, the internet or from other
sources. Reduce information overload by re-using what you already
know or recycling an old idea into one that works today. Old
knowledge is not always redundant.
So, use your negotiation strategy to land that new job, better
deal or contract. All you need is to know your LIMits.
About the AuthorLyndsay Swinton is an experienced team leader,
people manager and business coach. Her website is www.mftrou.com - 'Management for the
rest of us'. Subscribe to her free no-nonsense Management
Tips newsletter at mftrou.com today.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-06-06 21:07:54 in Personal Articles