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Let's Get Real About Negotiation: Top Five Negotiation Myths

There are a number of half-truths and myths that pop up around the topic of negotiation. In order to become a successful negotiator, you need to dismiss them and approach negotiation in a straightforward, reasonable, and pragmatic manner. The following are five myths that can be defeated:

1. Negotiating across cultures is not possible.

There is no denying that there are different negotiating styles for different cultures. What is acceptable in New York City may not be in Tokyo. There are also different cultures within an organization. For example, the finance department may have a different culture than the marketing department. So, it is possible to negotiate across cultures; in fact, you need to negotiate across cultures. Chances are you're probably already doing it.

For example, if you're negotiating with someone of a different gender, country, and/or ethnicity, you likely have no idea what it's like to be in their shoes. Likewise, they probably know very little about your life. Nevertheless, there must be some commonality - someplace where itineraries intersect - or negotiation would not be needed to begin with. To negotiate successfully, you simply need to be respectful of each other while in that space.

2. Great negotiators are born.

Many individuals mistakenly believe that some are born with the ability to be "good negotiators", while everyone else fumbles along. This is untrue. Negotiation is not something you are born with — it is a learned skill.  So it's helpful to have a guide or a teacher, have conducted some reading on the topic, or some fundamental research. But the key is practice. The more you practice, the better you get at negotiating.

3. Negotiating is not about winning and losing.

After a negotiation, do you think to yourself, "Okay, how did I do?" or do you think, "Did we come to a 'yes' together?" You and your team will want to know if you received what you needed and wanted (in other words, if you won).

However, there are some negotiations that tend to be more cooperative in essence, where both of the parties are attempting to find a solution to a common issue. In those instances, there is always an aspect of "arriving at yes". However, underneath the surface, there is also an aspect of winning and losing.

4. When you have power, you have no need to negotiate.

Is it your way or no way? You may think this is a good thing. But nobody enjoys working with a leader who manages by command. Also, not many leaders are searching for a robotic group of workers who willingly and without question carry out their commands. If you are like the majority of leaders, you want and need individuals who are willing to take the initiative, become problem solvers, and if things begin to go wrong, be ready to put in the extra effort. Sometimes, negotiations are less about deciding upon a path of action and more about achieving the buy-in of different parties.

5. It's not worth the trouble and time of preparing as you cannot predict what may happen in a negotiation.

You would actually be surprised just how much you can predict what may happen in a negotiation. The majority of hard work is completed prior to any formal negotiation taking place.

Dottore Companies, LLC. does not fall for negotiation myths. As a reputable mediation company in the Cleveland area, we conduct mediation services on a broad spectrum - from pragmatic decisions to emotionally charged situations. Contact us today to greatly reduce attorney fees, save time, and find resolution as soon as possible. 

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