Tips for productive and successful negotiations

See beyond your own perceptions of adversarial negotiations and you'll find success.

Successful negotiation begins within. It may seem surprising, yet this is what we’ve found true in our experience at the junction between financial services and technology. The first step in securing the best outcome for yourself, your enterprise and the people you serve is to not talk yourself out of things. Yes, it might seem subtle, but it can be a challenge for most to see the limitations they impose on the conversations they conduct despite their negative impact on negotiating positive outcomes.

Overcoming self-imposed limitations is a vital approach to productive conversations. A common pitfall is failing to recognize when we are in a negotiation in the first place. We find ourselves in negotiations of different kinds every day, but seeing beyond our own perceptions of formal, adversarial negotiations is essential to yielding successful results in our modern landscape.

Consider all goals

Any conversation that seeks to achieve a goal is what we call a productive conversation and is; therefore, a form of negotiation. The strongest opening to these conversations is to agree on that goal.

Far too often, we begin with an assumption that all parties know what we are aiming to achieve. In almost every case, we’ve found this can be better refined with a foundation of mutual understanding. Even when we start with what seems like a conclusive and apparent goal, examining our goals together grants more opportunities for all parties to experience a win.

Seeing beyond the immediate, obvious outcome, helps us avoid negotiating against ourselves. While examining the other goals of the other party, we’ll often identify elements that offer additional benefits as we approach the negotiation process.

Aim higher

Thoughtful consideration for all parties who will benefit from the desired outcome offers greater opportunities for agreement. Perhaps just as important, this also helps free parties from the impression that their pursuit of goals is selfish. Selfishness can be the greatest limiting factor in negotiating. It can blind us to opportunities and prevent us from exercising all resources.

So, consider the team members, co-workers, shareholders, communities and affiliated enterprises that stand to benefit from achieving the most favorable outcome. Remember you are not in this conversation for yourself alone, but rather for the benefit of a larger vision – and indeed for the success of both (or all) parties at the table.

In pursuit of every advantage

Our advice here transcends beyond positive thinking. We suggest examining carefully for every advantage and gain that can come from a productive conversation. Ultimately, this practice discovers even more opportunities for the win-win — the hallmark of a truly successful conclusion.

Christy Soukhamneut has more than 25 years of experience in the mortgage industry and is currently Senior Vice President Mortgage Finance at Texas Capital Bank. 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Texas Capital Bank.

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