Many people avoid negotiating due to fear of conflict or lack of preparation. Negotiating doesn’t have to be a negative experience…it just takes a shift in perspective and some preparation.

I’ve developed the REACH Negotiation Methodology- research, engage, assess, contract, and honor – to simplify the negotiation experience and remove some of the anxiety for those who fear negotiating.

Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

Research – determine what you and the other party truly need from the deal. Focus on a win-win, as this is the only way that both parties will leave the negotiation satisfied.

Engage – once you’ve prepared, enter the negotiation process with a team attitude, you and the other party are a team with a common goal to put together a deal that is beneficial for both of you. Stay positive, it’s just business, don’t take it personally.

Assess – before you say yes or no to the deal, make sure you take a time out to assess any new information that the other party has brought to light. This is essential if you are given new information that substantially contradicts what you thought you already knew about the other parties needs or your own.

Contract – if you’re satisfied with the terms, it’s time to put it all in writing. Remember that the only terms that count are the ones that are in writing and signed off by both parties.

Honour – the final, and most important step in the negotiating process, is to make sure you can honor the things you’ve promised in the negotiated contract. Your ability to honor your contract terms will not only boost your reputation, but set the foundation for future negotiations.

re-published and written by Diana Graling