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I'm clumsy in relationships
It's a very good thing that you see relationship as a factor. An improved
relationship is often one of the most valuable outputs from a negotiation.
Contracts expire, markets fluctuate, products and services change fast, but trust
between two people can be useful again and again, whatever the circumstances.
 
A few tips:
 
Show you're an independent person, not a cog or a cipher. Say "I think you and I
can make a deal" rather than "we are hoping to reach agreement with your side."
 
Ask lots of questions, then supplementary questions to show you've really
listened. "It was interesting what you said about x/y/z; could you go a bit deeper
into your reasons?"
 
Match your messages to his apparent needs. If he talks long-term, do the same;
otherwise, say "here's an idea to get you out of a hole for a few months at least."
 
Recognise the importance of "transactional value" - the satisfaction he will get
from a well conducted negotiation. "This is going well. I can feel the progress."
 
There is no need to crow or brag if you've won more than expected; he must
always be allowed to save face. "With a bit of give-and-take, we've found
common ground."
 
Click around the other advice sections for more tabloid tips, or
go to Books or contact us for a fuller treatment.
 
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