Negotiating is not an art, nor does it follow a learned script, but is a skill that good leaders have internalized to use in all areas of their professional and personal lives. With a good methodology, they manage to achieve their goals when concluding strategic agreements, employment contracts, distributing daily work or even “selling” new ideas.

According to him Institute for Efficient Negotiation and Communication (INCE)One of the most efficient methods is the Harvard method, which David Castellón, expert at this center, summarizes in ten key points:

prepare relationship. Strengthening relationships in a work team is a task of vital importance. Being able to unite a group of people to pursue a common goal gives the accurate measure of capacity and achievement to achieve the proposed goals.

Plan negotiations, don’t improvise. Planning as the first phase of the negotiation process is characterized by the fact that it is a fundamentally informative phase. It is important to create a roadmap, as working with a plan can be useful in order not to forget important areas and to bring more order and clarity to the discussions.

Study and improve your own alternatives. We all have certain alternatives to negotiations. When we sit down to negotiate, it’s because negotiation might be the best solution to a need, but there are always other plans when it doesn’t work. The Harvard Method bypasses these alternatives and how we can use them to our advantage.

Listen before you speak. A good negotiator is a good “listener”. Listening is not the same as hearing. It means using the ears, the eyes and the heart to perceive the intention, the emotion and the feelings of our interlocutor.

If possible, find out about the other party’s alternatives. The other party also has Plans B. As long as we know and can understand their other plans, we can get more out of the negotiation process in every way.

Separate people from problems. A good negotiation is one that knows how to take care of the relationship with the other while aiming for a good mutual agreement. You need to be in control and management of emotions and just focus on the problem at hand.

bypass options. We must look for mutually beneficial options so that both sides win.

Look for legitimate target criteria. Too often we tend to reason with subjective perceptions that are legitimate only from our perspective. An interest-based negotiation must be based on legitimate criteria that can be accepted as “neutral” by both parties, so that the scope for discussion is narrowed.

Finally, don’t get carried away by emotional judgments. How can we measure the success of a negotiation? The truth is, emotions often push us into poorly-made agreements. Before closing, getting carried away with feelings of haste or just misjudgments of “success,” a good negotiator conducts certain objective checks to gauge the outcome.

Practice, practice and practice. The ability to negotiate is learned and trained like a sporting skill or any professional skill. Good negotiators have often practiced agile planning and maneuvering when it comes to important matters, both in targeted training courses and in smaller everyday negotiations.

Harvard method, negotiate