The art of negotiation is the exchange of tactics between two parties to acquire the most beneficial outcome for themselves. Negotiations are important, not only because they can clarify unclear points, but have the possibility of leave both parties more satisfied after the exchange occurs. Because the most vital resource in a negotiation is clear information, it will be useful to know how to acquire this information. The simplest way is just to ask, but knowing specifically what to ask to get the information you require is crucial. Here are three questions to ask during a negotiation:


“What Do You Want From This?”


Communicating exactly what is expected is not only a strong way to solidify your position; it allows you to understand the opposing party’s expectations as well. If the other party has radical expectations for what’s being exchanged, knowing this allows you to talk them down to a level that is reasonable for you. Also, knowing what the other party wants allows you to make offers or suggestions to help coerce them to benefit yourself. By communicating expectations, you also develop as a grasp for what the opposing party thinks is fair. If you act within the realm of what they consider fair expectation, you are more likely to succeed in your negotiations.


“What Is The Reason You Can’t?”

Sometimes, the opposing party will state that they cannot do something. If you ask why, and there is no valid reason, their argument will break down and expose untrustworthy behavior. You can either choose to manipulate the situation in your favor or walk away completely. But knowing a valid reason why someone can’t provide something is important to the process of negotiation for other reasons as well. One reason is that you will understand the limitations of the opposing party. If the party cannot provide a service, or can only provide a service for so long, you are now aware of this fact when you weren’t previously. In the end, although it matters what you want, it is just as important to know what can’t be provided so as not to create your own false expectations.


“Anything Else I Should Know?”

This question is usually applied as a closer to negotiations. It may bring up questions the opposing party still has. It is also a good way to view the opposing party’s body language to see if anything is being withheld.

Negotiations can be difficult, but with the previous three questions and what they entail, you will be better prepared to communicate.
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