What can you do to transform yourself from being an argumentative person into a powerful negotiator?
Today’s society appears to believe that the only places where the art of negotiation is necessary is in business deals and corporate boardroom meetings. That is a completely false conception of negotiation since everyone can benefit from having the ability to properly negotiate.
If your marriage is rocky but you would still like to see what you can do to get it to work, then learning how to negotiate effectively with your spouse is definitely something you need. Negotiating isn’t about being able to show somebody “who is the boss.” Instead it involves acknowledging that both of you need to have fair treatment and that two are needed to tango.
In crumbling marriages, fair treatment isn’t usually easy to find. Is it actually possible to bring fairness into a relationship once again just through practicing proper negotiation? Yes, absolutely!
But isn’t negotiation a complicated process?
Negotiation isn’t rocket science! You don’t need to have an advanced degree in business in order to learn the basics of proper negotiation. Simply put, negotiation is a way to communicate opposing views where there is a clear objective to create stable ground for compromise and solutions.
If this isn’t the way you see negotiation, then aren’t at all interested in negotiating! Most likely you are interested incompletely controlling the situation and getting your way That kind of behavior is very destructive and if you happen to be guilty of it, then you need to stop immediately.
This kind of controlling behavior is among the main reasons why so many individuals give up on reaching agreements on important matters with their spouses. Major issues end up being left unresolved and they tend to come back and haunt both spouses at some point down the road.
How To Negotiate More Effectively
1. Focus on Interests – In order to negotiate successfully it is necessary for both people to be aware of what individual interests are involved in the negotiation process. Keep in mind that individual interests are not the same thing as positions.
The following are a couple of examples:
Your spouse’s interest: Staying at home and relaxing, perhaps playing video games.
Your interest: Visiting your mother over the weekend.
Common interest: Staying harmonious within one another and keeping peace within the family.
Once you have identified individual interests, your next step is finding a tentative solution and then a final solution which both parties will find mutually beneficial. Until you know what both parties interests are, it is impossible to reach a solution that is mutually beneficial.
Once a solution has been agreed upon by both parties, that is when a unified position will have been achieved by the married couple.
So do you see why negotiation can’t take place from a fixed position?
Whenever an individual starts negotiating from his own position, the other party’s natural tendency will be defending her position.
What is the most common result of this?
Most likely what will result is a heated argument over which person is right or more reasonable.
You don’t want your relationship sullied by more arguments, so make sure to follow the correct negotiation process so that you can avoid having arguments sparked with your spouse.
2. Make sure you are a Reasonable and Flexible Negotiator – I previously talked about how important it is to get rid of distorted mental frames.
A state of mind that is “black and white” is one of those mental frames. It is where an individual cannot go beyond fundamental dichotomies like “reasonable and unreasonable” or “good and bad.”
A good negotiator doesn’t ever let narrow mental frames encumber them. When attempting to negotiate with your spouse, you need to consciously make an effort to be flexible yet logical.
That may appear to be a tall order, however over the long run, it will improve your chances greatly of being successful with your negotiations. If you start out assuming that you are right and that your spouse is wrong, then your negotiation will most likely fail.
3. It Is Important To Have Mutual Benefits – Unfortunately when looking for solutions at the negotiation table, humans tend to have a somewhat selfish streak.
However, I always counsel troubled couples to look for the kinds of solutions that will be beneficial to both people ultimately, rather than just one of them.
There are many situations where there are multiple viable solutions to a problem. Let your spouse present her or his solutions so that both of you will have several solutions to consider.
If too much of your focus is on your solution, it might make your spouse feel like he or she doesn’t have any say in your relationship. That can turn your relationship cold very easily and could ultimately become toxic for both of you.