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LETTING BOTH SIDES WIN

Review of an article by Mary Beth Grover 

Publication: Forbes (p.178)
Date: September 30, 1991

Reviewed by Grady McAllister
December 2, 1995
 

Ms. Glover has been reading some people's mail. She poses this hypothetical scenario:

There certainly have been moments in your career when you'd have liked to tell your client--or boss--to stuff it. 

Although she doesn't explain what the "it" is, the situation is  a common one. According to Glover, the real question at hand is "Which would you rather have: a moment of satisfaction? Or a good job or good account? "If the second option is your real objective, then you need to develop negotiation skills.

Suppose, for example, that you are unhappy with a raise. Many people would simply turn nasty or dump their problem on the boss's table. What they should do instead is think about how they can solve their boss's problem. A good strategy would be to show your boss "how to justify to his boss "why the raise is justified.

In an example like this, many people threaten to change jobs: 

A higher paying job offer can better your chances. But don't say, "Give me a raise or I'm out of here," says Dale Carnegie president J. Oliver Crom. "When you put a gun to somebody's head, they may say pull the trigger."

One possible solution is to ask advice. Say that you are in a quandary because you need the money but don't want to quit a job that you love so much. That opens up the highway to negotiation. 

Even if your company comes back with a smaller offer than the other company, you should accept it if you want to stay. Glover quotes this insight from communications consultant Kevin Daley: "You may get more, but it's dangerous. The boss will feel he's being squeezed by a subordinate and some scar tissue will develop."

Glover concludes with an observation that applies to this and many other types of negotiations:

The moral is: If you want to win something more tangible than momentary satisfaction, negotiate. Telling off can be self-defeating. 


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