Marriage is one of the greatest challenges with limitless opportunities for us to disagree. Negotiation can be messy and riddled with tension. Finger pointing, selfish demands, and resentful compliance are often part of the process. But this is normal. Many people are frightened of conflict because they can’t negotiate.If you can negotiate you don’t need to be so afraid of conflict.
Good negotiation leads to acceptable solutions that work for both and strengthen your relationship. Your communication skills automatically improve as you develop good negotiating skills.
Is it important to learn how to negotiate?
While many people are frightened of conflict because they can’t negotiate, conflict is inevitable for growth in your relationship.That is why If you can negotiate you don’t need to be so afraid of conflict. A great negotiation can lead to find an acceptable solution that works for both and strengthen your relationship. Your communication skills automatically improve as you develop good negotiating skills.
This is the most important of the seven suggestions. If neither of you listens to each other, you’ll end up having an argument instead of a successful negotiation. It’s hard to hold back when you’re eager to say your piece, but truly listening is what’s most likely to lead to a successful outcome. Focus on their words, their body language, their tone of voice. Empathize with their point of view. Understand what problem they are trying to solve. Feel why that problem is upsetting them. If you step into your partner’s shoes and see things from their point of view, you’re sure to have a successful negotiation. Don’t make conversational noises like “Uh-huh” or “Mmm.” Simply listen silently and give the speaker all your attention
Start by making your own “Priority List“
Define what your “non-negotiable list” before you start talking, and know what things you’re willing to be most flexible on. Likewise, listen to how important certain things are to your partner. Never assume – people change over time and surprise us all.
Things to define before a negotiation:
What do I want?
How important is this to me?
Why is it important?
Avoid discussion and making decisions when you’re angry
Hold discussions about compromises only when you’re both calm open to hear an argument. If necessary, take a break. If your emotions are shutting you down from thinking positively, or warmly towards one another, it’s no grounds for compromise. Someone is very likely to feel negatively about the situation or their partner, and compromise with resentment built into it is unhealthy in both the short and long term.
Value each other
When people feel valued, they are open to cooperate. When they don’t feel valued, they will resist what feels to them like submission. This has to be an honest process. Don’t think about “showing value”: That can smell of manipulation. Focus instead on feeling value for your partner. Regardless of your stance on any specific behavior, always remember that you are negotiating with someone you love, who is more important to you than whatever request you are making in the moment.
It Is Likely for each partner to give up something, not just one of you
Be prepared to offer something to the table yourself. That shows balance, a sense of fairness and a willing to compromise yourself – not just ask for compromise. Negotiate up for something rather than subtract. Instead of saying you’ll stop doing x or your partner can achieve y, both you of brainstorm ways that you can each achieve y while also gaining another benefit for you both.
Learn To Trust
Don’t try to protect yourself by being mistrusting – all you’re doing is putting up a wall between yourself and others. Do your best to separate interests and concerns from values. You can negotiate interests but not core values or integrity. The only things you can really negotiate are behavior and decisions.
Remember that you’re on the same team.
Finally, in negotiations, we automatically slip into an adversarial position. We think, “This person has something I want. Remember that you are partners, sharing a common goal of living in a clean and happy home.
Conflict is inevitable for growth in your relationship. Many people are frightened of conflict because they can’t negotiate. If you can negotiate you don’t need to be so afraid of conflict.