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suggestionsMaking successful negotiations is an important part of working in a professional context. It is important to remember that you should define your position clearly before you enter a negotiation. In order to define your position, you need to be sure about the following aspects of your position:

  • What you are negotiating for, or what you want;
  • What compromises you are willing to make;
  • What you are willing to lose; and
  • What your bottom line is, that is, the least that you are willing to negotiate for.

Remember, a successful negotiation is usually one that starts well. So the initial discussions are critical in terms of how you and your business associates create favorable impressions of each other.

In this lesson, you’re going to listen to two dialogues. In the first dialogue the participants set the scene for the negotiation by both sides outlining their positions. In the second dialogue, the participants clarify each other positions. At no point during these two initial stages does any actual negotiation occur.

Situation 1

You will now listen to a dialogue between Steve and Brenda in which they discuss the main points of the negotiation. Steve represents an advertising agency which wants brochures printed, and Brenda is from a printing and typesetting firm which Steve’s company has approached for their printing needs. During the introduction, the climate of the discussion is set and it is important to be courteous and friendly. At this point, the actual negotiations do not start but the speakers discuss what they will be negotiating at a later time.