Negotiations Impact Relationships
You live, work, and play with others. To move through life, you must get along with other people in family, social, and professional settings. You must also get along with total strangers who happen to cross your path.
Winners feel good naturally. It is the way we are programmed. The feelings of losers, however, should also be considered. The fact that the other person lost, especially if the negotiation was a personal or social or even in some business scenarios, tends to breed feelings of resentment and ill will. In a on-going relationship you may win the battle only to damage the relationship.
At the end of negotiation find ways to make the other person feel good about something. In a business setting, compliment the other person's performance, professionalism, or knowledge.Indicate your appreciation that the other person was personally involved in working things out. Ease back from the transaction discussion to a more personal level of conversation.
With a spouse or other family member reaffirm how much you care about the person, that you love him or her, and that you are glad things were resolved because your relationship is so much more important than the problem that caused the fight.
Even when dealing with your banker, a store manager or another casual acquaintance, a proper closure can be the basis of avoiding future conflicts. Indicate that you appreciate how the other person was able to be flexible and help solve the situation. Indicate that he or she has won some loyalty on your part. Try to give the other person a reason to be pleased with more than just the terms of the agreement.
Conflicts are usually short-lived and resolution offers the opportunity to move forward together. Over your life, it is the relationships that will prove valuable, not the little victories along the way. As you interact with other people you naturally balance a myriad of things to maintain the level of a relationship that you want. This does not imply that the other person has the same level of interest in the relationship. When you are negotiating it is important to appreciate how much the other person values the relationship and make sure that you are not threatening the relationship when simply trying to avoid taking out the garbage in the middle of a football game.
Be a good winner by reaching out to the other person to stem any residual ill will. The effort will pay dividends.