Advising clients on negotiations can be a challenge if they ask but negotiation is not our specialty. It's not clear how "hard” or "soft” to advise my client to be. What help can you provide?
As ususal, don't give advice where you are not qualified, but you can suggest resources for your client. There are many great books on the subject of negotiation. One highly recommended source for insight is Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. Some major suggestions they provide when approaching a negotiation of any kind (at the simplest level):
- Always focus on separating people from the issue at hand.
- Pay particular attention to both side’s ultimate interests and pay less attention to their stated position.
- Don’t focus on a single answer, but focus on developing multiple options that provide mutual gain.
The book also provides some keen insight on (and effective methods for handling) un-balanced or difficult negotiations.
Other highly recommended books on the subject of negotiation include Richard Shell’s as Bargaining for Advantage and the Guide to Negotiation from the Harvard Business Essentials series. Tip:
Help your client get into the right mindset and offer only what you can ethically provide, even if that is only references and moral support. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA