The final product of any negotiation includes commitments that each party is making to the other. The heart of the deal are the promises you are seeking and the promises you are willing to make. Commitments are made as a part of the final agreement as well as steps that move the negotiations forward. Identifying and focusing on concrete commitments throughout the negotiation process will help you stay on track and secure what you need from the negotiation.
In the context of salary negotiations, one key objective is to maximize to your salary, benefits, or perks from the job. Ultimately, you want an employment offer that states the terms of the agreement: both what you will do for your employer and the ways they are compensating you. If your meeting is one part of a longer negotiation process, you might make a commitment to meet specific metrics at work or demonstrate your skills through an external assessment. During a hiring negotiation, the employer could commit to providing a detailed list of responsibilities related to the position.
Who Is The Primary Decision Maker?
In many negotiations one party has more leverage than the other and will ultimately be the one to accept or reject any commitment. Another way to think about this, whoever has the better BATNA will decide whether to move forward with the deal.
In a salary negotiation, the employer would be the primary decision maker if they have a number of qualified and vetted candidates who are available to fill the position. An employee would be the primary decision maker if they have other offers or job opportunities that are equal or better to the one being negotiated.
It is important to consider whether you have the authority to implement the promises you have made and whether the other party has the authority to implement their promises. When the authority to implement commitments belongs to someone who is not directly involved in the negotiation it is important to anticipate how they might react. You can consider their interests and how to ensure that they are aligned with the commitments made in your negotiation.
For example, during a salary negotiation you might be meeting with your manager to discuss your compensation and job requirements, but she might have to go to her boss for approval of the commitments she made during the negotiation.
No matter the size or type of negotiation, it is important to spend time preparing for it. When considering the commitments made throughout the negotiating process you want to make sure to answer the following questions:
- What kind of promises do you hope to secure?
- What promises do you (or they) have the authority to make?
Learning to consciously think about negotiating will allow you to better navigate everyday life. You can learn the elements of negotiation by signing up for our free email series.
In just one week you will learn how to understand each party’s interests, generate options to maximize value, leverage standards and alternatives as power, maintain productive relationships, and effectively communicate your intended messages.
Enter your email below to sign up.