Negotiation is really just a discussion aimed at coming up with an agreement. It can be done simply between yourself and the other party, or with the help of lawyers, mediators or others. It can be done in person, over the phone, or in writing.
To achieve the best outcome from negotiation, it is important to prepare. If you know what your goal is and what your limits are you will be less likely to be pressured into something. Consider the dispute from both perspectives. Try to think about what a win-win settlement would look like.
Before a negotiation:
- Think about your ideal outcome and what you can live with
- Prioritize your interests
- Consider what the other person wants
- Understand if there are any shared interests
- Apply creative solutions
- Find an agreeable meeting time and place
- Be prepared to manage your emotions during the discussion
For example: Mandeep owes Rav $7,000. She wants to pay Rav back but still needs to pay for her living expenses. Mandeep wants a longer payback period while Rav wants to be paid right away. Mandeep’s ideal outcome would be to pay $1,000 monthly for the next 7 months. She could live with pay $3,000 upfront and another $4,000 in 5 months. She’s also willing to pay more (like interest) if it means a longer payback period.
Arrange Payment Terms
You may agree that you owe some or all of what the other party says you owe. In that case you can make arrangements to pay them back. If you cannot pay it back all at once, you can negotiate a schedule to pay the other party back over time. Try to arrange payment terms that reflect your capacity to pay. Be sure to keep a record of your agreement and payments.