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How to Negotiate with Your Partner

* Taken from my soon to be published book Negotiation Handbook for Couples: From conflict to connection  (Part III the last part for this weeks’ entry on negotiation)

The last part of the “Pre-Commitment Stage” blog for this week is a summary of what should be done during this step.

Come to the negotiation with some ideas and suggestions as to how to relate to both your partner’s and your goals.  Too often couples just blurt out what they want without thinking things through.

This is the problem-solving stage.  The purpose of preparing is to clearly form your own goals and to understand your partner’s perspective, preparing you to enter the next phase:

  1. Understanding your goals;
  2. Understanding your partner’s goals and needs;
  3. Come to the table with ideas of how you can effectively relate to both your and your partner’s goals, rather than trying to convince them to change their mind.   The more creative you are, the more you will be ready for Stage II–the negotiation stage.

1)   Figure out what are your goals/outcomes for the negotiations and why you want that outcome.

2)   Spend time understanding your partner’s goals, both the emotional and logical reasons for those goals.

3)   Come to the “table” with some ideas and suggestions as to how to meet both your partner’s and your goals.

In future entries I will discuss what is involved in “The

Commitment Stage” of successful negotiation. Here are some of the areas that I will discuss: Specific guidelines for the Commitment Stage; Things Not to Do in Negotiation; and What Are the Right and Wrong Words to Use in Negotiation

Remember even if you don’t use or even understand everything there are many things that you can take away that will add to your ability to successfully negotiate with your partner.


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