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MENTOR - TOP TIPS

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How to negotiate...
How to negotiate

Negotiation is the art of getting what you want out of someone who has the power to give it to you. No matter how dynamic or focused you are, if you fall at this hurdle, you are less likely to succeed. And yet it's a management skill that is often overlooked. Clive Wilson, managing director of leadership and change consultancy Primeast, outlines five key steps in the art of negotiation:

>> Know what you want out of 'the deal' And what you are prepared to give in exchange. Questions you need to ask are: What is my career purpose? What are my skills and talents? How far ahead can I look? What do I want to be doing in five years? What is the next step I need to take?

>> Understand the needs of the other party What might they be willing to concede? If you are dealing with your employer, you need to think about what the council's purpose is as an organisation, and what it's looking for from staff. If you are clear about this, it's possible to ask for promotion, or to take on a new piece of work.

>> Know the rules This means using the sort of negotiating style that fits in with your organisation to decide whether to step beyond accepted ways of working. 'I was once told that a particular job wasn't being advertised outside the department,' says Mr Wilson. 'That didn't stop me applying and getting to the final round of interviews.'

>> Do your homework Use the first three steps to feed into a negotiating plan that will give you the confidence to negotiate.

>> Don't rush to an agreement Once an offer has been made, ask for time to think, and make a clear list of the pros and cons before you sign on the line.

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