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Negotiating in 2024 - New Year, New Negotiator…

Siobhan Bermingham
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As another January draws to a close and numerous New Year’s resolutions begin to fall by the wayside, I find myself reflecting on the opportunity we have to review the old and create the new.

As the New Year brings forth proclamations of a new fitness or health lifestyles, new sleep routines, work-life balance and the various other forms of New Years resolutions that unfortunately tend to subside by the close of January – I ponder the potential for upskilling as negotiators. If we really seize this time of reset – what habits, tendencies or weaknesses can you identify in your negotiations and what one thing can you choose to change now?

Commitment – a word that delights some and freights others. I came across a book by Jeff Olson, called The Slight Edge: Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness. The basic principle in this book is that, we never stay the same, we are always incrementally improving or incrementally declining in every aspect of our life, whether it’s our health, relationships, business or any other area. Small consistent actions over time are what create the transformation. So rather than trying to take on 5 new things at once as a negotiator, start by implementing one new skill into your negotiating consistently. Maybe it’s more detailed preparation, increased creativity with your Wish and Concession lists so you don’t miss opportunities struggling to be creative in the heat of the negotiation or maximising discussions with suppliers or buyers to really understand their priorities and utilising those insights to better shape your proposals.

Uplevel your negotiation success long term, with reflective reviewing post negotiating and consistently upskilling in 2024. You’ll be amazed at the results – time saved, greater profits, stronger relationships with long-term business partners… just remember to keep it simple. Notice one area of weakness, begin consistently changing that behaviour with a more skilled approach and commit to utilising your new skills consistently for them to become habitual – lasting beyond the short-lived New Year’s resolutions of most. Reach out to those who can give you honest feedback and help you to upskill – after all – we all want to look back at the start of 2025 and say we really took our negotiating to a new level in 2024!

Siobhan Bermingham
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