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NEGOTIATION TACTICS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT

By Muhammad Tariq Khan


Negotiation Strategy
Negotiation should not be considered as a simple technique, since each issue or
dispute may require a different approach, and negotiation tactics for settlement.
Successful negotiation needs adequate preparation by obtaining detailed perception
of the issues, and the persons who will be involved during the negotiations.
Following negotiation tactics may be useful to manage crucial issues in project
management:
Listen Patiently and Summarize
Do you appreciate the most significant negotiating tactics you should employ as a
successful project manager? It is more listening and less talking by you. By focused
listening with a keen interest, you built a firm basis of confidence in the rival. You
would have managed to form an individual trust in the preliminary stage of
negotiations that will act as a crucial factor to produce a win-win condition. Keep in
mind to make use of the appropriate expressions like I understand, oh, yes, etc.
Paraphrasing is essential after the position has been explained by the opposition. Be
cautious to paraphrase only if the view point has been clearly understood. If not,
better request clarification, rather than presume. Assumptions are harmful during
negotiations.
Identification Of Emotions
Emotional labeling is also one of the important negotiation tactics that be used
during settlement of conflicts. This technique recognizes the emotions of the
opponent. The emotional expressions can be recognized by their words, body
language, and actions. The emotional labeling proficiency will assist you to be
proactive by responding positively. For instance, if you feel that the opponent is
stressed and disturbed, attempt to demonstrate calmly by dropping your voice tone.
When you present a comfortable environment, the other person is likely to calm
down, and assist you to resume the negotiations, and settle the issue. Avoid the use
of language that may irritate the other person with whom negotiations are being
held. Aggravating sentiments will not assist during the negotiation process.
Use Of Pause and Queries
Observance of an extended and uncomfortable silence has been employed as a

powerful tool for negotiations by project managers. Persons are inclined to converse
more when confronted with a stretched quietness, and are expected to provide
more information. Questions that are open ended are one of the most popular
negotiation tactics being used by the project managers, for obtaining information
from the opponents. Questions that include where, how, what, etc are not really
helpful. Instead, questions that use expression like Sorry, I have not understood.
Can you please clarify, may be more valuable.
Form a Win-Win Condition
Negotiation is an important talent that should be acquired by a professional project
manager. Creation of a win-win state during the process of negotiations will be
valuable for the dispute resolution.
Create Relationship Of Trust
During negotiations, you should not possess a biased impression of the opponent, or
the issues under consideration. This approach will create a positive mutual
understanding during negotiations. Rapport building is extremely valuable as
negotiation tactics. The customer must be exceptionally relaxed during
negotiations. Mirroring is amongst the vital negotiation tactics you should have
during rapport building. Is the opponent presenting annoying expressions? If yes,
you need to make more efforts, to employ negotiation tactics, for building a
relationship of confidence that will assist to produce settlement.

Muhammad Tariq Khan is a Civil Engineer by profession and has managed numerous
engineering projects in his career as Army Engineer during his 26 years in Corps of
Engineers. He has attended advanced training in project management and is a
practicing project manager at Karachi. Served at KESC and DHA in executive
positions and intends to contribute to the project management community.