The Seven Most Common Negotiating Mistakes

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Signing without reading

Before you sign on the dotted line, it's imperative that you read what you are signing — no matter how large a packet it entails. Modern life is fast-paced and people are usually engaged in multiple things at once, making it difficult to focus and causing some to sign legal documents without reading them first. The result can be nothing short of disastrous. Make sure you read any agreement or contract in full, to ensure you are not confirming terms you will regret and cannot undo, which can cause copious problems for your future.   

While even the word "negotiation" can evoke fear, stress and anxiety for many, the intent is quite simple: to discuss and ultimately agree on a deal. Whether it's a multimillion dollar contract or just deciding where to meet for lunch, life is rife with negotiations. And, the negotiation process is a lot like a chess game where strategy reigns supreme — one thoughtfully considered move at a time. Make a careless, short-sighted, ill-conceived move and suffer the perilous consequences.  

"Even when faced with the most daunting of deals, regarding the act of negotiation as a 'game' may alleviate the apprehension and give you the confidence to make power plays that will ultimately facilitate your desired result," notes veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of "Think Like a Negotiator." "Unlike strategy games like chess, however, the most effective deals are a win-win proposition for all parties rather than a winner-loser result."

Whether you are a seasoned negotiator or avoid wheeling and dealing with people altogether, you will vastly improve your results and be motivated to "get in the game" by knowing how to avoid these prime pitfalls. Whether seeking to gain advantages in your business or personal life, the art of "thinking like a negotiator" will profoundly impact your ability to actualize your desired outcome.

To help individuals maximize their bargaining prowess in business and in life, Eldonna cites the seven most common mistakes that are made during a negotiation.


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