Role Negotiation with Parents - Activity #2

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Basic Negotiation Skills and Information

Following are negotiation skills that can be used when you are trying to convince your parents to explore your independence.

Negotiation skills include being well prepared, showing patience, maintaining integrity, avoiding heated arguments, controlling our emotions, understanding the role of time pressures, breaking down bigger issues into smaller ones, avoiding threats and manipulative tactics, focusing first on the problem rather than on the solution, seeking for interest-based decisions, and rejecting weak solutions.

1. Be Prepared. If you are going to negotiate with your parents, you need to be prepared. If you are not prepared,  you will fluster easily, can lose sight of your goal and become easily confused.  Take the time to write down what you want, why you want it and what you are willing to compromise. And practice saying it out loud even if it’s to your cat. You’ll be much more comfortable.

2. Be Flexible. Having the attitude of ‘it’s my way or the highway’ can give you bad results. Put yourself into the other person’s shoes. You are both there to reach an agreement that is acceptable to you both. You want a Win-Win solution. This means giving and taking. You should have it written down on what you are willing to compromise.

3. Keep an Open Mind.  Do not try to tell your parents  there’s only 2 options because it can only lead to  failure. There is always a 3rd option and have many options in your head, starting with the most desirable.  Listen to your parents and don’t shoot down  negotiations before they have started.

4. Ask questions. You can use questions such as what is important here, what is stopping you from giving us an opportunity and so on. Find out why they want it. Listening more will give you a leg up because you’ll have detailed information to discuss.

5. Stay Calm. It can be hard to keep emotions out of the equation when you’re negotiating with your parents such as going to a party with your friends.  You feel passionate about going to this party. But nothing will lose you the upper hand in negotiating like visibly getting upset (especially if your mom or dad is good at negotiating). Try and think of the discussions as a business transaction and not a personal one. Keep your head above the conversation. If something angers you, stop and ask yourself why. And give yourself a reminder to stay calm. It will benefit you tremendously.

Of course, like with everything, practice makes perfect. Even if it’s negotiating with your spouse over what movie to watch, you can quickly become very skilled at it. And it can even be fun.