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Integrity in Negotiation: The Power of Good Faith in Business

Integrity in Negotiation

Recently, my husband and I made an offer on a small home in a country setting, which we love. It even had a koi pond! The home inspection revealed several areas of “deferred maintenance” that needed to be addressed prior to the closing. Knowing that the home had multiple offers, we had to address how to negotiate with the homeowner to pay for some of the cost of this deferred maintenance without losing our opportunity to buy this home. In this situation, like most times when negotiating, we had a vested interest in the outcome.

Two professionals discussing work at a table with papers and a laptop talking about integrity in negotiation.In the past, whenever I found myself in certain positions of having to negotiate, I found that I would often give my power away to the other party during the process. Whether it was buying a car or home, or asking for a raise, or confronting a challenging situation in with a family member or friend, I was concerned that I was not going to get the "deal" or the outcome I desired, so I would cave in or stop negotiating at all. As a transformational business leader, consultant, and coach, I am an advocate for working with individuals and businesses in shifting your mindset in negotiations. This transformation involves introspection and a shift towards recognizing the value of assertiveness tempered with fairness. This journey involves developing communication skills, confidence, and a deep understanding of win-win outcomes, ultimately empowering you to advocate for yourself and others with integrity and sincerity.

Here are some principles that are essential to being powerful in negotiations:

Operating with integrity requires:

  • Building trust
  • Creating successful outcomes
  • Enhancing credibility
  • Creating value
  • Building a long-lasting business relationship
  • Creating a good deal without selling out
  • Creating a point of view/mindset that empowers your commitments
  • Being true to yourself and living what is important to you

Having the power of good faith requires:

  • Being transparent
  • Being authentic
  • Being willing to listen, to understand, to collaborate
  • Being committed to working together, but not attached to your point of view
  • Being clear about the limitations, boundaries, or expectations and what can you reasonably accept and offer
  • Creating a mutually beneficial solution
  • Creating a collaborative bargaining situation, a win/win for all parties
  • Creating a path to fulfill the concerns for all parties
  • Anticipating the wants and needs of all parties
  • Being prepared, doing your research, preparing your position

Transitioning from a tendency to back down in negotiations to becoming a person operating integrity and a good faith in negotiations is a significant evolution. When you can operate from that place, the potential to achieve a positive outcome increases exponentially.

In addition, being in integrity and operating in good in faith is completely in your control: you have a say, you have a choice, you have power. Being able to do so is worthwhile, as the goal of honest negotiations is to create an outcome that is mutually beneficial for all.

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