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6 Negotiating Tips for Project Managers

Project Managers should develop good negotiation skills. From time to time project managers may need to negotiate for project resources, the scope of work or managing the project approach. Here are a few tips to consider for building your negotiation skills:

  1. Separate People from The Problem.
    • Never make it personal. Realize that the person or persons you are negotiating with have their own interests and objectives to achieve. This is understandable. Never jump to the conclusion that someone is presenting an obstruction or trying to keep you from succeeding. Its healthy to assume positive intent until you have a real reason to think differently.
  2. Create Your List
    • Create a list of what you need by priority to organize yourself before you start negotiating. Identify your must haves, what you would like to have and what you would be willing to compromise.
  3. Identify Common Ground
    • Identifying shared interest can be a good starting point in your negotiations. This will help to break the ice and get the conversation started. It will also help to secure what you can agree on as you work through your list.
  4. Make Your Case
    • Explain why your needs are important; explain what is at risk if you can’t secure your request. Be brief and concise with explaining your request.
  5. Create Options
    • Create options for yourself and for who you are negotiating with. In other words, be prepared to barter if it helps to get you what you need. Remember, give and take…
  6. Be Persistent
    • Be persistent while being positive and constructive. Remember, you’ll probably end up negotiating with the same person more than once for your current or future projects so maintaining a good relationship is important while stressing what you need.