How to Survive a Difficult Project Negotiation?
Conflicts happen everywhere you go. You might encounter it on a daily basis when you are working on a project or propose a PMO to your superiors. But usually, the people that we are working with and working for tend to be the cause of such projects to abruptly go to a screeching halt.
Project negotiation is one of the processes your project needs to go through in order to fulfill the expected result and success. Engagement with both team members and stakeholders will supplement a project negotiation, but they can get in the way if there are missed connections and difficult people to make the situation harder than it is.
People are different in so many ways; in the project management world, you cannot expect that everyone will agree on the same thing. Some are easy to please. Others—not so much. Difficult people are a pain to make project negotiations with. It can be one of your team members, your sponsors, or even your stakeholders. They are stubborn and sometimes create a wall between you and your project success.
Maybe the problem lies on you. Sounds awfully absurd, but think about how you do project negotiations with your stakeholders and members. Maybe you were ‘the difficult one’ all along. Usually, we tend to space out from our own reverie that we forget that we also have something to change or improve on ourselves.
Project Negotiation Tip #1 : Keeping Your Emotions in Check
Do you often tend to get your emotions get the better of you during project negotiations? If the answer is yes, you need to come up with a game charger of your next project negotiation meetings. When we get emotional, we tend to do or say things we didn’t mean. They just come flying out and once that emotion dies down, you realize that you said something nasty or just downright hurtful. That’s why they say, “Never make decisions when you’re angry”. It will certainly affect you and the people around you. And that also applies to project negotiation.
When you are doing a project negotiation with someone, keep your emotions at bay. Don’t switch on an emotion that conveys contempt, anger, resentment, or even sadness. Rather, feel that the person you are negotiating with as your ally, someone you see yourself on your side. Stubborn people tend to be a challenge. They refuse to even reciprocate the same feelings you are displaying. Don’t give in to frustration. The only way for you to pass this is to remain patient and wait once this person starts warming up.
So of course, once you set the ideas on the table, they will start rambling excuses such as, “Oh, this is quite an impossible task, I don’t think I can handle this.” Another triggered frustration on your end. Do not answer immediately. Wait for your anger to ebb away and start negotiating with them in a calm manner. You’ll be surprised that such means works.
Project Negotiation Tip #2 : Reeling Them In
The next action for this project negotiation is going inside their shoes. When you show empathy to someone and relate their situation to yours, they’re most likely caved in. You have to go inside that person’s circle to be able to go pass through their wall. This is also a method that is considered effective for almost everyone, including your team members and most importantly, stakeholders. Some stakeholders are too difficult to deal with, so going on their side will create an opening for a successful project negotiation.
Once you have successfully pulled them on your side, it’s to time lay out the plans and come to an agreement. You have surpassed the challenge of project negotiation, but don’t be too complacent; maintain this attitude and behavior for the future.
Project Negotiation Tip #3 : Form As a Team
It’s time that you create a teamwork or a partnership to further cement your bond. But keep in mind that your journey doesn’t end there. This is a difficult person, and you still need to treat them as such. There will be more conflicts along the way as you progress on your project, so always remember to tame your emotions, reel them back, and maintain what you have gone through for a successful project negotiation.
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