From a career standpoint, compromise is something that one must become comfortable with, particularly in leadership roles. Whether it’s negotiating a new contract with a vendor, discussing a potential new business venture, resolving a complaint or trying to reach an important business decision, mastering the art of compromise is key. Here’s how to do so effectively without giving up too much or putting your property management company in a bad position.
Understand what’s at stake.
Before you wade into the negotiation waters, be sure you have a clear and accurate understanding of exactly what’s at stake. By prioritizing like this, you’ll be able to determine how much effort (and resistance) you should be putting into the deal. For instance, if you’re negotiating a potential deal that could either bring in a ton of new revenue or damage your property management company’s reputation, obviously you’ll want to be exceptionally careful. On the other hand, if it’s a part-time employee who isn’t happy with his or her work schedule, the importance level would be much lower.
Determine the potential outcomes.
What will ultimately happen if you give in or stand your ground? How much of an impact would compromising have on your property management company? In many cases, you’ll likely find that giving in won’t have many repercussions at all. Knowing this in advance can help you determine whether a negotiation is really worth your time or whether simply agreeing to the other party’s terms is a wiser use of your time.
Draw a mental line in the sand.
Before entering into a negotiation, it’s helpful to know in advance what you’re willing to give up, what alternatives you may have to offer and which factors you’re not willing to budge on. The art of effective compromise means bending without breaking, so identify your breaking point. This will help you stay on track and give you a baseline for your negotiations.
Simply put, successful compromises depend on successful listening. For some people, however, this can be remarkably challenging. After all, you know what’s best, right? The truth is, most business deals occur somewhere in the middle, with both parties giving up something in order to achieve a mutually satisfactory solution. You cannot reach that middle ground unless and until you hear the other party out.
Give something worthwhile.
Recognize that the other party is also going to need to compromise to some degree. To reach that middle ground, you’ll need to be willing to give your opponent something worthwhile. For instance, if you are negotiating salary with an employee and what he or she is asking for is far more than what your property management company can comfortably afford, come to the table with something else of value, such as a better benefits package. Remember – compromise is a give and take.
Always be professional.
When it comes to compromise, there’s always going to be those situations in which the results aren’t as favorable as you’d have liked. Regardless of outcome, it’s imperative that you maintain the utmost professionalism at all times. In other words, keep your poker face on. You never know when you might be in the position to negotiate with the other party again in the future. Preserving your reputation can help you do well in deals down the road.
When it comes to earning respect as a leader, being reasonable, thorough and professional in your negotiations will go a long way. And the better you become at mastering the art of compromise, the easier and more effective it will be to reach favorable agreements in the future.