Negotiations work best when everyone comes to the table with a willingness to work towards a solution.
Start the negotiations off by expressing what your mutual goals are at the meeting and that you appreciate the other person’s willingness to attend. You want to create a safe environment where you can openly talk about the situation.
Ask for and listen to their point of view. Make eye contact and be respectful. Be aware of your body language. Show you are truly being receptive to what they are saying by nodding. Don’t sit there with your arms crossed and rolling your eyes. If you do not understand something they say, politely ask for them to explain further.
Once everyone has had an opportunity to explain their point of view, it’s time to suggest solutions. It might be helpful to break down the issues and address the easiest first. This way, you can build up some confidence and trust. Be reasonable with what you suggest. If they suggest something, use that as a starting point and branch out from there rather than dismissing it. If challenges arise, identify them, and see if you can come up with a solution.
Take time to reflect afterwards on what worked and what didn’t. If you want more tips for negotiating, read this two-page negotiation guide.