Whenever two humans come together, there is liable to be conflict, and where there is conflict, negotiation is a common tool to help resolve problems. Successful negotiation is a way to get what you want and to gain insight into human nature. From sports contracts to business deals to a group of kids arguing on the playground about a basketball game, negotiation has long been used to achieve an end without violence or force.
In this world, money means power, and money is often the currency used to resolve opposing positions in negotiations. As perhaps the most tangible of benefits, money can smooth the way toward enticing one party to budge from a previously non-negotiable position. If it's true that anything and everything has a price, money is a critical part of the negotiation process, especially when two sides have entrenched themselves in seemingly intractable points of view.
The tangible benefits that could result from negotiations are virtually limitless. There is much that one side could offer the other, outside of money, that has value. A salary negotiation could result in no increase in pay but a shorter work week, increased medical insurance or a free membership at the local country club. Though not as simple and straightforward as a signed check or pile of cash, other types of benefits can be just as tangible and valuable.
One of the biggest challenges in life is learning how to interact productively with the people you encounter every day. A good negotiator is a student of human nature. The skills she develops through the negotiation process can be applied to almost any facet of her personal or professional life. When it seems more common for two people to have differing points of view than similar ones, the skill of being an effective bargainer is an intangible benefit that can yield tangible results.
Most people wish to be respected by others. In the business world, a reputation as a good negotiator is often valued, but that value also applies in other fields of endeavor. The person who can walk into a roomful of people who have aligned themselves into two different camps and walk out a few hours later with handshakes and smiles is bound to be respected.
- Nick White/Digital Vision/Getty Images