Histology is full of negotiations, whether you’re negotiating with your boss for a better salary or negotiating with a vendor over the price of equipment or reagents. Negotiating doesn’t come naturally for all of us, particularly those who have chosen histology as a career specifically because it is behind the scenes. Knowing your negotiation style can help you identify areas in your negotiations where you could improve and what you do well, for more productive discussions moving forward. The five main styles of negotiations are competing, avoiding, accommodating, compromising, and collaborating.
The competing style tends to focus primarily on accomplishing what they want out of the deal, sometimes appearing aggressive, with less regard for the relationship between parties. Avoiding style negotiators are much the opposite. They are less assertive and focused on not creating tension. They are more likely to go along with the suggestions of the other party even if it means some sacrifice on their part.
The accommodating negotiation style focuses on maintaining relationships between the parties. Like the avoidance style, they may make concessions, but they are more willing to collaborate, and any concessions are made at the expense of maintaining the relationship, as opposed to a fear of confrontation.
The compromising negotiation style emphasizes fairness of the deal. They seek a middle ground, even if that middle ground is only a moderate success for both parties. The collaborating negotiation style also wants to find a solution that is appropriate for everyone, but they value working together to come up with a new and creative solution that gives everyone more satisfaction, than simply finding an existing middle ground.
So, what are some tips to make your negotiations more successful?
Be prepared: Do your research! Thoroughly read the contract whether it is a contract you’re re-negotiating or a new contract you’ve just received. If you are negotiating with a vendor, be familiar with their company and their products. Have goals in mind and be realistic about what you want to accomplish.
Be professional: Make your expectations clear- there is no need for games in professional negotiations. Being honest about your goals will help both parties find a solution that works. Having goals also makes it easier to end negotiations if it is clear goals are not being met.
Be okay with the outcome: Whether it is a salary negotiation or equipment negotiation with a vendor, keep in in mind that you may not get the answer you’re looking for. Remaining professional will help keep lines of communication open for future collaboration.
Advocate for yourself: Some of us have no problem negotiation with a vendor, or standing up for a colleague, but when it comes to advocating for ourselves it is a lot harder. Keep a to-do list every week and save them on your computer. At the end of the year you can go back and look at everything you’ve done to prove what you have accomplished.
You can find more great tips for negotiation in NSH’s podcast series, Women in Histology.