What You'll Learn
  • People negotiate, not organizations
  • Thank the people who worked with you, on your side and the other side
  • Showing appreciation is critical to strong relationships

People negotiate, not organizations. As trite as it may sound, don't forget to thank the people who worked with you, on your side and the other side. Many times we take this for granted. Everyone wants to be understood and wants their efforts to be appreciated. The feeling of being appreciated provokes an eagerness to cooperate and helpful emotions. And when you appreciate the other side, they are likely to appreciate you for feeling it and showing it.

“The greatest human need is to be appreciated.”
– William James, 1842-1910, Harvard University.

Four (4) Ways to Show Appreciation

"Thank You" in many laungages

Showing appreciation in one of the following ways is critical to strong relationships, and sometimes to gaining commitment. Showing appreciation in all four ways, sincerely and consistently, will significantly enhance your performance as a negotiator.

  1. Understand the other sides' point of view, find value in it, and communicate your understanding.
  2. Acknowledge the effort they put into the negotiation process, even if agreement could not be reached.
  3. Apologize if you make (or made) mistakes.
  4. Say the words "thank you" in your language and theirs, and take appropriate cultural action, such as handshakes, bows or other signs of genuine respect.

  • Showing appreciation is a Best Negotiating Practice, not a tactic. Sincerity is key. If you can't find a way to feel it, you'll do more harm by faking it.