Getting Along With Others

Negotiation skills are skills many of us need regularly at the same time as we find it difficult to use them when needed. Negotiation skills are useful in pretty much all aspects of life – contract negotiations, salary negotiations, project planning, parenting, family vacation planning and everything in-between. Negotiations skills can be used just in getting along with others. There are any number of books written on the topic. The one I’ve just ready is called, ‘Happy-Happy’, by Lars-Johan Åge, a Swedish negotiations expert.

Happy-Happy provides us with a 5-step model for getting along with everyone. Happy-Happy is the state when everyone is satisfied rather than Win-Win which implies a measurement and a one-off negotiation. Happy-happy is when everyone leaves the room and feels satisfied in the long-term.

The 5-steps are:

  1. Positive Feeling – it is much easier to get along with others when we are in a good mood. There’s lots of neuroscience behind what happens to us when we have a dopamine surge, among them: more creative, better problem-solvers, better decisions and more.
  2. Think – prepare for your negotiation (even when it is with your teenager). Ask yourself: 1) What do I want? 2) What are my options?
  3. Fix the Relationship – Listen, be curious, show compassion & understanding. You are in this for the long-term.
  4. Speak Correctly – Avoid squabbling over opinions. Focus on your needs and your alternatives. Understand the other party’s needs and alternatives.
  5. Have a Plan B – Know what your plan is if you cannot reach a negotiated agreement.

The author, Lars-Johan Åge, offers much more science and good examples in his book of each of these steps, how they work and why they are important.

These steps are meant to be used in order, not as alternatives to each other. What areas of your life do you want to get along with others more? Would any or all of these steps help you? What can you try first? I would love to hear from you if you give these 5-steps a try and how it worked out for you.

My availability the coming two weeks is variable, some slots open most days. Bookings can easily be made on my calendar here:

If you don’t find a good slot, please contact me and we will find a good time together.

Have a great rest of the week everyone!