BUSINESS TIPS: Improve your negotiation skills without formal training-10 points to keep in check
June 26, 2017
Do you want to know what are the essential ingredients that you need in your workplace? Well, communication skills, hard work, and luck play a big role for you. But most of the time, there is one ingredient that you often overlook, and that is your ability to negotiate for the success of your career.
Negotiation skills are often listed as a desirable asset and qualifications for jobs. However, negotiation skills require a collection of communication and interpersonal skills. A successful negotiation always requires two parties to carry out an agreement that is duly acceptable for them.
Here are 10 points to keep in check for improved negotiation skills without formal training:
- Preparation - Before bargaining into a meeting, a skilled negotiator is always prepared. This preparation includes identifying goals, trade areas, and alternative goals. Moreover, negotiators also study the history of the two party’s relationship and their past negotiations in order to find common goals and areas of agreement. Past outcomes and precedents may set the tone of the present negotiation.
- Problem Analysis - Effective negotiation skills include the ability to analyse problems to identify the interests of the parties involved in the negotiation. A detailed analysis determines the issue, interested party, and outcome goals. For instance, in an employer-employee contract negotiation, the area or the issue where both parties disagree can be about benefits or salary. Determining issues for both parties helps in finding a compromise for them.
- Active Listening - Active listening is one of the building blocks of a good negotiation. Your negotiation skills will never be complete without this trait. Negotiators have to listen actively and carefully during a debate. Active listening involves reading the body language and verbal communication. It is essential that you listen to the other party to determine areas for negotiation as the meeting goes on. Rather than consuming too much time negotiating and expounding your viewpoint, you should spend more of you time listening.
- Verbal Communication - As part of your negotiation skills, you should be able to communicate effectively and clearly to the other party during negotiation. Beware that misunderstandings can happen when you do not state their case clearly. In a bargaining meeting, to be effective, you must have the skills to reinstate their desired outcome and reasoning.
- Emotional Control - Do not forget your ability to keep calm and control your emotions every time a negotiation happens. While negotiation issues continue to be frustrating, it may lead to undesirable results if you let your emotions take over in a meeting.
- Collaboration and Teamwork - Negotiation is not actually about one party against another party’s arrangement. Collaboration and teamwork are important in negotiation because both sides must be working in a collaborative atmosphere where they can reach an acceptable solution.
- Problem Solving - People with negotiation skills are able to find varied solutions to any problem. Instead of just focusing on their own goal, they focus on solving the issue which can be an analysis in communication, for the benefit of the issue’s both sides.
- Decision-making Ability - Leaders who have negotiation skills can act decisively. It can be in a bargaining arrangement to quickly agree on a negotiation and end the stalemate.
- Ethics and Reliability - Reliability and ethic standards relatively promote a trusting atmosphere for any negotiation. Both sides of a negotiation should trust the other party that they will be following through on the agreements and promises. You must execute your promises after the end of the bargains.
- Interpersonal Skills – If you are a good negotiator, you should be able to maintain a solid working relationship with the people involved in the negotiations. You should have patience and be persuasive without manipulating others.
Some additional tips
You must have a clear understanding of the agenda of the negotiation. Determine the objectives of the negotiation and go through every detail as much as possible. The other party may ask about anything so you must be prepared and clear their doubts and persuade them. Here are tips for you on how to negotiate effectively:
- Be Sensible - As a negotiator, react sensibly. Do not lose your temper and overreact. If you are not satisfied with the agreement, you should show that you are displeased. Do not keep it to yourself and assume that other people will understand it. Make the other side know that you are not happy with the deal.
- Be Patient - Patience is also a key to a good negotiation. The other person will not always accept what you say at first attempt. You should be patient in convincing them and do not rush in closing the deal.
- Be Confident - Confidence can add up to your convincing power. Be confident enough but do not make yourself look desperate. If you are not confident, the other side will take this chance to use your weakness. Be aware of your facial expressions and do not be nervous.
- Be Dignified - Maintain your decorum and do not stoop down to any level. Present your opinions and suggestions in a dignified manner. Do not forget that it is only a discussion, not a war. Avoid yelling or shouting and using offensive statements. If you do not like the agreement, it is better to quit than fight and uses abusive language.
Nobody is ever born with a perfect set of negotiation skills. The same with other skills that you apply to work or school, these skills are also learned and practiced. It also needs time for you to master negotiation skills. You can learn and apply them each time there is a need for you to do so.
Metis builds capacity for professionals in the following areas:
- understanding, managing and negotiating contracts
- understanding complex infrastructure finance arrangements
- strategically planning impactful cities
- understanding business finance
Our clients include:
AECOM, Jacobs, WSP, GHD, Laing O’Rourke, Fulton Hogan, Vision Australia, NSW Health Infrastructure, The City of Parramatta, The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, SMEC, Norman Disney and Young. Learn more.
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