10 Techniques to Improve Negotiation Skills

How To Give, Take, And Negotiate

We all have to do it. Whether it is purchasing a house, car, getting children to do homework, or getting a spouse to finish a “to do” list, we will all engage in some form of negotiation. While some of these transactions may prove challenging and frustrating, the good news is, there are better ways to improve your negotiation skills.

Give and Take

When engaging in the act of give and take, or bargaining it is useful to employ some basic principles of communication. We all want to feel heard and understood. However, this is minimized due an inordinate amount of concentration on our own objectives. Practicing active listening, we find others communicate their wants and needs in a variety of ways. Assuming to understand the motives of individuals, may cause you to miss valuable and informative cues. The first step in opening an active dialogue is discerning the purpose of the other side.

Combine Active Listening

Combine active listening and maintain focus to keep the scope of discussion narrowed and concentrated, rather than generalized. Distractions can be costly. Time is a commodity and plays a huge part of deal making processes. Be aware of the deadlines or time limits that your counterpart faces, while not disclosing any time restrictions of your own, thus operating from a position of strength.

Consider that there are more solutions than just our way. Finding methods that appeal to both parties is an approach that lends itself to cooperative discourse. The answer is not always ours alone.

Additionally, seek to ascertain what the others would view as a favorable outcome; do no overestimate the goals of the other party. Both sides can experience a sense of achievement without maintaining absolutes on every point. This is the art of bargaining.

Leverage Your Position

Leverage your position with attention to physical characteristics. Without correct vocal pitch, enunciation, and tenor even the most eloquent speaker will seem ineffective. Eye contact also connotes trustworthiness. In conjunction with these physical aspects, pause quietly to allow your ideas sink in and provide time for processing. A favorable response is more likely when individuals feel that an informed and unrushed decision can be made.

Get Specific

The final step of any formal agreement is putting specifics into written form, thus a perception of permanence and legality ensues. The courts are jammed with cases consisting of stacks of paper, the merits of which are being contested. Bottom line; understand every aspect before committing anything to paper.

Finally, accept that negotiating is a part of our interactions with others. The most favorable outcome is when both parties feel that they have gained at satisfactory levels. By applying the principles discussed, it will quickly become apparent that there are better ways to improve your negotiation skills.

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