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.
Negotiation skills are important in getting what you want. The average person engages in some form of negotiation on a daily basis. From time-management struggles to managing employees, work/life balances issues and even parenthood, opportunities to hone negotiation skills are everywhere.
When it comes to business, your profit margin banks on the rates you get off your suppliers. The dynamics between you and your providers depends on communication dealings, more specifically, how you present yourself and discuss during the first negotiation phase.
Here are few points to keep in check for improved negotiation skills:
- 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.
- Listen to other people - Listening is the biggest and most important part of communication; it's what allows you to understand what’s going on in the other persons head. Moreover, saying less and listening more puts you in a position of power during a negotiation--it means the other person is giving you more information than you're giving them. Add in the fact that quiet people are seen as better, more respectful communicators, and it's clear that being a better active listener will make you a better all-around negotiator. But like other skills, it takes practice to perfect. Start out with your friends and family, listening more intently and speaking less often, until it becomes a natural element of your conversational rhythm. From there, it will be easy to integrate in your higher-profile negotiation scenarios.
- 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.
- Staging the Discussion - When and where negotiations take place can play an essential role in shaping the outcome. Also, keep discussion points concise and focused on the discussion at hand. If additional discussion points come up, do not add them to the current meeting. Instead, elect to call a separate meeting to address those issues and include some bullet items clearly outlining the topic. That way, the stakeholders will be well informed and better prepared. When negotiating with your manager or other colleagues, choose to sit close and on the same side of the meeting table. This should be a collaborative discussion and your posture should reflect that. Be polite, be calm, and move for a break if things do escalate and tensions rise.
- 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.
- 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.
Have you been thinking about negotiation training courses and not sure where to go for negotiation skills training? Contact us to find out more about our negotiation skills course we offer at London TFE.