While self-interest is the driving factor behind your motivation to ask for something, strong negotiating skills can make all the difference between reaching a mutual compromise or resulting in a loss.
1. Be self-aware
In order for negotiation to be effective, avoid becoming emotional and leading with your feelings. To reach an agreement, stick to the issue without becoming angry or frustrated. Self-awareness will help you understand your emotions and how they may impact a successful negotiation.
2. Be prepared
Before negotiating, prepare as thoroughly as possible. You want to be clear about what you need; backup your request with solid information that supports your position. You’ll also want to consider what the other person needs from the negotiation – they’ll have their own self-interests to satisfy before they agree to what you’re asking. Before the meeting, take some time to formulate an understanding of the main issues and what’s important to both you and the person you’re negotiating with, including their limitations and how flexible they might be.
3. Choose your battles wisely
Conceding to a point that’s not crucial to your negotiation can help to build trust and narrow the gap in your differences. When conceding, be honest and willing to admit when you’re wrong, quickly apologizing when needed to keep the bargaining favorable.
4. Improve your interpersonal skills
When entering into a negotiation, start by introducing yourself with calm and confidence – this can make you more likable and build an instant connection. Throughout the negotiation, speak clearly and slowly without rushing through your negotiating points. Bring your people skills into play and show interest without being insincere. You can build interpersonal skills by listening without interrupting and being aware of different personality types.
To power up your new-found negotiating skills, consider these tips from successful business leaders:
It’s okay to be ambitious and set your sights high. But at the same time understand the limits of what you’re asking for. Tie this in with the strategy of being clear and prepared about your requests.
Employees negotiating for a pay increase or HR negotiating an employee's request for a raise are like any other negotiations in business; you learn by being honest with yourself about the negotiation process. Being upfront about your request or offer establishes a sense of trust throughout the negotiation. It’s this trust that’s crucial for both parties to come out of the negotiation with a positive outcome.
Communicate with patience
Rushing into a negotiation will get you nowhere. Why? Because good communication at work and in business is all about observing and listening to everyone involved. Every party in the negotiation should be given ample time to make their points and state their positions. A good communication tool is to paraphrase what the other person is saying back to them so you can clarify what they’re proposing.
Every party in a negotiation comes to the table with their own feelings and ideas. Before the meeting, take the time to understand who you’ll be negotiating with. This allows you to determine their needs and the reasons behind their own self-interests.
Knowing when to be reasonable it a big part of negotiating. If a negotiation isn’t going the way you want it to and the terms aren’t what you need, you can either keep bargaining or accept defeat. To do this you’ll need to be honest with yourself and know your limit of when you should just walk away.
Using these tactics and tips will give you the skills you need to negotiate and bargain well no matter what side of the table you’re sitting on. Take a look at negotiation tips in the visual below, courtesy of ForSaleByOwner.