Negotiating is the art of getting past the word ‘NO’. A skilled negotiator has the ability to persuade. However, it is also important to adopt a respectful, ethical, collaborative approach in an effort to come to an agreement.
Here are some pointers from our very own Daniel Schembri on how to become a top-class negotiator:
What is negotiating?
Negotiating, put simply, is two parties with competing needs working towards an agreement on how they will cooperate (Tillet, 1991). Its basic components include:
Even the most skilled negotiator had to start with the basics. So, what do you need to learn to get started? First, you need to learn how to prepare for negotiation if you want to succeed. Then focus on objectivity. Learn how to assess your strengths, weaknesses and goals. By assessing your weak points versus your strengths, objectively, you will be better equipped to reach your negotiation goals.
The final step involves developing a strategy based on a realistic course of action combined with techniques harnessed to conclude a win-win negotiation.
Top Tip: As part of your technique, stay pleasant and listen. This will allow you to remain calm and think clearly. Especially if someone is reacting negatively in any way. By listening you will give yourself time to evaluate the situation and respond accordingly.
Do I really need to research?
In preparation for your meeting, it is vital that you get data – information is power! Including facts and statistics in your negotiation can establish credibility and make a significant impact. You should also have alternatives prepared while remaining clear about what is important to you.
Top Tip: If their offer is unbelievably good, blandly acknowledge and restate the offer.
What stops us?
Negotiation is the means by which people deal with their differences. Therefore, some people experience a fear of conflict and failure. To negotiate is to reach a mutual agreement. The key here is to remain objective. Don’t take anything said personally.
Be prepared, be ready to listen, be a thoughtful objective observer – ready to navigate the process with the strategies and techniques you have acquired.
The importance of being a good negotiator cannot be disputed. Negotiating is an intrinsic part of everyday life. We negotiate daily, from when we wake to when we sleep, with friends, family, and colleagues for a wide variety of things. Becoming a skilled negotiator can reduce the amount of stress we experience regularly and significantly improve our chances of success.