Negotiations skills have become one of the most sought-after skills for employees in the recent times. In a competitive market, tactful negotiations can help us gain a beneficial deal. Negotiation is a process where two or more parties come together to find a mutually acceptable solution. The need for negotiation emerges on the grounds that neither of the parties will be able to get everything they want. Realizing that there must be concessions, each party in the negotiation is required to embrace an attitude of understanding that they should get the most ideal deal in a manner which is adequate and acceptable to the other party. Good negotiators understand the importance of this balance.
By mastering the art of negotiating, one can contribute to business development and growth by:
- building better connections and relationships
- delivering quality solutions which is a win-win for both the parties
- avoiding future conflicts and arguments that may damage long-term relationships
Understanding the other party’s inclinations and strategies is vital to great negotiation. Choosing a strategy that best responds to the other party’s inclinations and needs will help to achieve the best outcome. Your strategy for negotiation depends on whom you are dealing with and the type of relationship you hold with them.
One of the most powerful skills in the art of negotiating is that of active listening. It helps to understand the interests and need of the other party, frame our questions and responses and make better arguments during negotiation. Moreover, feelings and luck have no place in a successful negotiation. It is an art that must be mastered with practice.
Tips to Master the Art of Negotiating
- The first and most important step in negotiation is of preparation. You should know well in advance about the party you’re negotiating with so that arguments can be crafted based on the needs and weaknesses of the other party. Preparation will have to build strategies and create work around, alternative plans.
- Even with the best plan, you may not always be able to negotiate a successful result. You should have a backup plan if in case negotiations fail. If you plan well for alternative solutions, you can stay away from needless pressure and poor business results.
- Changing the way, you think about negotiating is important to achieve better outcomes. Perceiving the reasons why individuals act the way they do and being able to communicate with a broad range of behavioural styles, offers the professional negotiator an edge over others to reach the desired goals.
- Throughout the negotiation process, attempt to figure out what you accept to be an adequate outcome for the other party. Understanding the opposite side’s needs is similarly as significant as understanding your own, so make sense of what you would do, if you were in their shoes and present a solution that is a win-win for both. This will also help to decide on the face-saving formula, if any.
- You’ll never get what you don’t ask for so be courageous in asking questions. Asking the right questions will help elicit more response from the other person which will further help to define the arguments and solutions better
- Handling opposition in a right way by learning to deal with resistances and to make a team or other party agree to a common point is very important. The solution to this problem is to spend more time to effectively analyse the current problem areas. Preparation should include thinking about what could be the possible reasons of opposing to the solution and creating a counter-argument for the same.
- Although we are talking about arguments, one must strive to bring honesty and decency in their conversations so that relationships are not damaged because of negotiation.
- Lastly, developing a plan of action in advance of the actual negotiation gives the negotiator more confidence. Having a plan can likewise prompt better and progressively reliable outcomes for oneself and for the business. Also, ending the negotiation with discussion around the next action steps and follow ups is a good strategy to keep control of the situation.
The art of negotiating doesn’t come naturally to anyone. It comes with experience and practice. One must just be mindful of the tips provided above to start the basic practice and then further build on developing more advanced negotiation skills.