he ability to negotiate is one of the most essential skills that a person can have. Negotiation is not only important in business, but it’s also an important skill in life. The way you negotiate will determine your future success and happiness. A good negotiator knows how to listen, focus on what they want out of the deal, know when to compromise, and be able to walk away from deals when they’re no longer a good fit.
What is Negotiation?
Negotiation can be defined as a process of resolving conflicts by discussing opposing views and making compromises. In some cases, negotiations may involve threats or even coercion to move someone towards your position.
Why is Negotiation Important?
The ability to negotiate successfully determines our success in life far more than we realize. Whether it’s buying a car off the lot or negotiating for a higher salary at work, negotiation affects nearly every aspect of our life because people are constantly bargaining with others over resources like money, time, property, services, etc. Even if you don’t think you’re good at negotiating right now that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to improve on these skills in the future! It just takes practice! All great negotiators have one thing in common: they understand the power of preparation.
What are Good Negotiation Skills? When it comes to negotiation, there’s a lot you can do before entering into any kind of conversation with another person and that will set you up for success throughout your life! If someone tells you that they don’t know what good negotiation skills are, they’re either lying or haven’t done their research on how to succeed in this area. Before we get started with talking about different ways people might be able to improve their negotiating skills, however, I want to talk briefly about some common mistakes many people make when trying out these strategies so if nothing else, at least keep reading until after the next paragraph because understanding why some tactics fail is just as important as learning which ones work.
First of all, many people think that the only way to negotiate is by getting loud and aggressive. This isn’t how you want to go about it though because your potential counter-party could easily get scared off or just have a stronger will than you do in these types of situations which would leave them with an advantage over you while turning what should be one more thing for your long list of skills into something negative instead! Instead, try being calm during negotiations. Speak slowly as if each word has weight behind it and make sure not to pull any punches when trying out different negotiating tactics like this so at least they’re strong enough for other people to respect them even if things don’t work out on their end! Another common mistake made by many people is to not negotiate enough. This can be just as bad of a mistake because you need the practice; without it, your skills will never improve!
Most Important Negotiation Skills
One of the most important things to remember when trying out negotiations is that you’re not always going to get what you want. Sometimes, people will still say no even though it seems like they should have said yes! This isn’t just something that happens with money; this can happen in practically any situation where there’s a little bit of giving and take involved on both sides. The best way around this is by knowing exactly how much each side values whatever assets or items are at stake before putting them up for sale so neither side feels cheated afterward! If someone does feel like they’ve been cheated in some capacity, then all hope might be lost because while disappointment is natural; anger towards another person won’t go away unless that person decides to take it up with them!
Another good negotiation skill is being able to tell the difference between a reasonable offer and an unreasonable one. This can be difficult; especially if someone’s promising something for next to nothing, but this means they aren’t considering what kind of value you place on whatever assets or items are at stake before putting them up for sale so neither side feels cheated afterward! If someone does feel like they’ve been cheated in some capacity, then all hope might be lost because while disappointment is natural; anger towards another person won’t go away unless that person decides to take it up with them!
Skills are vital because you don’t know what the other party is thinking, but they also aren’t sure about your intentions either. If a person feels like you’re not upfront with them then it can make negotiating that much harder which will just end in both parties being dissatisfied!
Good negotiation skills require some level of assertiveness too; if someone’s passive during negotiations and never takes a stand on anything when an opportunity presents itself to do so (and doesn’t bring something else to the table) then they might get walked all over by the other side who knows better than to give away things for free or at very low rates whereas somebody willing to ask for more shows signs of empowerment and confidence which encourages to see how far their limits stretch.
(EQ) is also a massive factor in negotiations and something that should never be discounted; if somebody has high EQ then they’re more likely to keep calm under pressure, whereas someone with low EQ may easily become frustrated or even angry when things don’t go their way.
Having said all of this though, there are some people who opt for the aggressive approach – perhaps feeling as though it’s easier than trying to build rapport first but negotiation is always going to be more successful if you’re able to take the middle ground.
To put it simply, active listening is exactly what you’d think: instead of waiting until a person has finished speaking and then responding to them (which can be seen as more aggressive), actively listen to what they’re saying and respond accordingly.
This might involve restating their sentences in your own words or asking questions that show an interest in the topic – for example, if somebody says “I’m finding running much harder this week” rather than just replying with “oh right”, maybe ask something like “how come?” which enables them to expand upon their answer or offer up new information.
You’ll find that people are usually happy when someone shows genuine interest towards them so by employing active listening techniques during negotiations you should see better results.
As well as actively listening to what other people have to say, it’s also important that you communicate your own needs clearly.
If somebody asks for something from you don’t just automatically say yes – sometimes there are reasons why a request might not be possible or practical so rather than dismissing them outright try turning their question around on them and find out the reasoning behind it before responding. This might involve asking questions like “why do you think I should do this?” or “how does this benefit me?”, which will give them an opportunity to see things from your perspective and hopefully realize why they shouldn’t always get what they want! When negotiating with others we often forget about our own interests but in order to negotiate effectively, we need to remember that we’re all working towards our own goals and will only be able to achieve them if both parties are satisfied. So rather than just trying to get what you want from the other party, think about their perspective too and consider how your requests can help them achieve their end goal. This is where empathy plays a key role in negotiation – it helps us understand why someone has certain needs or wants which influences whether people feel comfortable negotiating with us or not. If they don’t trust that you’ll treat their interests fairly then they won’t readily open up so try coming across as more empathetic by focusing on understanding others before being understood yourself e.g show an interest in who they are as a person beyond work etc., demonstrate warmth, listen actively, be nonjudgmental, don’t interrupt them, etc.
Mention what you can do for the other person in a way that is both believable and doesn’t come across as overconfident (i.e “I’m sure I could help you out with your project if we were to negotiate”) then ask how they feel about potentially working together on this basis instead of just laying all your cards down at once e.g by saying “What would it take so that we could work together?” or something along these lines which gives us more information about their perspective too and consider how your requests can help them achieve their end goal. This is where empathy plays a key role in negotiation – it helps us understand why someone has certain needs or wants and how our requests can help them achieve this.
Is also a key skill to have here as things aren’t always going to go the way you want them to. Try and avoid sticking rigidly with your initial position i.e “if I do this for you then it’s £X” – maybe offer a better price or an alternative solution instead which will help both parties walk away from negotiations feeling satisfied that they’ve achieved something positive out of it (assuming we’re not negotiating over whether someone has done their homework.
You’re not going to get what you want straight away and trying to rush the process or be aggressive in your negotiation may well backfire on you. Learning how to tell when someone is ready for a ‘yes’ will help both parties avoid confusion, frustration, or anger later down the line.
Make sure that everyone keeps track of where they are – if we don’t know exactly who’s promised what then it can lead down some very frustrating paths! Keep each other updated with new information as and when it comes up so that nothing gets missed along the way.
In a business setting, it’s vital that the people involved all have a shared understanding of what success looks like. If there are conflicting ideas about what this should be then you need to work through these as best you can and come out with an agreement on each party’s expectations for the project or deal – without letting anyone down!
Prepare backup plans – even if everyone agrees on how they want things to go, remember that sometimes things will fall apart anyway. Preparation can save us from feeling (and being) stuck in a difficult situation but having ways to move forward is really important too.
is an art form that can be used to help you get what you want without alienating people or losing their trust. If we are asking someone else for something then it is important not to assume they should just give it – sometimes this takes some convincing!
People skills, negotiation, and persuasion are all valuable tools to add to your toolbox if you work in a customer service environment as part of the Frontline Team at Help Scout. We’ve pulled together our top five tips on how to use them effectively.
Make sure your actions match up with what you say; never lie or mislead people if you can avoid it – this will get you into trouble in the long run! If someone were to ask me what I thought of Help Scout, I would tell them that we have a strong ethical policy that our employees are expected to follow: no lying about anything ever. We also expect everyone at Help Scout, to be honest in every part of their work.
If you want to negotiate well, think carefully about what your goals are. Ask yourself why it’s important for you and the other party (your customer) that this negotiation works out in a way that is beneficial for everyone involved. You need to make sure that both parties feel as though they’re getting something from the deal – whether it be money or value of some kind – otherwise neither side will benefit!
When we sit down with our team members on client calls, one thing I always stress is looking at alternative solutions such as ‘what if nothing comes off this list?’ It can sometimes help when talking through different options instead of focusing too much on just one outcome; don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Negotiation is a skill that can be practiced and improved upon over time. The more you do it, the better your skills will become!
It’s important to understand what type of negotiator you are too – yes/no or grey? You may also find yourself in situations where you have multiple people involved with conflicting interests; how would they each like to see this workout? What sort of deal can we strike for everyone so that no one walks away feeling cheated and everything gets done as promised? Have these conversations beforehand if possible so everyone knows exactly what their role is going to be in order to achieve success. Most importantly though, don’t take any one person’s answer personally because at the end of the day it has nothing to do with you, it’s all about what they need. In the workplace, this is a great skill to have because there will always be different opinions on how things should work, and therefore where possible try not to take anything personally.
As a leader, there are many times where you’ll have to make decisions for the good of your company. This means that people will look at it from their own individual perspective and not necessarily understand why things had to be done in such a way because they lack full context. In these cases, try using phrases like “it wasn’t personal” or even go as far as saying something along the lines of “I’m sorry if this decision is going affect anyone negatively but I can assure you we looked through all possible options.” This takes away any fears and shows everyone that although things weren’t executed how they may have liked them to, everything was handled with the utmost care so therefore shouldn’t be directly criticized on an emotional level.
One of the most underrated and important skills that any negotiator can have is being able to problem-solve. It’s easy for anyone, whether you’re in an official negotiation or not, to get caught up in all the emotional responses happening around them but it’s equally as important that negotiators remain calm and collected so they are able to think rationally about how best handle a situation if negotiations start going south. One way to help improve your ability at problem-solving is through creative thinking exercises like these.
Another very important skill to have when negotiating is the ability to build rapport with those you are meeting. Rapport building can help bring people together and make negotiations more successful because it creates a sense of trust between parties, something that’s necessary for reaching an agreement. One way to start creating better rapport in any situation is by listening actively and showing interest in what others are saying.
If these negotiation skills seem difficult or too complicated don’t worry! The most important thing negotiators need is practice – so if you’re just starting out try practicing some of these techniques on your friends, family members, etc., as well as roleplaying different scenarios using them before trying them out during official negotiations.
Final Thoughts on What are good negotiation skills?
One way to start creating better rapport in any situation is by listening actively and showing interest in what others are saying. If these negotiation skills seem difficult or too complicated don’t worry! The most important thing negotiators need is practice – so if you’re just starting out try practicing some of these techniques on your friends, family members, etc., as well as roleplaying different scenarios using them before trying them out during official negotiations. What are good negotiation skills?
Do you want to learn more about how do real estate agents negotiate? Check out these Best Books on Real Estate Negotiation.