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Set Yourself up for Success by Strengthening These 3 Negotiation Skills

by Olufisayo
Negotiation Skills

Negotiating effectively is a critical business skill that impacts every element of a company’s operation. From casual internal chats among colleagues to formal interactions with suppliers and prospective clients, negotiation is vital for achieving your business goals.

Developing your negotiation skills significantly affects your capacity to close successful deals in shorter time frames with the most favorable terms for your company, directly improving your bottom line.

Negotiation not only helps accomplish the objectives of each specific deal, but it also allows you to demonstrate your value to the other party, instill trust in your business, and resolve conflict, helping you build a strong foundation for future, long-term relationships that can add further value long after the deal has concluded.

Three Crucial Negotiation Skills

Increase your negotiation power by strengthening the following skills:

1. Research

Knowledge is power, and properly preparing for a negotiation is the first skill you must hone to guide any negotiation toward an optimal outcome. Before you ever reach the negotiating table, you must conduct comprehensive research into the other party to discover everything you can about their values, credibility, and reputation.

Review any articles, blog posts, online reviews, and other resources you can find that concern the deals they have concluded, the terms of the deals, their dedication to adhering to these terms, and the quality of relationships they share with their business partners.

Also, make sure to consider your objectives for the current deal and how they correspond with the other party’s needs, interests, and priorities, along with any constraints they may face.

This information gives you valuable insight that allows you to set expectations for the negotiation, anticipate how the other party will reply to your proposal, and develop a flexible strategy to guide the negotiation toward a mutually beneficial solution that leaves all parties feeling satisfied with the value they gained from the deal.

2. Communication

Communication serves as the bedrock for all negotiations, and the ability to properly communicate is one of the most important skills you need to develop to become a proficient negotiator.

You must be able to devote your full attention to the negotiation, clearly and effectively share your ideas with the other party while keeping your objectives in mind, and be prepared to handle any potential concerns or problems during the discussion.

Ask open-ended questions to gain more information on the other party, confirm you understand the core concepts of the negotiation, request an explanation for unclear points, and resolve any concerns. Demonstrate active listening to show the other party that you recognize their needs, value their perspective, and are committed to approaching the negotiation with the goal of a win-win outcome.

When you both collaborate rather than viewing the deal as a competition, you can work together to make decisions, creatively solve problems, and determine the best course for helping you reach a mutually beneficial outcome.

3. Emotional Intelligence

Some people mistakenly view emotions as an obstacle to successful negotiation, but a genuinely skillful negotiator understands that emotional intelligence affects any deal just as strongly as the practical and financial matters you will be discussing. Moreover, positive and negative emotions may both come into play during a negotiation, so knowing how to control your own emotional responses and how to respond to the emotions of others is critical for facilitating communication and cooperation.

Cultivating emotional intelligence requires three key components: self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness. Self-awareness comprises the ability to acknowledge and understand your emotions, recognize how they influence the people around you, and identify their valuable role in decision-making.

In addition, you should know the value of your products or services, be able to sufficiently explain the benefits you can offer to the other party, and base your negotiation strategy on hard data, logic, and compelling arguments.

Self-management refers to managing your emotions effectively by handling the negotiation with professionalism, courtesy, and empathy. This ensures the other party can fully comprehend your position and trust your judgment, allowing them to move forward in the negotiation with confidence.

Finally, social awareness involves the ability to discern, interpret, and adequately respond to the other party’s emotions by hearing the words they speak and examining their tone of voice, eye contact, and body language cues to uncover the full meaning behind their message.

When you master emotional intelligence, you can approach any negotiation from a position of strength, reduce the likelihood of aggressive bargaining tactics, and ensure you reach the best outcome that provides value to both parties. Ultimately, the components of emotional intelligence work together to build trust, encourage cooperation and creative problem-solving, increase the success of your negotiation strategy, and facilitate the growth of long-term business relationships.

Strengthen Your Negotiation Skills Today

Like any other professional skill, strengthening your negotiation skills requires expert, hands-on instruction and regular practice. The fastest way to improve these skills is through Negotiation training so we suggest you consider developing a program internally or finding an external partner with this area of expertise.

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom from Pexels

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