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The Art of Negotiation

Good negotiation is about securing a win-win outcome by bargaining to reach a deal. This process usually involves compromise and a strong ability to sell what you’re saying.

  1. Fail to prepare, then prepare to fail

The first step of any successful negotiation is preparation. If you are well prepared, you are less likely to be caught off guard if things do not plan out as you thought – giving you the ability to adjust your position quicker. Always ensure you prepare for all possible outcomes, even if they do not lie in your favour. You are more likely to control the discussion when things, not only veer in a different direction but become hostile or heated.

  1. Importance of Attitude

Secondly, maintaining a good attitude throughout helps to build a cooperative relationship. This can assist in moving a discussion from opposition to agreement. A good attitude also translates to confidence and working confidently optimizes your intended outcome.

  1. Find Your Style

Another effective tip is specifying your distinct negotiation style: Are you friendly and a good listener? Assertive and decisive in your communication? Or are you socially skilful and persuasive? 

Once you have recognised your style, honing your skills helps to perfect your points. This can be done by thinking carefully about which language you include in your discussion and what your body language shows.

  1. The Art of Listening

Next, it doesn’t always matter what you say, sometimes it is what you do not say that is more effective. Silence can sometimes mean defeat, that you are not prepared with a comeback response, and the other party will pick up on this.

Listening can be equally as effective; it allows you to gather information to help decide your next move and predict where the conversation will head next. Asking questions also ensures that you are actively listening to the other side, showing that you value the opinions given.

  1. Hone Your Skills

Once you have honed your skills you can put them into practice. Whichever negotiation style you carry, having confidence is key. Confidence shows that you believe in what you are saying, helping to influence and persuade with your points.

  1. Never Argue

A successful negotiation is not to be confused with an argument. It is always important to remember if you state your point or opinion more than 2 – 3 times you are in danger of crossing the line from being assertive to argumentative. This can make the discussion hostile and does not help both parties reach an agreeable outcome.

  1. Rule of Three

The best negotiations have 3 results in mind: the ideal result, the realistic result, and the fallback position. When aiming to win just to get the ideal result, rather than reaching a compromise, is not the best move to make. Between your own needs and the other parties’ needs, there needs to be a fair middle ground for bargaining.

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