There is a common conception about negotiations and that it is it would become confrontational or uncomfortable. However, the truth is it doesn’t have to be unless you don’t play your cards right. One other common misconception when it comes to becoming a better negotiator is that the best ones are born that way.
It may seem that way for many people, but actually, the best negotiators out there are made through education, knowledge, practice, developing, and refining negotiating techniques over time. With experience, it also helps the person to decipher the mood shifts, tone, expression, body language, and even what’s going on in the mind of the person sitting across the table.
If your work requires negotiating frequently, it is a good idea to brush up your negotiation skills to help you prepare better and ensure desired outcomes.
Prepare in Advance
Most negotiations can get lengthy as well as intense. Preparing well for such negotiations in advance ensures you have the answers ready to any questions and concerns that may come up. It would add to your confidence and help you stand your ground. If you aren’t prepared well, you will get shaky when an unexpected query comes up. Take time to do thorough research and create a reference point around which the negotiation may revolve.
Ascertain the Objectives
Negotiations are meant to achieve certain specific objectives. Ascertaining these objectives beforehand would help you stay focused on your goals. It is this clarity that would empower you and ensure you stay on track throughout negotiations. Moreover, once the goals of negotiations are defined, it becomes easier to develop a strategy to achieve it.
Make Backup Plans
It is important to go into negotiation, assuming you would be able to get what you want. However, negotiations are primarily reconciling in nature, and you might’ve to compromise somewhere. Negotiators have to be a realist and understand that not everything may go as per the plan. It is for this reason, think of backup plans to fall on in case the primary plan and corresponding objectives get derailed. Creating backup plans in advance would help you have handy options you can choose from.
Understand the Other Party
Don’t focus on yourself too much that you come across as self-centered or egoistic. The best negotiations are one in which all the parties involved leave the table with smiling faces. Try to comprehend what’s on the mind of another person and his needs, wants, and the situation building up around the negotiations. It would help you come up with a mutually acceptable deal that’s beneficial for both parties.
These are the few factors that you need to work on to become a better negotiator. There are numerous other factors that affect and influence your negotiation skills. It includes your posture, body language, composure, and, most importantly, knowing when to stay quiet and listen. Know that not all negotiations may turn out to be successful, but it would definitely help you master negotiation skills.