Negotiation Skills Explained: Tips and Success Strategies

Illustration by Isaac via Dribbble

Negotiation is an essential part of our lives. All relationships require negotiation to some extent. Whether we need to settle differences with classmates, discuss which movie to watch with our friends, or decide on a salary with an employer, we will never achieve our goals without these skills.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that negotiation requires us to reach a mutually beneficial outcome. Otherwise, it will never be successful. In other words, we need to lead a constructive conversation that leaves all parties satisfied. Let’s get deeper into what this entails.

We need to negotiate in many areas of our lives, and each of them has its nuances. For example, friends and family are usually more willing to compromise. That’s why it does not feel like negotiation most of the time.

However, possessing good negotiation skills will make it easier to get your way. Nevertheless, for a negotiation to be successful, sometimes you have to compromise as well. Academic negotiations, however, are much more difficult.

If you want to convince your instructor to extend your deadline, they probably have no reason to compromise with you. In this case, you need to come up with a convincing argument that sounds fair to them.

One of the hardest places to negotiate is your workplace. Employees do not often have very personal connections with their coworkers and employers. On top of that, employers are usually focused on their company’s needs.

Hence, negotiation in these circumstances becomes a battle of who is ready to sacrifice more. This is when you truly have to convince someone why your idea is better or why you deserve a higher salary. Finally, another type of negotiation in our lives occurs when we purchase goods and services.

You could try to lower the price of the shoes you want to buy or the potatoes at the farmer’s market. This type of negotiation is the easiest and can happen anywhere, but it is important to understand whether or not it is ethical to negotiate with a certain seller.

We know that it can be quite challenging to negotiate. The hardest part is to keep both you and your opponent’s interests in mind. It is easy to get carried away and think only about winning.

In that case, you will probably fail. Don’t forget that negotiation is not about winning or losing. Instead, it aims to find an outcome that benefits all parties. Now, why do we tend to fail in this regard?

Sometimes we have a hard time defining what the other person needs. To be successful in a negotiation, you need to know what to offer to your opponent. You must be attentive to their needs and desires. We also tend to get very emotional during the negotiating process.

Our ability to stay cool and collected flies out the window when we do not possess the skills to put our feelings aside and look at the situation from an omniscient perspective.

In other words, instead of criticizing our opponents, we need to try to sympathize with them. This brings us to the next challenge – not pushing too hard. You will probably not have a successful outcome if you do so.

On the other hand, it is also crucial to keep our confidence level high. Although we want to show our opponents that we care about their concerns, we shouldn’t let them think that they can push us over.

Show the other party you are in control of the situation and that you are trying to help them reach the best outcome. By the way, consistency also matters. You need to have a clear objective in mind when you start negotiating.

It is okay to let go of some of your needs to reach the best result, but you might look weak if you change too many of your initial requests. Last, but not least, patience is key. Negotiations can sometimes take a lot of time, effort, and energy. If you lose your patience at any point, you will probably lose the negotiation.

According to our infographic, there are three steps to a successful negotiation. Firstly, you need to plan your path. This means you have to decide what your desired outcomes are and how to get to them.

If you plan well, you will not be surprised throughout the discussion. Do not underestimate your opponent either. Try to figure out what their concerns and desires are. If you already know them to some extent, your experience will be easier.

After planning your strategy, you will need to implement the negotiation itself. Though being confident is great, we need to avoid letting arrogance cloud our judgment.

Make sure to let your opponent know that you are interested in their needs and you care about their success as well. This information and many other detailed tactics regarding the negotiation process can be found in the infographic.

Once you reach an agreement, it is essential to turn it into a contract. Otherwise, your opponent might want to keep changing some points. Information on the legality of the contract and the process of writing it is also presented in the infographic.

Finally, we end with some tips and tricks you can use for better negotiation. Not every negotiation will be successful. It is crucial to know when to walk away and save your energy. Do not take anything personally, and do not turn the discussion into a fight or battle.

Understand that the other side is not your enemy. Negotiations are not always win-win or lose-lose. For more detailed information on all of the tips provided here, make sure to check out the infographic below.

After reading it, you will be equipped with everything you need to be an excellent negotiator. Get some practice, and you will be unbeatable.

Negotiation Skills Explained Infographic
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