Mastering the art of negotiations - The Nation Online

Mastering the art of negotiations

From time to time, we are all required to negotiate for one thing or another. It helps to know the best way to go about it. Below are the 10 things you can do to improve your negotiation success rate:

  1. Remove the egos: Ego is the enemy of negotiations. Bring the egos down when coming to the negotiation table. Egos will stand in the way of fruitful negotiations. You need an environment where both or all parties feel comfortable to express themselves freely.
  2. Be fact based: Emotions are another great enemy of negotiations. If you keep to facts, you will avoid the unwanted emotions. Gather your facts before you come to negotiation table. Be fact based in your negotiations and this way, you will greatly boost the success rate of your negotiations.
  3. Focus on end result: Do not be carried away by the conduct of the other party or parties. Do not be carried away by emotions. Do not be carried away by winning easy battles along the negotiation journey. Focus only on the end result. Work towards finding a lasting solution that is fair to all the concerned parties.
  4. Be respectful: You may be tempted to tear the other party down, to show him or her that you are great and the best. Avoid those temptations. Instead, be respectful because that is a good ingredient for negotiations. If you are respectful, chances are that the other party will return the favour and will be respectful to you as well. This way, the negotiation is very likely to end well and beneficial to both or all parties involved.
  5. Be sincere with your concerns: If you have any concerns, open up and table them to the negotiation forum. This way, you are likely to come out of the negotiation engagement with most if not all your issues sorted out.
  6. Use ‘We’ instead of ‘I’: Have noticed that if the other party keeps using “I” and “me” all the time, you get frustrated or put off? Similarly, the other parties will be put off if you keep using the ‘First Person’ in the negotiations. As much as possible, use ‘We’ and ‘us’. Be inclusive as we work towards some consensus!
  7. Use appropriate body language: Your body speaks louder than your words. As you negotiate, sit in a way that shows you are not imposing, not angry and not aggressive. Sit comfortably and demonstrating professionalism and friendship, approachability and respect.
  8. Be patient: Make enough time for negotiation. It is not something you can easily limit in time domain. Certainly, you cannot do negotiations in a hurry. Be patient and take your time when negotiating. This will help you to be calm, respectful and you are likely to have a fruitful negotiation if you are patient enough.
  9. Be ready for a compromise: Do not go into negotiation with the mind that you will be winner and that you will win everything. Be ready for a compromise. Be ready for a win-win settlement. Remember that getting half of the expected maximum result is a much fairer deal than getting nothing at all! Also remember that the other party is also expecting 100 percent. And so, meeting somewhere in between is never a completely bad idea.

10.Learn effective communication: With effective communication, you stand to have a very productive and fruitful negotiation. It helps to invest your time in acquiring good oral and written communication skills.  With good and effective communication skills, you will in fact have an edge in the negotiations. As a result, the balance of compromise may easily tilt towards your direction!

Good luck as you implement some of the key strategies that you can use in negotiations. If you implement these tips in your negotiations, you stand the chance to gain more in the negotiation compromises. Good luck as you rise and shine with effective negotiations.

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