6 Tips To Become A Better Negotiator
As a working professional, the process of negotiating is a common practice within a business environment. Whether you are negotiating a price, working conditions or project outcomes – it is important to be a confident negotiator and use this skill to your advantage. A good negotiator allows the other party to share their points, and remains professional and fair at all times. If you would like some further tips on how you can become a better negotiator in the workplace, try these six.
Before your meeting, write a list of what you would like to discuss, as well as any goals or outcomes you would like to see achieved. For each goal or outcome, try to determine the key reasons as to why this needs to happen. To be a better negotiator, it is important to have contingencies in place in case the conversation does not go as planned. It is also important to consider the weaknesses of the other side, and keep these in mind when planning ahead.
2. Keep it brief and direct
If you talk in too much detail, the other party will find it difficult to determine exactly what you’re asking for. Aim to maintain professionalism and politeness whilst keeping your points direct and brief. This will ensure you get your point across accurately, and everyone is clear on the key goals and outcomes. If the other party asks for clarification, don’t hesitate to give it to them, but always begin your argument with the direct point in mind.
3. Remember your competence
Before you step into the meeting, take a moment to reflect on your high level of competence. Be confident in what you have to say, and know that you are negotiating because you believe you have the right to do so. It is very difficult to negotiate if you do not have confidence in your abilities, so ensure that you remind yourself of your goals, and approach the meeting with self-belief.
4. Discuss in person
Whilst much of today’s business world is online or via teleconference, it is always preferable to negotiate in person. When in person, you are able to be a better negotiator by gauging the emotions of the person whom you are meeting with. Conversations in person also allow for passion to be reflected, as well as a chance to express your words, rather than just write them.
5. Imagine the impacts of your success
Generally when you are negotiating, it is for the greater good and success of your colleagues or organisation. Throughout the entire process, try to imagine the impacts of this successful chat, and keep the end goal in mind. It will ensure you remain focused on the whole picture, and don’t allow emotions to get the better of you. It will also assist in helping you to maintain professionalism, with a professional focus consistently in mind.
6. Seek the advice of someone in authority
If you feel that you are lacking evidence in any area; seek the advice of someone who has authority on that particular topic. Using the advice of others as your negotiating power is often a very successful tactic. Better yet, if you are able to bring this person to your discussion, you are even more likely to gain further negotiating power.
What do you think? The above six tips will certainly assist in helping you to become a better negotiator, but I’m sure there is some other fantastic negotiating advice out there. Share your negotiation experiences by commenting below, and join the AIB conversation.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.