Negotiation skills are essential across numerous careers. Most people will find themselves negotiating a pay rise or package with their current or future employer at some point in their careers. A lot of people will be involved in closing a deal whether as a buyer or a seller. Either way, no matter what the negotiation is about, the result should always be the same: both parties leave happy.
So what steps can you take to ensure that your negotiations run smoothly and result in you achieving your goals?
Firstly it’s important to identify the aims and desired results for both yourself and the other party involved. You then have a very clear point from which to begin your negotiations and to decide which direction you should take.
A skilled negotiator is always prepared and you can do this by determining what offers or alternatives you could suggest to help meet both parties’ goals. If you can, consider any past negotiations that you have had with this party to establish your common goals and what makes them happy.
Your communication skills are vital when negotiating as you need to communicate clearly and effectively. You do not want the other party to misunderstand your desired outcome or what you are offering, so always format your offer in a clear and where possible concise way.
When negotiating you should always ensure that you are really listening to what the other party is saying, both through their verbal communication and their body language. This will help you to know what they think about your offers or suggestions and if you need to make any changes.
A skilled negotiator should have a good poker face and remain cool, calm and collected. Try not to appear too keen as you will lose bargaining power and don’t show any frustration if negotiations are taking a little longer than you would like. You should always be aiming to keep communication friendly and open in order to move towards achieving your goals.
If you want to take control when conducting a negotiation, you need to be decisive. Being able to make decisions quickly during a negotiation is beneficial in that it is easier to settle quickly on a deal or a compromise.
It is important that you maintain good working relationships throughout and beyond your negotiations. Maintaining a positive atmosphere during any negotiation is important, so being persuasive (but not manipulative) and patient will keep your professional relationships sweet.
Whether you find yourself negotiating in your career, in the process of finding a new opportunity, or in your personal life, following these 7 steps will put you on the right track for success.