Any of us can benefit from the steps to improve negotiation skills. Negotiation is something each of us does on a daily basis. We do it to get the other person to see our point of view, for your single or collective advantage, resolve a point of difference etc. at home, work, school, even as part of our social interaction.
Whether it is to help you increase your self-confidence or assertiveness, for the good of your business or professional life or in personal situations, you may be able to benefit from the steps to improve negotiation skills set out below:
1. Be informed
Do your homework beforehand: get all the information, consider possibilities and be prepared for possible outcomes.
This way you are prepared for any objection that the opposite person may have and can present a solution.
Being better informed and better prepared means better outcomes of any negotiating process.
2. Think from the opposite perspective
This is the second one of the steps to improve negotiation skills that not only helps you think more fairly, it also makes you appear fair-minded, which is at least as important.
If the other person sees that you are willing to be fair, they may be willing to be the same. However if it’s an opportunistic person on the other side, this may backfire, so don’t appear to bend over backwards to please either.
3. Always appear flexible
Being rigid and pedantic never works when you’re trying to negotiate, because it makes you come across as autocratic and unbending; not good adjectives to use for a negotiator unless it’s a hostage situation!
4. Really listen
When you say “I’m listening”, really listen and at least appear to give thought to the other point of view.Learning to listen is one of the important steps to improve negotiation skills, because it can make you appear more sincere and approachable.
5. Attitude, Attitude, Attitude
Your attitude is very important for a successful negotiation: you need to appear firm but not rigid, flexible but not wish-washy. You have to covey to the other person that you are very clear about your objectives but that you’re willing to consider theirs as well.
6. Practice your skills
Once you’ve worked out the steps to improve negotiation skills, practice them. Try out your negotiation skills in less important, non-threatening situations so that when it comes to the crunch you’re ready with your arsenal.