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Top 7 negotiation skills to posses 

top 7 negotiation skills

There are many situations where you need to negotiate at work, regardless of your role. You may be part of negotiations between co-workers within or in other departments, and even clients. Topics to negotiate to include a project, salary, your position, contract terms, project timelines, or more. Therefore, you will need a variety of skills to be a successful negotiator. 

These are several skills to help excel in negotiation that you can start to practice in any situation.

  1. Planning

The best negotiators enter a discussion with at least a backup plan. Consider all possible outcomes and make sure to be prepared for each of these scenarios.

2. Communication 

By establishing clear communication, you can avoid misunderstandings that could prevent you from reaching a compromise. Active listening is also part of communication skills that is also crucial for understanding another’s opinion in negotiation. Active listening ensures you’re able to engage and later recall specific details without needing information repeated

3. Emotional intelligence 

Emotional intelligence here means the ability to control your own emotions and recognize others’ feelings. Being conscious of the emotional dynamics during a negotiation can allow you to remain focused on the core issues. If you’re unsatisfied with the current negotiation, express the need for a break so you and the other party can resume later with refreshed perspectives. Your emotional intelligence will also be required to manage expectations. Just as you should enter a negotiation with a clear goal, the person you converse with also likely has their own defined expectations. If you are certain that you might not be able to agree to each other’s terms, then try adjusting your expectations. Skilled expectation management involves maintaining a balance between being a firm negotiator and a collaborative one. Remember to always be open-minded as well to allow any ideas to flow without judgments and reluctance.

4. Adaptability

Since every negotiation is unique and the situation within a singular negotiation may change from one day to the next, being adaptable is key. You should always be prepared for an involved party who may change their demands abruptly. While it’s difficult to plan for every possible situation, a good negotiator can adapt quickly and determine a new plan whenever needed. 

5. Persuasion

Being the key skill in negotiation, your ability to persuade will help you define your proposed solution and why it is beneficial to all while encouraging them to support your point of view. Assertiveness goes hand in hand with persuasion as it allows you to express your opinions while respecting the other side’s perspectives.

6. Integrity

Having strong ethical and moral principles is an essential skill for a negotiator. You should be able to follow through on commitments and demonstrate trustworthiness by avoiding over-promising of things you cannot keep.  

7. Problem-solving x decision making

Remember the initial purpose of any negotiation is to identify the problem and find a solution. Being able to come up with win-win solutions to problems is the key determinant of a successful negotiator, followed by acting decisively during the process of negotiation. Because sometimes it may be necessary to agree to comprise during a bargaining arrangement, hence, you will need to be able to react decisively.  

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