10 keys to guaranteed success in negotiations

Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” Although there’s some truth in that statement, we have learned, through trial and error, one skill that allows us to get more out of our time: successful negotiation.

Negotiation is an important skill that can help you save money, get the best deals and complete your goals. In order to negotiate successfully, it is important that you understand the tactics you may use effectively and how to utilize them to reach your goals.

The five cornerstones of successful negotiation skills are placing emphasis on common points; presenting clear arguments; being innovative and open to several options; focusing on the problem being dealt with; looking for a clear solution. The key is to be clear about your preferred outcome. However in the back of your mind you must be willing to compromise to some extent.

A good negotiator is someone who can effectively and efficiently communicate his wishes to other parties. He should also be able to accurately read the other party’s body language and mood to gauge what kind of effect his own arguments are having on him, how far he can push before the other party gives into his demands, or when he should drop the issue altogether.

A skilled negotiator is like an artist – constantly observing, taking in information and presenting it in a new form (either with words or with a picture, depending on the type of negotiation).

According to the gurus there are tactics to be used for negotiating:

  1. Be focused on the problem or issue. Logical arguments are the key to smooth negotiations.
  2. It is important to be firm yet polite when making a stand or presenting a point.
  3. Clearly emphasize the advantages and disadvantages.
  4. Be patient and let the process of negotiation take its course.
  5. Put ego aside and concentrate on the matter at hand. It is finding an amiable solution that’s important not self worth or position.
  6. Never threaten or manipulate the opposite party—it is completely unethical and unfair.
  7. Aim for solutions that are interest based and not what individual desires or aims are. It is best to consider any situation as a whole rather than from a personal view point.
  8. Avoid psychological traps and have the magnanimity to admit when you are wrong. Be open minded.
  9. Don’t accept weak solutions and try and negotiate a plausible settlement. Temporary measures are not what you need. A permanent solution must be sought.
  10. Value time, schedules, and deadlines. A good negotiator will not beat around the bush or adopt delay tactics or waste time talking about mundane matters. It is professional to immediately get down to the business at hand.

Most human beings are born negotiators. From the first breath a baby takes it makes all around him dance to his tunes. Most of us consciously or unconsciously do what we have to do to get our own way in life. And, if we look closely it is just mastering the art of negotiation.