Unfortunately, there is no single straight path to perfection in negotiations. Talks are like any other human interaction: they include time, place, context, interests of parties, skills of parties in delivering their viewpoint, and skills in finding solutions. That’s not to mention the personalities of negotiators and their hidden goals (like, ripping the opponent up to the last cent for the sake of promotion and long-term consequences be damned).
That’s why the honest answer to the question on how to boost one’s negotiation skills is a general one ‘to learn and practice.’ More accurate questions will be what skills to pump up and where to find coaches. In this, we can definitely help you. At the platform https://cosmitto.com.au/ you will find plenty of providers who have ample experience in actual negotiations and in explaining their intricacies in simple language to trainees.
Yet, if we started talking about a variety of skills to master, they can be grouped into four big areas. If you tap into each area and work on at least some of the skills belonging there, your personal growth as a negotiator will be steady and visible, to you and to others.
Learn to manage yourself first
This area can actually cover the whole psychology book, but we talk about few essential skills. In the talks, you need to control your emotions and keep track of your plans. You need to know what your soft emotional spot is, and how to react when someone hits it, voluntarily or accidentally. Besides, you need to learn to keep your plans in your mind while debating. Otherwise, you risk giving in too much or heading in the wrong direction altogether. Finally, learn to set your expectations right. Know what first bid to make (spoiler: make it a high one and then retreat slightly) and when to concede a bit in exchange for substantial gains. Expectations can prompt us to be stubborn when we need to be more flexible, and so lead to failure. Yet, the right expectations can also set us up for success and for being better decision-makers.
Learn to communicate
That’s a very valuable skill that will tide you over many a bottleneck in life. Here, we focus your attention on making a conversation and active listening. Making a conversation implies civility and an equal exchange of ideas. Active listening helps you to get what others actually mean and how their ideas fit (or don’t fit) into your image of a perfect deal. These skills will also help you greatly if you apply them in other daily situations, so don’t keep them stored in the back drawer for special occasions.
Learn to navigate negotiations
These skills are more technical and more specific, so after a couple of practicing sessions, you will master them in full. Here, we hint that you should:
– know your goals in these very negotiations;
– know what other people can and cannot do (their powers and limitations in the capacity of representatives of the other company);
– know your limitations and must-haves in this deal;
– know your BATNA (and know what BATNA is);
– know when to exit the negotiations for good.
Learn to see manipulations and to counter them
Yes, usually, some kind of unfair behavior will surface during the talks. We don’t encourage you to apply it, but we suggest that you should be able to recognize signs of manipulation, aggression, bluffing, or other dirty tricks, and know-how to stop them at once.
With these areas of skills boosted and some fresh training under your belt, you are ready to face important negotiations and make them end with the most beneficial results for your company and your reputation.