3 Ways To Become A Better Negotiator

by drjim on August 9, 2013

You have to know what to change if you want to become better

You have to know what to change if you want to become better
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In every negotiator’s career, there comes a time when we hit a wall. We’ve believe that we’ve learned all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that there are to learn. We know how good we are right now, we know that we can become better, but we simply don’t know how to make that happen. This is when a lot of negotiators stall out. They simply lose their way and for the rest of their careers they maintain their current skill level and they never become any better. I’m not going to let that happen to you. I know what you need to do to get over this roadblock and I’m going to tell you what you need to be doing.

Become The Other Side Of The Table

One of the reasons that negotiators stop growing is because they become too focused on seeing the world through their own eyes. If you want to take your negotiating skills to the next level, then you need to learn to see the world differently.

Specifically, what you need to learn to do is to take the time to see the world through the eyes of the other side of the table. This means that for at least a brief moment or two you need to “become them”. Understand what they want to get out of the negotiations. By doing this you’ll be able to find more ways to reach a deal that will make both sides of the table satisfied.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

It’s interesting the types of personalities that get drawn to the world of negotiating. There seem to be a lot of engineers and lawyers. These types of people really like to execute processes that have a very well defined start, middle, and end. The problem, of course, is that that’s not how a negotiation works.

Instead, you need to approach every negotiation with a sense of mystery. Sure, you can plan out your negotiation, but I’m willing to bet that it’s not going to play out the way that you think that it will. If you understand that unexpected things are going to happen during your next negotiation, then you won’t be surprised when they do and you’ll be able to roll with it instead of getting upset.

It Is All About You

In the end, every negotiation comes down to you. Were you ready? Did you have the negotiating skills needed to reach a successful outcome? If the result of the negotiation was not what you had intended or wanted, then it’s probably your fault.

It’s all too easy to find other scapegoats to blame things on. The reality is that you are responsible for how your negotiations turn out. If you don’t have the skills that you need in order to reach a successful outcome, then it’s going to be your responsibility to go out and get the negotiating training that you’ll need in order to reach the next level.

What All Of This Means For You

As negotiators, we all want to become better. It can be frustrating when we reach a certain level of skill and can’t find a way to continue to improve. The good news is that we can still get better, we just need to find out how to do it.

Three ways to improve our negotiating skills include taking the time see the world through the other side of the table’s eyes, expecting the unexpected, and realizing that we are the ones who are responsible for our own successes and failures. These three insights will allow you to reach the next level of negotiating.

In the end, each one of us is ultimately responsible for developing our own negotiating skills. By listening to my advice and following these three suggestions, by the time that your next principled negotiation rolls around, you can take your negotiating skills to the next level and become even better than you are today.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: Given that the unexpected will happen, what’s the best way to prepare for a negotiation?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

In order to be successful during a negotiation, what skills are really required? One skill that is all too often overlooked in my opinion is bravery. I like to define bravery as the willingness to try something that just might fail. If you are willing to take this leap of faith, sometime you can rescue a negotiation that seemed like it was doomed to failure. Just exactly how a negotiator can become brave is something that I believe that we need to talk about…

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