What Does It Take To Become A Successful Negotiator?

by drjim on May 31, 2013

 A negotiation is not like a race – you don't have to cross the finish line first

A negotiation is not like a race – you don’t have to cross the finish line first
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We can very easily get all caught up in thinking about how to be successful in our next negotiation. When we do this, we tend to focus on what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we plan on using in our next negotiation. This misses the point – negotiations are discussions between people and we always need to keep that at the front of our minds

What It Takes To Be Successful In A Negotiation

I’ve got some great news for you about negotiating: it turns out that negotiating is a skill that can be learned. While you are learning this skill, you’ll pick up a number of different ideas about how best to handle different negotiating situations. What you need to keep in mind is that not all ideas will work in all negotiations.

It’s up to you to learn as much about negotiating as you can. Then, with each new approach that you master, try it out in a small negotiation. Get comfortable with it. That way it will be a skill that will be available to you when you find yourself in the middle of a much bigger negotiation. Your goal always has to be to find ways to make both sides of the table leave the negotiation feeling that they were successful.

Every negotiator needs to realize that the outcome of their next negotiation is not pre-ordained. The final result will be up in the air throughout most of the negotiation with the possibility of reaching a deal with the other side being just as likely as having to walk away empty handed. As always, the value of reaching a deal for both sides of the table may be enormous.

The Bottom Line Of Every Negotiation

It’s the value of the negotiation that makes the ability for you to negotiate well so very important. Simply because there can be so much at stake in every negotiation, you need to take the time to develop your negotiating skills.

You may have seen expert negotiators at work. Don’t be afraid! It turns out that these negotiators do not have any special skills that you can’t also develop.
They may have been negotiating longer than you and they may have more experience, but you can catch up to them given enough opportunities and enough time. The great thing about taking the time to invest in negotiating training for yourself is that the payback is almost immediate.

What All Of This Means For You

As negotiators, we are always searching for ways to make our next principled negotiation go faster and produce better results. It turns out that the answer to how to make this happen is actually pretty simple: we just have to take the time to seek out the right negotiation training.

The results of investing in negotiation training can be immediate for a negotiator. We’ll find ourselves with additional skills and techniques that we can put to use immediately in small negotiations and then use what we learn there when we find ourselves in negotiations where the stakes are much higher.

I’d like to leave you with one simple thought: you are in control of your negotiating career. You can become an expert negotiator if you are willing to take the time and invest in the training that will reveal the techniques that you’ll need to use in a wide variety of different negotiating situations. Now go out there and get some negotiation training!

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

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to capture what you’ve learned during a negotiation so that you’ll remember it next time?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Not all negotiations are the same. Some can make you feel a great deal of stress: perhaps large financial terms are being negotiated or a big business deal is being put together. When your stress level goes up, a different style of negotiating is called for.

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