How To Become A Better Negotiator

Caption: Five ways that you can improve your negotiating skills
Caption: Five ways that you can improve your negotiating skills
Image Credit:
mer chau

Let’s face it, being a negotiator is a tough job. When we realize that we need to find a way to get better at the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we use, the realization that we need to improve can appear to be such a big task that we will have no idea how best to start. It turns out that the right way to become a better negotiator is to take the big task of improving your skills and break it down into a set of smaller, more manageable tasks. /strong>Master these strategies and you’ll become a better negotiator!

Get Good At Preparing For A Negotiation

The people who do research on what can make us perform poorly in a negotiation have discovered that the #1 thing that can screw us up is simply not preparing adequately for a negotiation. All sorts of bad things can happen if we don’t take the time to prepare for a negotiation: we may end up making concessions that we didn’t mean to make, we may miss sources of value, and we may not be able to identify when we have a beneficial agreement before us.

In order to get ready for our next negotiation we need to take the time to prepare. We know that there is both homework and research that we’ll have to do and so we need to make sure that we reserve the time that will be needed to perform this work. There are additional things such as creating a checklist of things that we need to remember to do during the negotiation. Also, if time permits, we need to role play how we think the negotiation is going to go. One critical part of every preparation is for us to determine what our Best Alternative To A Negotiated Settlement (BATNA) is before the negotiation starts. Likewise, you are going to want to try to determine what the other side’s BATNA is also.

Get The Training That You Need

We all know that getting training is one of the best ways to become a better negotiator. However, just exactly what we need to do with this training is an open question. It turns out that the one thing that we really don’t want to do is to sit in a class and just take notes. A much better idea is to take the time to think about how the ideas that the instructor is sharing with you can be related to your next negotiation. When you don’t understand something that is being presented, put your hand up and ask a question about it. This is why it is so important when an idea is presented more than one time.

Understand That Mistakes Are Part Of Learning

One of the biggest challenges that we run into when we are working to become a better negotiator is that during our training, we are going to make mistakes. Nobody likes to be wrong, but all too often during training we start to become defensive when we realize that we are making bad decisions perhaps because we are over confident or because we are using faulty thinking.

We need to understand that mistakes do not reflect shortcomings on our part. It turns out that feeling uncomfortable about mistakes that we make while negotiating is an important step along the route of improving our negotiating skills. We all need to understand that we may have judgement biases that can cloud the way that we make decisions in a negotiation. One we realize this, we will then be able to improve our way of thinking during a negotiation.

Always Practice More

One of the techniques for becoming a better negotiator that we all understand is that we need to do more practice. It is only by taking the time to practice that we will be able to develop the skills needed to turn new ideas into negotiating strategies. Getting negotiation training is a good first step; however, it’s going to be how you choose to use the information that you learn that will have an impact on how you negotiate.

One you have learned new negotiating concepts in training, you need to think about what you’ve learned. You need to try out the new negotiating strategies and skills that you’ve acquired with people who will tolerate you making mistakes as you use these new tools. By using what you’ve learned, the new techniques will become part of your nature and they will replace the old habits that were not working for you.

Find A Coach That Works For You

The good news about working for an organization of any size is that there is probably someone in your organization that you can turn to in order to get help in improving your negotiating skills. With a little luck, instead of just telling you what to do in a particular situation that may arise during a negotiation, these knowledgeable individuals can help you improve your negotiating skills.

If you can find the right person who can provide you with coaching, then they can show you how to predict what will and what will not work during a negotiation. They can also be a big help in helping you to understand what happened during a negotiation after the fact. You are going to want to work with someone who can help you set goals and determine what techniques to try out.

What All Of This Means For You

As good of a negotiator as you are, we all know that we can become better. In order to get better at this thing that we call principled negotiation what we need to do is to find ways to go about improving our negotiating skills. It turns out that there is not just one thing for us to do, but rather several that we should all be doing at the same time.

In order to become better negotiators, we need to be willing to take the time to prepare for a negotiation. If we take the time prepare, we can avoid making too many concessions and we’ll go into a negotiation knowing what our BATNA is. Becoming better at negotiating starts with getting more training. When we get training we need to make sure that we spend time thinking about how we’ll go about using what we’ve learned. When we are learning new ways to negotiate, we need to be ready to make mistakes. This can be uncomfortable, but it’s the way that we improve the way that we think about negotiating. The only way that we can improve is by practicing what we do. In order to learn how to become better, we need to find a coach who can help us become more effective.

As negotiators, we need to realize that we can all become better at what we do. All we need to do is realize that there is room to improve and then take steps to boost our skills. Taking the time to become better negotiators is how we’ll be able to close better deals and close deals faster.

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

Question For You: How often do you think that you should meet with a negotiation coach if you want to become a better negotiator?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As negotiators we are always under pressure by our management to “close the deal”. I think that we are open to wrapping up our current negotiation as quickly as possible. However, we face a number of issues in trying to accomplish this no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we use. For a number of different reasons, a negotiation can drag on for weeks, months, or even years. Another reason is that one of the parties involved in the negotiation may be unwilling to make a best offer that would wrap up the negotiation. Finally, the presence of tough competition can cause the other side to not want to close with you. Given all of this, what can we do as negotiators to make a closing happen faster?

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