How to Be a Great Negotiator
September 30, 2014 Leave a comment
In business careers, there are many times throughout the day when most of us are confronted with differing opinions and are forced to convince others of our ideas and negotiate. Most of us struggle in finding the right way to negotiate and either experience situations that quickly escalate or find ourselves backing off unhappily. Below are some easy tips to remember when approaching a situation that involves negotiation.
Learn how to say no. This is something many of us, especially women, struggle to do. The power of no is great; it was Lois Wyse who once said, “The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is no.” Be it just to take some “you” time rather than rushing off to another social gathering or saying “no” to adding yet another task to your plate at work, using this word can be incredibly empowering and effective. In all negotiations, big or small, give yourself some time to think about it, rather than just going with what others want.
Always come to the table prepared. Know exactly what you are going to say before the negotiation takes place. Make a list of the things you want to talk about and the points you want to make, and be assertive in your delivery. If you are more prepared than the person you are negotiating with, chances are the outcome will be in your favor.
Meet halfway. Understanding that not all negotiations will tilt in your favor is part of being a good coworker, leader, and negotiator. “The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people half way,” noted Henry Boyle. Regardless of the outcome of a negotiation or debate, it is important to always be honest and say exactly what is you want and why. Being a good negotiator means being authentic and able to back up whatever it is you are bringing to the table, as well as being flexible.
Most importantly, don’t forget the bigger picture. It is good to consider that though you might not always favor the outcome of a negotiation, the important thing is that you were able to effectively articulate your wants and needs. For most, being a good negotiator is only one part of a career in business. Keep the big picture in mind and allow negotiations to be a supplementary way to achieve your goals.