Students are often dismised as too young and inexperienced to take seriously during negotiation. If you’ve run into this hurdle, Negotiation Experts say the following five techniques can squash that image and help you become an outstanding negotiator.
Set the right tone
How a negotiation starts can make or break the entire process. People are quick to judge and those impressions can help or hinder your progress. So, be intentional about kicking things off on the right foot.
Here are a few ways to set the right tone:
- If you’re meeting in person, introduce yourself with a firm handshake.
- Dress professionally and sit up straight.
- Be on time and thank them for agreeing to meet.
- Be friendly and enthusiastic but maintain a professional attitude.
Be well prepared
Information is power, especially when you’re trying to persuade someone. Taking time to prepare not only allows you to collect key details but also gives you time to craft a compelling argument. Showing up well-prepared is also a powerful sign of respect which can help earn you the other person’s trust.
So, before the meeting:
- Research the topic and familiarize yourself with the relevant facts and figures.
- Identify your most important objectives and determine your best alternative..
- Try to understand the other person’s interests, needs, and goals.
Practice active listening
Negotiations aren’t simply a chance to make your case heard, so it pays to avoid dominating the conversation. Skillful negotiators know that active listening is critical to show respect and pick up on subtle details that can tip the scales in your favor.
To practice active listening:
- Hang on to every word that the other person has to say without interrupting.
- Pay attention to body language and tone of voice.
- Ask open-ended questions to encourage the other person to keep talking.
- Paraphrase what was said to confirm your understanding.
Aim for a win-win outcome
Showing sincere interest in a win-win outcome impacts the tone of the meeting. Instead of coming across as rigid or demanding, you appear to be open-minded and willing to compromise. This approach helps build goodwill and trust, increasing your chances of getting a favorable deal.
To craft a win-win solution:
- Think of the long-term mutual gain instead of the short-term personal gain.
- Identify areas of agreement and shared interests.
- Focus on issues, not people.
- Be open to ideas and suggestions.
Negotiations can be stressful and stir up powerful emotions. Emotions can be useful tools, but they can also derail conversations if not managed properly. Managing your feelings helps you remain clear-headed, so you can assess the situation objectively.
To better manage your emotions:
- Take deep breaths if you start to feel overwhelmed.
- Pause before you speak to collect your thoughts.
- Avoid reacting to the other person’s negative emotions.
- Keep sight of the big picture.
These are some of the negotiation techniques that are pivotal to getting a favorable outcome . So, practice them often so you can tackle your next meeting with confidence.