Negotiation - 10 Skills To Future Proof Yourself

Negotiation - 10 Skills To Future Proof Yourself

In this ninth post on 10 Skills You Need To Future Proof Yourself, we’re focusing on ‘Negotiation’.

What is ‘negotiation’?

Why is it that the most important skills in life aren’t taught in school?

Take negotiation for example.

If you stop and think about it, you are negotiating all the time. You negotiate daily with your spouse, children, friends and work colleagues.

It may be over time. It may be over money.

The point is, negotiation is about two or more parties reaching an agreement whereby each party feels their needs have been met satisfactorily.

More often than not, one party feels that the other has unfairly gained the upper hand. If you are on the ‘winning’ side it’s important to recognise it’s not about winning at all costs.

The best negotiators find an outcome that works for both parties. This is because long term relationships are built on trust and fairness.

The key to being a good negotiator is not only being crystal clear about your objectives but also understanding and acknowledging what matters most to your negotiation partner.

The good news is nobody is born a brilliant negotiator.

Like most things in life, mastering negotiation requires a mix of theory and plenty of practice.

Why is it important?

  • It allows you to create more favourable outcomes for yourself in both your personal and professional lives.

  • All forms of business require some form of negotiation. You can’t avoid it, so you need to embrace it as opposed to hiding from it.

  • Good negotiations contribute to healthy long term relationships. This is important if you are building your career or your own business.

How can I get better at it?

Here are six ways to improve your ability to negotiate:

1) Learn to be a good listener. Really listen to what the other party is saying.

2) Learn about the ‘anchoring’ technique. If you're buying, be first and start the bidding low. If you're selling, start the bidding high.

3) Communicate your requirements clearly. Make sure the other party knows exactly what you want.

4) Use silence as a tool. Let the other party reveal information that might help you to negotiate better terms.

5) Take your time. The best decisions are rarely made under pressure.

6) Do your best to control your emotions. Avoid negotiating when tired, hungry or unwell. Pick your most relaxed state to do your deals.

5 books to read

The following books will help you to get a better understanding:

1. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury

2. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

3. Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman

4. Getting Past No: Negotiating With Difficult People by Roger Fisher and William Ury

5. Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator by Gary Noesner

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