Negotiation is the art of reaching a compromise or agreement through discussions with others.
The dialogue is intended to reach an understanding, resolve a point of difference or to gain an advantage in the outcome.
Good communication skills are the cornerstone and the life blood of negotiations, and that includes listening, as well as speaking. Positive negotiations are directly proportional to the level of communication, both verbal and non verbal. The most articulate argument will usually win in the long run, and it will be based on compromise and trust. (Learn more about effective communication skills)
Organize your Thoughts Before The Negotiation
Before negotiations begin, draw up an outline of what it is you want to include in your negotiations and the overall result. This will help you get your message across in a clear and concise manner. Being organized in thought will prevent sending unclear or mixed messages.
Keep in mind negotiations may change based on discussions with the other side, and it is essential to have a game plan in place. It is also beneficial to have a Plan B to bring negotiations back to where you want them in the event they veer off course. When that happens, take a few minutes to regroup and restate your purpose.
Compromise is a key aspect of negotiation, and it is necessary to know what you are willing to give up in exchange for what you want. Always include the negotiable items in your outline. The exchange should be fair and equitable to both sides.
Always Listen to the Other Side (Key to Effective Communication!)
Listening is an essential component when communicating with others. You have to make your message understood as well as understand what the other side is offering.
Recognize communication is a two way street and the outcome of any negotiations are subject to discussion, whether it works or does not work for one or both sides of the table.
Being a good listener with an open mind will allow you to hear the details being offered and key information to use as you search for solutions to your negotiations. Keep notes, if necessary, to make sure you are tracking the necessary information.
Trust is an Important Element (Crucial for Win-Win Negotiations)
Building trust with the other side is the key component in negotiations.
Being clear and concise with words and action, and action being body language, will build trust with your opposition and bring negotiations to a new level and a positive conclusion.
When you come across as trustworthy and not manipulative or cutting, negotiations will reach a positive level and the opposition will return the favor. If you have a hidden agenda, that agenda will be as transparent as a ghost and negotiations will never get to a level where anything will be accomplished.
The ability to exchange ideas is part of negotiating, and the ability to listen and understand is complimentary to the exchange. To be successful at both requires a clear and concise plan spoken in a clear and concise manner. Communication is the vehicle that delivers your message and improving your communication skills will upgrade your vehicle. Performance will improve, and negotiations will be successful.