Essential negotiation skills: Some people really are born with developed negotiation skills – or rather a personality that makes negotiations easier for them. They can defend their point of view and persuade the opponent in a few minutes. But most of us have to study, practice, and visit special training sessions to master negotiation skills.
Essential negotiation skills
People with high emotional intelligence negotiate more effectively. They can distance themselves from the process and are aware of every word and action. Good negotiators can manage their own emotions and their opponent’s emotions alike. They are not in a hurry to jump to conclusions and don’t pressure their opponents.
Experienced negotiators can find new options for cooperation and the best ways to make balanced decisions. Three main skills based on time allow you to be successful in any negotiation.
This skill helps to analyze the negotiator’s own emotions, the opponent’s emotions, and the dynamics of the negotiation process. You have to repeatedly ask yourself a few questions to develop this skill. These are the questions:
- What emotions am I experiencing?
- Are my emotions in line with the negotiation process?
- Are my emotions helping or hindering my negotiation goals?
- What is happening to the negotiation process?
- Are we advancing or wasting time?
- What emotions and feelings is my opponent experiencing at this moment?
- Are these emotions driving the negotiation progress forward or into a dead end?
All these questions are necessary for tracking the factors interfering with the negotiation process, changing the negotiation tactics and using other more effective techniques.
If you want to win negotiations, you have to research your opponent’s values, interests and needs. We are all so different in our preferences!
These are the standard questions for studying your opponent:
- What is the main goal of these negotiations for my opponent?
- Which methods are the most effective for influencing the negotiation process?
- What results are the most preferable for my opponent?
- Have I researched all the factors influencing the negotiations?
- What other special conditions are there?
Ask your opponent more questions to understand the situation in full. Don’t be afraid of honest direct questions. You can ask them about risks and concerns, the main criteria of choice, and the principal terms of the transaction.
A professional negotiator knows how to induce the necessary emotions, suitable for the goals and the negotiating situation. According to the mirror neuron theory, our strong emotions are transmitted to the person we are talking to.
You can ask yourself some questions to understand the degree of your influence on your opponent:
- Can I manage my opponent’s emotions?
- Who is controlling the negotiation process at this moment?
- Did I choose the right way to achieve my goals?
- Can I control the negotiations?
But don’t forget that the personal qualities of the negotiators play quite an important role in the process too. Negotiation skills are developed on the basis of certain personality traits: competence, analytical mind, activity, confidence, observation, purposefulness.
An active person is able to infect others with their ideas and lead. The ability to make independent decisions is important too. The negotiation process is limited by time, so you need to make quick and correct decisions at the same time. An analytical mind can help you track changes in the situation in a timely manner and respond to them, and find weaknesses in the opponent’s chain of arguments.
If you want to become a great negotiator, you need to develop all these qualities. It will help you to better understand your opponents, track and control every stage of the negotiation process, and achieve the best results. But the best way to become a professional negotiator is to attend special training.