Effective Negotiation Skills

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Negotiation is a method by which various individuals settle differences among themselves. It is a process where compromises or agreements are reached between two people by avoiding any kind of argument and dispute. The need to negotiate arises when a simple argument reaches to a stage where it becomes difficult to make a sound decision.

Conflicts arise if there are differing needs, wants and aims of people and they do not rely on each other’s opinion for making any kind of decision. These kinds of arguments may leave people involved in conversations un-satisfied. Here, the need of negotiation arises and the focus is on reaching to such an agreement that avoids further barriers to communication.

Different Stages of Negotiation

Reaching to a negotiable point is not an easy process. You must consider some points that will affect the outcomes after a negotiation. The need is to follow a structured approach for negotiation. Here are some of the stages of negotiation that must be followed in order to achieve a desirable outcome.

Preparation

Before negotiating on any point or discussion, there is a need to formulate a plan so that the discussion can go into a well-planned negotiation rather than an intense argument. This stage involves ensuring that all the informative facts of a situation are understood to clarify your own position. For example, in an organization, times come when the clients refuse to rely on the work done and apprehend a case against the organization. At this time, organization must have clarity about its policies that can be used at the time of negotiations with the client.

Discussion

At this stage, people usually put forward their opinion or simply what they think about a particular situation. It is suggested, that at this stage, one must take note on the points that are raised during a discussion. This will help them to further ease out the process of clarification. Another vital point to be remembered during this stage is questioning. One must ask questions wherever possible to ensure clarity is achieved in a discussion. Listening is also essential. Until and unless you will not listen effectively nothing can be resolved in an organized manner. Henceforth, discussion involves efficient listening, questioning and clarifying.

Clarifying Goals

After discussion, it is necessary to clarify goals, interests and viewpoints of both sides to clear the point of disagreement. Moreover, it is helpful if the clarifications are done on basis of priorities. Lastly, if clarifications are not carried out successfully, it may cause barriers in reaching to a desirable outcome.

Negotiate in a Direction of Win - Win Outcome

A win - win outcome, is such a situation where both sides that are involved in a discussion, reach to such a negotiation, where both gain something positive. This is a stage where one feels that his point is also taken into consideration. However, this is not something always possible in the negotiation process, but it is the ultimate goal that can be achieved in a negotiation process.

Agreement

Agreement is done only when both sides are involved in a discussion and have negotiated. This is a stage where both the sides agree to each other’s perspective and make a common desirable decision.

Implementation of Course of Action

After all the negotiation and agreement is made, the next thing is to implement the decision. This is an important stage as if the decision that is made after negotiating is not implemented, and then there remains no point of all the discussion made all through the process.

These were the stages of negotiations, which everyone must take into consideration before coming to a common point of negotiation.

Effective Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is required at some or the other point in every sphere of life. Thus, learning some of basic negotiation skills can go a long way in your attempt to be successful either personally or professionally.

Below are effective negotiation skills that will help in coming to a common and desirable decision.

Learning How to Negotiate

In an organization or as a leader, negotiation must be done in a way that the final agreement meets goals of both employees and the leaders. Effective negotiation is also a skill, so it can also be learned like any other skill. To learn or refine the negotiation skills, one can join some workshop that specializes in teaching those skills. The best possible way to learn effective negotiation skills is to find a mentor who can coach you on the skills. This will be a more efficient way to learn skills as observation lets you learn swiftly and effectively.

When to Negotiate

You are in a state to negotiate when the other person understands your value in discussion. In corporate environment also, a leader can only come to a negotiable decision when employees understand his value in the organization. An example to this is, when you are in search of a job and get a job, mainly salary becomes the point of obstruction. However, with good negotiation skills and by thinking that both need to work together, a point of negotiation can be reached. This will benefit both the employer as well as organization.

Preparing to Negotiate

Preparing to negotiate is another important negotiation skill. To negotiate in an effective manner, you must take care of other person’s needs, but at the same time, you must not lose sight to your own goals. As in an organization, when you prepare to negotiate, there are certain things that you may think of. These include salary, leaves, working on weekends and many others.

How to Negotiate

Being open and honest, are the most essential things that are needed to negotiate in an effective manner. Below are enlisted some points that need to be taken into consideration while negotiating effectively.

Asking Questions

When you ask for permission to ask any question, you have already taken a step towards agreement. You must ask open-ended questions so that there is clarity about the concept of discussion. This will further help in negotiating in an efficient manner.

Be Excellent Listener

More information you get, more will you be able to uncover the needs of other person. Thus, listening to another person patiently, will allow you to meet other person’s need with more perfection.

Save Issues for Consideration in Future

In a discussion, there are times when various issues occur. Rather than interrupting between the conversations, it is essential that you keep issues with yourself and raise them at the end of conservation. It will lead to the development of better negotiation skills.

Apart from these skills, some other skills help in negotiating in a better way. These include emphasizing on your value, being flexible in negotiation, using silence for consideration, taking time to consider offers and last but not the least, expressing gratitude.

After you, know about how to negotiate in an effective manner. The next important thing is to know the types of negotiations. This is needed because if you are not familiar with the most suitable way to negotiate, it can lead to an opposite result rather than a solved argument.

There are two main types of negotiation:

Distributive Negotiation

It is a kind of win - lose agreement. This is because there is so much to go around and everyone wants a negotiation that benefits him or her the most. Distributive negotiation involves keeping your information confidential and trying to extract information from the other person. For example, as when you are in conversation with the car sales representative to buy a car, you tend to take up distributive negotiation. You may not be interested in telling the sales representative how much you need the car, and he may be interested in knowing that.

Integrative Negotiation

It is a form of win - win agreement. These kinds of negotiations are based on cooperation. In this, both sides involved in the conversation want to get approval for their point without giving up anything or losing anything. It includes information sharing as well as bridge building.

These are types of negotiations that one must do in order to take the argument or conversation to a better end.

Negotiation is a careful determinant of your position and the other person’s position. The goal while developing a negotiation should be to find a mutually acceptable compromise that gives you equivalence of what you want. You should first analyze the problem that is coming in the path of effective negotiation. Various problems or barriers come in the path of good negotiation.

Confrontation

Participants in a negotiation can destroy the result by defining the exchange of information as a conflict or confrontation. The main aim of negotiation is to promote dialogue and ultimately reach a mutually acceptable agreement. However, an uncooperative attitude can easily destroy the whole communication and lead the conversation to a negative path. Language is another phenomenon that plays a vital role in finding the tone of negotiation. Neutral tone develops a calm attitude and leads to a better negotiation.

Negative Emotion

There can be times when negotiations become stressful. It can give rise to feelings of anger and fear, especially when it seems that your best interests are threatened. In addition, it is more likely to happen that any other person who is involved in such a negotiation will experience some negative emotion. This is a barrier to negotiation as when you are negative; you cannot put forward your opinion in a positive manner. Thereby there will be an impact on negotiation.

Limitations

When there are limited resources like budget, human resources, materials or anything else, then the need for negotiation arises. When negotiation is carried out, there is a possibility that one person may introduce obstacles related to funds, time or any other reason. Now, if the limitations put on the front are real, then both sides can reach to a mutually acceptable decision. On the other hand, if limitations are not real, then it poses a barrier and does not let the negotiation carry out successfully.

Negotiation Strategies

If you practice well then you can make any skill work out in a better way. Before going into any conversation for negotiation, mostly you plan things and try to make negotiation strategies. However, these work out only if they are made, while keeping in mind benefits to both the sides. If only one-sided strategy is planned out, then it becomes a barrier in the process of negotiation. Henceforth, these are the barriers to good negotiation skills.

Thus, negotiation skills form an important part of any organizational or personal structure. You should be clear about what you want but at the same time, you should make efforts to listen carefully to the other person’s views also. It is possible that other person’s views may appear wrong to you, but it is necessary to listen carefully to negotiate in an effectiveness manner.

In order to reach to a negotiation, you must expect the compromises and be prepared to make some concessions. You must ask for what you want but at the same time make a long view of where it will take you. It may be possible that you are not successful in the first go. But with the time, you can improve on your negotiation skills and make better negotiations in future.

Henceforth, negotiation is the first and foremost part of effective communications. It is a conversation between individuals where each individual explains and makes the other person understand his point of view. During the process of communication, there are many points that are explored. In addition, the result is expected to benefit both the sides involved in conversation. For negotiations to process smoothly, it is essential that people have good negotiation skills and implement them in an effective manner to reach a decision that is acceptable by both sides.

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