Can you Communicate? [Part I] – Being a Great Negotiator

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Can you Communicate?

– Part 1 Being a great negotiator

We are communicating every day with different people for multiple reasons. We also negotiate a lot, we talk to people to achieve a certain level of agreement, to defend our point of view or to close a great business deal.

For business, communication is everything. We’ve already discussed a lot in previous articles about what can bring your company to success, as great leadership, team-building, time management, and productivity, etc. However, the ability to be a good negotiator is a key personal skill which can bring you a huge professional success.

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Here are some important questions you need to know answers to in order to gain power in negotiation and leverage the negotiation process to achieve favorable results.

How do I prepare for negotiations?
First of all, analyzing your negotiation is important to clearly understand how comfortable are you with a certain communication. Of course, the initial step is to evaluate whether it makes sense for you to go and negotiate at all. Try to answer the following questions beforehand. Will you create any value by this negotiation? Do the benefits overweight risks and potential costs?

Well, if the answers are “yes”, then it’s time to assess your power in negotiation and thoughtfully prepare for it. Above all, think what you want to achieve by negotiating and what are the most important issues in reaching your goals. Additionally, you have to be powerful enough to leverage negotiation, and for these strong alternatives to your favorable outcome should be considered in case of unexpected scenario.

Important is that while preparing for the negotiation, you should also understand the motivation and goals of the other side. This information will help you to identify pain points and build up certain expectations about the negotiation which will most likely lead to successful outcome.
Ready now? Let’s move on to negotiation.

How do I develop the power in negotiation?
In order to be an influencer and leader in negotiation process, you should hold two important aces in hands which will give you a great advantage: first, learning about the other side on more personal level, finding out his or her values, lifestyle, interests, etc.; and second, collect general and specific information regarding negotiated issue from the other side. So, let’s get these aces!

Listen carefully

Yes, people like talking about themselves, and they love if someone listens to them, asking additional questions and emphasizing the fact that he or she attentively listen to what you are saying (for example, by just repeating what a person just mentioned).

Learn about the other side

Also, you have to know a person you negotiate with. Ask relevant questions to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the other side. Do not just shoot the other side with questions, but listen attentively and reply correspondingly.

Use contrast principle

Of course, you can influence people’s decisions by using smart techniques. One of such is the contrast principle. Basically, by offering options which are much worse due to various reasons and at the same time obviously better option, you can influence the decision of the other side by contrasting these options. Eventually, the other side physiologically supposes that he or she was offered the best choice in comparison with the other far worse options.

Should I make the first offer in negotiation?
This is definitely one of the most uncertain and ambiguous questions in negotiation and there is no right answer to it, but there are still some points you should consider in order to choose the best possible scenario for you.

Obviously, who will make the first offer highly depends on various circumstances, e.g. the power of the negotiating sides, physiological factors, information awareness, etc. Some people suppose that letting the other side give the first offer is always better. Well, from one hand you can benefit from that in case the other side gives an unexpectedly good offer (by the way, a small tip: be smart and do not accept it immediately, the other side will feel bad thinking that its offer could have been different and it lost). But what if the other side thinks the same and wants you to be the first? Then you probably may use the anchoring effect and make the first offer so to implicitly make the other side anchor to that offer? What if you are not prepared enough for that? If so then you can lose significantly by offering the deal which is in reality much-much lower than what you could have offered.

Well, most likely, you should not make the first offer if you have no strong potential agreement in mind, and if you are not enough aware of the information regarding the offer. Additionally, making the first offer strongly depends on personality – some people are simply too shy and feel uncomfortable and embarrassed to make the first offer.

In Part 2 we will tell you even more about completely different fascinating dimension of negotiation, about body and facial language and their influence on the negotiation.

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