Top 14 Negotiation Skills

Negotiation skills.

We pass through a market and see an object that we want to acquire. We meet with the boss with the aim that he gives us vacations on the days we want or so that our salary increases. We put a limit on the time our children can come home. In all these situations we have specific objectives, which may or may not coincide with that of the other party involved. If this is not the case, we will need to negotiate with her.

But negotiating is not that easy, it requires a series of negotiation skills that allow us to obtain a satisfactory result. In this article we are going to see some of the main skills required for this.

What is negotiation?

The term negotiate refers to the interaction carried out between two or more parties regarding a specific issue or aspect in which different positions are maintained, intending with said interaction reach an agreement acceptable to the different parties

Although generally when we hear the word negotiate The first thing that comes to mind is the business world and trade agreements, the ability to negotiate is a key piece in all areas of life. Obviously this includes business, but we also find it in the academic field or even on an interpersonal level. Strategies such as mediation, for example, are based on the idea of ​​negotiating and finding a point that the people or entities involved in a conflict can accept.

We may not realize it, but we are continually negotiating with others

Main skills necessary to be a good negotiator

Negotiating is something we do constantly in our daily lives, but to be able to do it successfully in a way that results in something satisfactory for both us and the other party, it is necessary or at least advisable to have a good level of different negotiation skills. These are skills that we all have to a greater or lesser extent and that they can be trained in different ways. Below are some of the most relevant ones.

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1. Self-knowledge

One of the most important negotiation skills is self-awareness. Although it may seem strange to be self-centered, we will be better negotiators the more we know ourselves. And self-knowledge allows us to be aware of our strengths and weaknesses so that we can correct them or take into account what elements we can take advantage of and optimize in order to achieve a good interaction with the other party.

2. Self-management

Knowing yourself is an essential element, yes, but it is of very little use if it is not accompanied by the ability to self-manage and modify those problematic aspects when interacting with the other person. It is about being able to maintain a minimum of self-control, although without having rigid and false behavior.

3. Empathy

To negotiate successfully we need to know ourselves. But it is also essential to be able to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, identify your needs and feelings, what he intends with the interaction and his perspective of the situation. In this way we can understand what the other party expresses and value it from their point of view, as well as what is not said (something that must also be taken into account and that in fact sometimes has more importance than what is directly expressed). .

This is one of the most basic negotiation skills, allowing us to understand the other party and stimulate agreements that benefit both.

4. Active listening

In a negotiation we are having an interaction with the other person in which both one and the other have something to say. Although we must show and express our position, we must also take into account that of the other party and pay attention to both what they tell us verbally and what they do. non-verbally or even to what it does not express or elements it avoids.

5. Assertiveness

A fundamental skill to be able to negotiate successfully and for the result to be beneficial is assertiveness. It is about the ability to be clear and defend your own opinions positions and desires without being aggressive, without trampling on the opinion of the other and respecting their interests.

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This is the most favorable style for a valid and profitable negotiation for both parties. Showing only submission would cause our demands and interests to be undervalued, while aggressiveness (although in the business world it is sometimes used successfully) could generate reactance or even that, although at first one’s own objectives are achieved, In the long run the relationship is damaged. Assertiveness ensures a respectful relationship and sincere while defending the vision of the negotiator.

6. Argumentative and persuasive ability

Our objectives when negotiating may be many, but it will be difficult to achieve them if we do not know how to defend them. Be able to argue clearly benefits and disadvantages of our position and making them see to others, and even convincing them of the need and changing their point of view towards ours or another that is more similar, is basic.

Numerous techniques can also be used in persuasion, which They can be used to approximate positions and even that the other party ends up seeing the virtues of our point of view. Now, persuading does not necessarily imply manipulating or dominating the other, the latter being unethical options and unbalancing the relationship.

7. Respect

Although we discuss it as one of the negotiation skills, in reality respect is an element that should be basic and predominant in any human interaction We must value and validate that other people may not want to negotiate, may not be interested in our point of view, or even maintain positions that are directly opposite to our own. That doesn’t make them better or worse. In addition, it allows, in most cases, to maintain a positive climate that ultimately facilitates positive interactions.

8. Openness and authenticity

Although many people resort to multiple tricks and tricks when negotiating, one of the elements that actually works best is being authentic, expressing what we want with conviction and always respecting the position of the others. Being sincere will help the other party know exactly what is expected of them, as well as producing a cleaner and simpler relationship that will generally be better experienced by both parties.

9. Patience

Negotiating can be stressful and have a highly variable level of complexity. Sometimes offers, threats or attempts will be made by the other person to simply obtain an advantage that, if accepted out of impulsiveness, may not be beneficial. It is because of that Patience is one of the most interesting negotiation skills, by allowing us to observe details and find a balance between what one or the other wants. Of course, patience should not be confused with immobility. Staying stuck can lead to loss of interest in the interaction.

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10. Concretion

Leaving things up in the air makes it very difficult understand exactly what agreement is being reached It is better to be specific and clearly indicate what you are trying to achieve. Obviously we are in a negotiation and the terms will end up being agreed upon, but establishing diffuse limits makes the negotiation complicated and allows the other party to keep the option that generates the least benefit for us.

11. Trust

It will be difficult to bring a negotiation to a successful conclusion if we doubt our chances of achieving it. It’s not about being arrogant, but to recognize and positively value our virtues and probability of success. The absence of trust will generate difficulties in achieving objectives and can lead to toxic and/or dominance/submission relationships. Now, like the rest of the negotiation skills mentioned, it can be exercised.

12. Flexibility

A fundamental aspect when carrying out any negotiation is flexibility. And if we want to negotiate, and not submit or impose our criteria, it will be necessary for us to conceive and accept the idea that both parties must find the agreement beneficial. For it We’re going to have to give in on some things, just as the other party must also do. Likewise, it must be taken into account that there are other positions that are equally valid as one’s own, as well as the possibility of modifying one’s own position or adding aspects or elements from others.

13. Risk tolerance

Negotiating implies that you are looking for a position in which both parties can reach a consensus. This also implies that we are assuming a certain risk that our objective will not be met or that we will act in a way that is not what we would normally take. We have to be able to take the risk.

14. Adaptability

Linked to the previous point, when negotiating it is very necessary to have the ability to adapt. We must be aware that times change and we find ourselves in a very fluid and dynamic society, in which The interests and conditions stipulated by the medium may vary very quickly.