4 ways to improve your negotiating skills

Negotiation is part of our everyday lives. We negotiate with our kids about homework, with a builder about the cost of work we want done and with our family about who will take out the recycled items at home.

Business negotiations also happen all the time with customers, suppliers, employees and managers.

Seeing every negotiation as a problem to solve together rather than a battle to win sets you up for stronger results.

As a business leader you will be negotiating every day or every week with people that can determine the future success of your business, how you handle these negotiations will also determine the success of your business, so here are 4 important points to help you navigate the negotiation process…


1) Analyse, prepare and plan your negotiation discussion.

Be clear on what you want from the discussion and what you best outcome is, what your walk away outcome is and what your BATNA (Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement) is. Prepare the right questions to ask with all 3 of these things in mind. Try and work out what your negotiation partner wants from the process and prepare some questions based on the responses you think they may have.


2) Prepare and ask great questions

Negotiating is really a problem-solving discussion. Prepare respectful, non-confrontational questions, these will provide the pathway to a healthy discussion. Great questions are at the heart of a win-win result for both parties


3) Demonstrate that you understand both the facts and the feelings

The great questions you ask will mean that you have an open, honest and frank discussion, sharing the facts and how you all feel. Sharing your feelings and letting your negotiation partner know you have heard what they have said means you are on the road to a win-win agreement


4) Seek multiple options that might work based on the interests and reasons you both have.

Rather than focusing on a single outcome, it pays to have multiple options based on the interests and reasons behind your partners position. By working at creating multiple mutually agreeable options, resolution is much more likely.


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