Aren’t Negotiation Skills one of those skills we all wished we had more of! Whether it be at home or work, it’s something that you pretty much always require. Sometimes its a big client deal that you’re trying really hard to crack, whilst at others you’re desperately trying to make your spouse go to a beautiful place for a holiday rather than spending it at a relative’s house!
What comes in use during each of these events is yes, the ever so important Negotiation Skills.
Ever actually thought of giving it a thought as to why you find negotiations difficult? Why is it that some people can do it so smoothly; whilst others, well, have scope for improvement?
So what’s the secret behind it? Let’s have a look today. Well we do want you to enter the smooth lot, so here’s spilling the beans…
What are Negotiation Skills?
Note that this is a very interesting question. Although we feel we have it figured out, surprisingly this is the first step where we tend to mess things up!
All of us have heard that negotiation is about a win-win with both the parties winning at the end of the day. But frankly how many of us really follow that while in a negotiation situation? The truth is that a large number of us think the win-win terminology is something that sounds really good in books and as a management concept but fails in real life.
Another bunch of us like the concept and want to strive for it but land up trying for a win-lose. Why? Blame it on our subconscious! While consciously we try to do it, our subconscious is wired to make us always strive to win based on the ‘survival of the fittest’ concept that’s been stored in it for generations. In the bargain, what do you land up doing is trying to win even at the cost of the other!
I couldn’t help putting the below image! Although I still maintain you need to genuinely look at your intention!
The Negotiation Intention
So first things first, we need to get our conscious and subconscious intentions in place. Remember, we are all energy bodies. We catch on to signals from each other. So even if we put on a pretty face and say all the right things, the opposite person can sense our intention. And when he senses a win-lose, he will end up fighting for the same!
So better keep a check on your mind and ensure that its going on the win-win path at all times during the negotiation process. We don’t want him to suddenly go astray in between, now do we.
Once our intention is right, there’s another thing we need to look out for. That’s our behaviour, feelings and thoughts. I know, I’m giving you an awful lot of work to do. But believe me it’s totally worth it when you see the results. In fact this step is prime for any kind of conversation, so you might as well master it. Besides once you get the hang of it you can skip this step!
So what you have to do is to keep an eye on yourself. Once the negotiation has started or is in process, if you feel like you are losing your temper or trying to avoid the conversation in any way, then you have to stop and take a break. It means you have gone emotional and you really can’t afford to proceed when operating from that space.
We all have been told in all email etiquette sessions that you should never write an email while you’re angry or emotional right? Well it’s the same here. Never proceed with a negotiation when you or your counterpart is emotional. You won’t get anywhere. You’ll just keep fighting on your point or will keep withdrawing from the conversation.
So what do you do? Calm yourself first. And if you are calm but the opposite person is not, help the other person calm down. How? Let me tell you…
Calming the Opposite Person
Very often, we tend to get agitated because we don’t feel like we are being listened to. So what do we do, listen to the opposite person. Let them talk and you give your full attention to them. Listen not just with your ears, but with your entire body. Observe how they talk, the emotion behind what they are saying as well as their body language. This again will take practice to master as quite frankly we have all forgotten the art of listening. And having to listen to words, emotions and body language altogether is way too difficult right?
So what more can we do? Let me tell you in the next article, Part 2 to this series on Negotiation Skills.
So practice the initial steps in the mean time and let me know how it’s going. Would love to hear your experiences:)