We negotiate on every aspect of our lives. Whether it is buying a phone or deciding on what to eat for dinner, a small level of negotiation is always involved. While in everyday situations negotiations may not have that much of an impact, in a business environment, every bit of negotiation matters. A good negotiator focuses on a win-win approach and ensures that everyone stays happy at the end of it. Are you wondering what qualities you need to be an effective negotiator? Read on..

Be prepared

Preparation is key in every aspect of a negotiation. Before you go to a negotiation, make sure that you have a clear goal in mind. Also, make sure that your facts are right. Be prepared for every kind of question that may arise and make sure that you have a valid answer ready for it. By doing so, you have a strong holding on your end and you can prevent unnecessary delays wherein you have to look around for clarification.

Listen to understand and not to reply

Sometimes in a negotiation, things may not go according to your agenda. You may be cornered with a point that you may not have anticipated. To avoid confusion at that stage, go with an open mind. Try to understand the opposite party’s point of view and keep your goal flexible. Remember, the idea is to maintain a good relationship and not to break ties by sticking to just your opinion.  

Keep a check on your emotions

Remember, in a business setting, negotiations are strictly professional. Do not attack anyone personally. It is the organization that you are negotiating with and not with an individual. Also, things may get heated up during such meetings. Keep a check on your emotions and try to resolve the issue by taking a practical point of view.

Negotiate to reach an agreement and not to win

The result of a negotiation must be to reach an agreement that is agreeable to both parties rather than be at loggerheads. Make decisions that will help reach this agreement rather than standing your ground and demanding that people listen to what you say. An effective negotiation must end with traveling a road together and not reach a dead-end.

Decide on how things should proceed

If in spite of your best efforts, you weren’t able to reach a satisfactory conclusion, take a break. Schedule a meeting after a few more days so that you give everyone time to explore more options. If you have reached a successful compromise, keep it in wording. Decide on what the next course of action should be and keep track of all the points, just in case you need it in future.

No matter what the type of negotiation is, the goal is simple: all the parties should be happy with the decisions made.

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