5 Tips to Sharpen Your Everyday Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is an essential part of our lives.  It is not just necessary in a corporate environment but it is just as important in our everyday lives.  Conflict has never benefitted anyone, therefore, it is better to learn how to discuss things and reach an alternative that is beneficial for all.  One should strive to consider the needs, interests, and expectations of others in order to bring about success.  While there is no denying the importance of good negotiation skills, the prospect of improving them can be overwhelming for many people.  The following tips can help you sharpen your skills to dramatically enhance your ability to negotiate successfully.

  1. Be Prepared

Never underestimate the power of being thoroughly prepared for negotiations.  Underprepared negotiators are more likely to make unnecessary concessions, overlook sources of value, and walk away from positive agreements.  This means you should be prepared before you negotiate in any setting.  Whether you are walking onto a car lot or into a business meeting, make sure you have done your research, know what you are looking for, and have a plan in place.  It can be helpful to practice these scenarios with a friend or colleague to build your confidence.

  1. Be Proactive About Negotiation Training

One of the best ways to improve your negotiation skills is by actively participating in a negotiation training course.  These classes can help you understand how key concepts relate to your own negotiations and they can offer solid advice for how to handle different situations.  Furthermore, it offers a great opportunity to practice with experts who can provide helpful feedback.

  1. Practice Makes Perfect

There is truth to the old adage that “practice makes perfect.”  It takes a great deal of time and practice in order to develop successful negotiation strategies.  Negotiation training is just the beginning but it is important for you to practice those skills in the real world.  Try out new strategies with friends, family, or colleagues who are likely to be forgiving of mistakes.  The bottom line is the more you practice the more comfortable and confident you will become.

  1. Be Ready to Make Mistakes

Like anything else, good negotiators have to fail before they become successful.  Making mistakes is a necessary part of the learning process and should be viewed as a teachable moment.  Make mental notes of things that went wrong and spend time reflecting on how you could have handled the situation differently.  Then, you will have new insight and thicker skin to bring to the table the next time around.

  1. Become a Better Listener

The best negotiators understand the importance of listening in a negotiation.  It is so easy to be thinking about what you are going to say next while the other person is talking, but then you end up missing the most important parts of the conversation.  When you learn how to become an effective listener, your counterpart is likely to feel respected and they will build trust with you.