The ability to negotiate well is an art that encompasses several key components such as clear thinking, effective communication, the ability to listen, and the ability to see alternate points of view. Each of these skills requires clarity of mind in order to verbalize your thoughts as well as a capacity for empathy so that you can remove your ego from the negotiation. Meditation allows a person to enhance all of these skills. Therefore, if you want to make the most of your next negotiation, you might consider meditating beforehand.
Meditation reduces stress levels and allows one to experience a deep relaxation. While in this extremely relaxed state, the brain release serotonin and other “feel good’ hormones and suppresses activity in the brain that would otherwise release stress hormones such as adrenaline. It can be extremely difficult to make rational decisions when emotions are high and your body is in stress mode, so meditation allows you to take a step back and calmly assess the situation.
Meditation quiets your mind and allows your brain to absorb more information that you would normally collect. You begin listening more intently and noticing more subtle signs such as body language, tone, and overall personal vibe. Anyone who has experience with negotiation will tell you that the most important part of communication is listening, and meditation allows you to listen more intently. You begin paying closer attention to things like facial expressions, eye contact, pitch, and gestures, all of which can play a part in the negotiation process. Because meditation reduces the thoughts in your mind, you gain intuition and can start picking up on important nonverbal cues which can convey crucial information.
During the process of meditation, you release your sense of self, or your ego. This enables you to see that your point of view is not the only one. You now have the ability to perceive situations from another perspective, a critical element of successful negotiating. Instead of focusing on a particular result that could end up backing your counterpart into a corner and leaving them with a sense of helplessness, you begin focusing on what’s most important and how you can agree on a mutual solution. You become less attached to outcomes and more focused on being honest. This fosters trusting relationships with your counterparts and gives the more freedom to make a decision. Furthermore, meditation makes you more empathetic which directly affects how you interact with people. You might find yourself telling your counterpart to walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right to them. When they think you have their best interest at heart, that level of trust helps you to close deals.
Meditation helps you achieve success in negotiation be enhancing some important negotiating skills- building trust, showing empathy, focusing on honesty rather than outcomes, and learning to listen. When you are able to think on your feet, free of stress and distraction, you will be able to communicate your thoughts more effectively and begin to understand other points of view- both of which will make you a better negotiator.