Why You Need to Listen More When Negotiating

Most of us have felt the frustration of feeling like we aren’t being heard. Perhaps your boss didn’t acknowledge your concerns or your friend refuses to take your advice. This frustration is the same feeling your potential client will have if you spend the entire negotiation talking about yourself. If you spend more time preparing your pitch than considering what he or she has to say, it will hinder communication between the two parties. Most people feel like preparing for a negotiation means knowing exactly what to say and when to say it. Skilled negotiators, however, understand the importance of listening to the other party.  Successful negotiations are based on the ongoing exchange of information and require active listening. The information you obtain from listening will assist you in creating solutions that are beneficial to both parties. Here are a few ways listening can boost your negotiation success. 


You Will Gather Critical Information

Many people spend countless hours preparing exactly what they will say, what their arguments will be, and how they will get what they want. In doing so, however, they fail to consider the needs of the other side. Clearly, an agreement cannot be reached without the other party so it can be detrimental to the negotiation process to leave out the other parties involved. Rather than doing all the talking, skilled negotiators understand that listening is the best way to gather critical information about what is motivating the other party. Through listening, they can discover the other parties’ needs, concerns, and expectations. Instead of trying to persuade the other party, you should strive to listen to them. Only then can you create a solution that is beneficial for everyone. 


To Provide Clarity

The act of listening is very important because it ensures you understand everything that is being discussed. In fact, you should actually repeat back to your counterpart what you have heard so you can be sure you understand it the way it is meant to be understood. It can be very easy to forget things and get confused, especially when tensions rise and emotions are involved. The best way to avoid misunderstandings is by actively listening to your counterpart. 


It Builds a Trusting Relationship

By listening to your counterpart and giving them your undivided attention, you are demonstrating that you genuinely care about their needs. Doing so will strengthen the professional relationship and will motivate the person to do business with you again in the future. Your counterpart needs to think you are an honest, caring individual and listening is one of the best ways to demonstrate these qualities. When your counterpart trusts you, they are more likely to


You Can Adjust Accordingly

Not only does listening demonstrate respect for your counterpart, but it can also be to your advantage because it allows you to gather information and adjust your position accordingly. The more you know about the other person, the more equipped you are to customize a strategy that will effectively meet their needs.