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The Art of Negotiation

The Art of Negotiation

The Art of Negotiation: Skills for Success in Life and Business

Negotiation is the universal adhesive in the mosaic of human societies, the crucial ingredient binding the fragments together. At the heart of every transaction, every trade, lies the art of negotiation. This art, when mastered, can be the impetus to success in both business and life.

Before the Negotiation: Preparatory Steps

1. Understanding the Negotiation Cycle

Just as the seasons come and go in an endless cycle, so too does the negotiation process, which consists of six phases: preparation, discussion, clarifying goals, negotiation towards a win-win outcome, agreement, and implementation. Navigating this cycle requires a deep understanding of each phase, anticipating its flow, and preparing for every step.

2. Setting Clear Targets

Success begins with a vision. Your goals for negotiation should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). They serve as a compass, guiding your actions throughout the negotiation process.

3. The Negotiation Timeline

Time is a significant factor in negotiation. Establish clear timelines for each phase of the negotiation process, and ensure deadlines are met. A ticking clock can add pressure that can work to your advantage.

4. Perceived Value

Understanding the perceived value of your offerings and those of your counterpart can provide you with an edge. The worth that a party assigns to a particular outcome can help you position your offerings effectively and identify potential leverage points.

5. Negotiable Variables

Consider your resources - tangible or intangible - that could be useful bargaining chips. Cash, time, relationships, and other resources can play a vital role in achieving a favourable outcome.

6. Negotiation Strategy

Your negotiation strategy is your game plan. It includes your entry and exit points, as well as your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement), which serves as your backup plan should the negotiation falter.

During the Negotiation: Strategic Execution

1. Avoiding Unrewarded Concessions

Avoid the temptation to give concessions without gaining anything in return. This could weaken your position. Each concession should be seen as a trading opportunity.

2. Handling Objections and Negative Emotions

The intensity of negotiations can cause emotions to run high. Remain calm, respond rationally to objections, and manage your emotions effectively. Empathetic listening and a non-confrontational stance can help maintain a harmonious atmosphere.

3. The Trader Principle

Principled negotiation, or the Trader Principle, involves separating the people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, inventing options for mutual gain, and using objective standards. This approach aids in fostering cooperation and ensuring fair outcomes.

4. Correct Responses to Negotiation Situations

Flexibility is key in negotiations. Adapting your strategy to the actions of the other party may involve compromising, competing, avoiding, accommodating, or collaborating. Be ready to pivot as needed.

5. Mastering Communication

Good communication underpins successful negotiation. This encompasses verbal and non-verbal cues, including active listening, clear articulation of your points, and maintaining a positive body language and tone.

6. The Self-fulfilling Prophecy

Your attitude and expectations can influence the outcome of the negotiation. A positive outlook and a belief in a successful outcome can often lead to just that.

Negotiation Skills Training

To further enhance your negotiation prowess, Corporate Coach Group offer a one-day Negotiation Skills Training programme. This course is designed to equip you with practical tools and techniques to drive successful negotiations. Through a combination of expert-led sessions, hands-on exercises, and real-world simulations, you will learn how to set clear targets, handle objections, leverage your bargaining chips, and master communication within the context of negotiation. This progamme will transform the way you approach negotiations in your business and personal life. Empower yourself with the skills to negotiate confidently and effectively, foster better relationships, and achieve win-win outcomes for sustained success.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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