The one class every person should have been offered in high school is how to become a pro at negotiating.
Life is a never ending series of negotiations. Which car should we buy next? Where should we move? How to best ask for a payrise. And, even, what is the optimal TV remote location after use (if you can come to an agreement on the coffee table, then all the power to you!).In theory, negotiation should be easy. In practice, it’s a little more complicated.
There’s a delicate balance in the workplace, at home and in life between being uncompromising in your negotiating style and trying to be too ‘likeable’. Negotiating takes a certain set of skills that can be applied to any situation.
The best way to start is to try these five tips at home before using them at work. It’ll help boost your confidence.
Understand your why first
It’s not enough to just know what you want. Take the time to understand your underlying motives, as knowing your why will help make your arguments more persuasive. For example, rather than asking your partner to mind the kids on Thursdays while you shake your hips at zumba, explain that you are trying to do something for your health and wellbeing.
Building value in your perspective by honing in on your why will do you wonders when it comes to the hard conversations at work.
Listen...and don’t be afraid of ‘awkward silence’
The fact that the most successful salespeople only talk about 30 per cent of the time should tell you a thing or two about effective negotiation. Listening is an art that gives others the chance to put their ideas forward, so you can better understand and respond to where they are coming from and what they want. Information is power, and you’ll learn a lot by listening and being comfortable in the all-too-frequent awkward silences during negotiations.
Think about body language
You can say alot to people without saying a word. Standing tall and using a loud and clear voice can help you confidently get your point across. Take note of any nervous tics that you might have (scratching or twitching knees for examples) and try to practice keeping them to a minimum during negotiations.
Remember, negotiations are collaborations not conflicts
It can be challenging to come to a solution that benefits all parties, but the ideal is for everyone to walk away happy. Take some time before the discussion and brainstorm during the conversation so you can come up with creative solutions that you may not have previously considered.
Practice where you can
Negotiating is something that anyone can learn, but it doesn’t mean you should jump straight into a pay rise discussion at work after reading this article. Effective negotiating takes practice, and the best way you can do that is at home.
Want cheaper electricity rates? Work out why you think you deserve them (other suppliers are cheaper, you’ve been a loyal customer for years, etc.) and make the call.
Want your friends to try a different dinner location instead of the standard Tuesday pub night? Come up with your argument and bring it up at your next gathering using the tips in this article.
As you start to learn how to get your point across better, you’ll gain the confidence to use your pro negotiating skills at work.
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