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Negotiation tips for beginners

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There’s an old saying that all of life is a wager. While it’s true that it would make a wonderful sticker to put on the back of the car, it is also sound life advice. The reason for that is plainly obvious. Nothing is ever certain. In fact, it is the uncertainty and the constant surprises of life that make it worth living.

But there are some things in life that carry a positive meaning when they come with a hint of surety with them. That is the case with businesses. The more uncertainty and guess work that’s involved in corporate affairs, the riskier the entire premise becomes. It is no shock that the more assurance you have in the business world, the brighter your future prospects seem to be. Negotiations are a small but vital part of that entire process.

Negotiations can be both a missed opportunity as well as a stroke of genius depending on how you carry them out. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the employee or the employer, negotiation training is equally important for both.

Here are some tips that can help you if you’re just starting out and don’t know how to negotiate with your employer or employee.

Manners maketh man

It’s more than just a classic Victorian retort. Manners can prove to be the setting stone for how well or bad the negotiation process goes. One of the reasons why this is so important is because it’s unrelated to the minute details of the entire negotiation process. It includes whether you arrive to the negotiations on time, whether you greet them properly, whether or not you observe the common rules of decorum and most importantly, whether you treat your counterpart with respect or not.

Avoid jokes at all costs, even if they’re meant to be ice-breakers. That negotiation table is perhaps one of the most professional settings in the corporate world and you should treat it with the dignity that it deserves.

The end game

An important part, and some would argue the most important part, of any negotiation is settling on something that benefits both parties. Setting a goal for what you want to achieve by the end of that negotiation or what would be an acceptable outcome for your from it all is an excellent way to remain focused during the entire process. Having a particular goal in mind, will allow you to look at multiple options and solutions that will get you the kind of outcome you were expecting from the negotiation.

Listen carefully

The negotiation table is as much about the verbal cues as it is about numbers. Whether it’s lawyers arguing over the minutia of a settlement agreement or a boss and employee haggling over a salary increase, words matter. The best negotiators know that there’s always more to be gained by listening rather than talking.

Make sure that you have all the questions ready in order to extract as much information as possible. You can use that information to gain a favourable outcome for yourself at the end of the negotiation.

Be prepared

While it is good to have a clear picture of what you expect to happen during each negotiation, things don’t always turn out as planned. It’ll be a test of your ability to deal with new information that alters the course of the negotiation as well as your ability to adapt your position accordingly.

This ability to be flexible in how you deal with these situations as well as how you present your side of the argument is what may decide the outcome of the negotiations.




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