Life LessonsPersonal Advancement

7 Steps to Becoming a Master Negotiator

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You might not know it, but this is a skill that you use every day. Mundane tasks such as getting the kids to bed, persuading the wife to brew up and agreeing who will do the shopping that week require a negotiation.

A negotiation is not an argument, a good negotiation should always end in a win-win situation for all parties. A good negotiator knows this and prepares the right way.

Whilst everyone negotiates, few bother to master the key principles as they deem it not necessary. However, being a good negotiator will help you in more ways than you might realise…

How would you feel if you got that pay rise? Or if you got that flexitime you have dreamt of? What if you no longer had to work nights or weekends? What if you could make your wife happier? What if you could make your kids eat healthier? Negotiating with understanding can change lives.

Related reading – How to Get a Pay Rise in 6 Easy Steps

Being a master negotiator will improve your life and also give you the insight to make life better for those closest to you.

These are the tactics I have learned over many years in sales, years of dealing with people and from reading many books on this fascinating subject of human relations…

  1. Understand it is Not an Argument

When you argue with someone – even if you can prove they are wrong, don’t. If you do this you will damage their pride, they will defend themselves and any chance of a win-win goes out of the window.

You need to give the other person a sense of importance, you need to understand their feelings and what they want. To do this you need to…

  1. Understand What Motivates People

If you tell your kids to go to sleep because you need some peace at the end of the day, do they go to sleep or just make more noise? Do they really care about what you want? Do they even understand how hard it is having kids? No. All they want to do is have fun.

Why not talk instead of what they want? Tell them that the earlier they go to bed the better they will feel in the morning. They will have more energy to play their games and have fun with their friends. Tomorrow will be the best day ever!

This is just one example. The principle applies to all people, adults and children. It is also the most important point in this list. Always try and see every situation from the other persons perspective and you will have a lot more success. Not just in a negotiation but throughout life in general.

  1. Know What You Want

You need to know what you want from the negotiation, and what you are going to give back to the other party for their cooperation. Don’t go in blind or you will be made to look like a fool, and you certainly won’t get anything out of it.

  1. Understand the Power You Have

Make your case powerfully and then let them talk. Silence is now your most powerful weapon. If you don’t like what you hear don’t be afraid of saying nothing – get your game face on and stay silent! Let them talk themselves into a position that you would accept.

During any following discussion, use probing open questions to get them talking again. Why not ask them to explain their position? Open them up. Find out their motivations and desired outcomes.

Never forget: They are talking to you because they need you! So you shouldn’t have any problem being as bullish as you need to be.

  1. Don’t Rush

This is one situation when the phrase ‘time is money’ certainly doesn’t apply. Similar to the tactic of using silence, don’t be afraid to sit it out. Let them know that you are there to get a certain outcome and you have as long as it takes.

  1. Be Fearless

By now you should have their respect and they should know that you are serious. You won’t be concerned about any threats they come out with because you know that they need you. Address any concerns they have head on, there and then.

Talk slowly, be calculated and courageous. Getting the right outcome now is essential for the long term. Don’t leave until you are completely satisfied and you have achieved a result.

  1. Don’t Lose Sight of the Key Principle

As I’ve said, being a good negotiator isn’t about just getting your own way and manipulating people. It should benefit everyone.

Getting your kid to bed at the right time makes sure they learn more at school the following day, getting a pay rise means you are over achieving for your employer, getting flexitime means you will have a better work-life balance, which will make you more productive at work.

Get what you want, in a manner that benefits everyone. If they can’t see the benefits to them, tell them again, show them if possible.

Finally: Don’t put it off. If you need something to change and you need to negotiate this change, start the process as soon as possible.

When you let bad situations linger they will begin to eat away at you from the inside. Don’t get into the trap of hating life when you have the power to change it.

Conquer your fear of going into the Lion’s den knowing that you will come out the other side with more than you went in with. You will no longer hate yourself for not having the courage to get what you want out of life. Enjoy the benefits of being a master negotiator, you have waited long enough.

-Matthew Brown

I hope this post was valuable for you. Have you managed to overcome a fear of negotiating? Or maybe you have been involved in many different types of negotiations – what would you add to this list? Add your comments and carry on the conversation.

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