4 Tips That Will Make You a Master Negotiator

September 22, 2020


Are you the kind of person that gives more than what they receive or consistently gets less than what you deserve? If yes, you are one of the many people who lack negotiating skills. Negotiating is a part of life, and arguably the one skill that separates the successful from the less successful. Believe it or not, you have been negotiating your entire life and continue to do so every day, albeit unsuccessfully.

In a corporate world, the ability to negotiate can translate to getting more deals over the table or receiving a higher salary with better working conditions. However, most people do not only lack negotiating skills, but dread the process altogether. This is because negotiating is perceived as a cut-throat interaction where different parties compete to squeeze each other dry, and often ends in confrontation.

Though there may be some truth in that as there are negotiators renowned for driving hard bargains, this does not accurately depict negotiation. The true purpose of negotiating is coming up with solutions that guarantee a favorable outcome for all parties.

Negotiating is a skill and an art that can propel you to greatness if mastered. Fortunately, with an open mind, a bit of courage to ask for what you want, and the right approach to negotiations, you can become a master negotiator.

Read on to learn the top negotiation tips.

  1. Negotiations Often Begin After a Request Is Denied

According to data from a 2018 salary report issued by indeed, only 19% of workers feel that they are adequately compensated for their efforts. However, only a small portion of the workers who are dissatisfied with their income request a pay rise. And, those who do so do not press on once their request is denied. As a result, people end up settling for less than they deserve.

So, your boss said no? Well, this is often the prerequisite for a negotiation to begin. Instead of getting up and leaving with your tail between your legs, present your case and show them why you deserve that promotion or raise.

The key is to realize that 'no' does not signal the end of a negotiation but its starting point. You may not always succeed in turning no's into yes's, but you will undoubtedly get more in the long run.

  1. Focus on Win-Win Outcomes

If you ask any master negotiator, a negotiation is only successful when all parties feel like they have won. Whereas it is possible to drive a hard bargain and get a deal that favors you more than the other party, that strategy is self-defeating, especially in the corporate world.

If other parties leave the negotiating table unhappy, they will be less likely to return for future deals. As a result, you will reap greatly on one negotiation but lose out on potential future deals.

  1. The People and the Problem Are Separate

One of the biggest mistakes people make while negotiating is making interactions personal. The other party is not your opponent or what stands between you and your interest. They are your partner in identifying mutually beneficial outcomes. As such, you should focus on the challenge and not the individual.

On the other hand, you should also make them view you as a partner as well. This can be achieved by using the following strategies:

  • Empathy- Put yourself in their shoes and analyze whether you would accept the offer you have given them
  • Communication- Use clear and concise communication to avoid misunderstandings
  • Active listening- Pay attention to what the other party is saying and do not interrupt them as they speak

At times, negotiations can become a bit tense and heated. When this happens, any progress that you have made can become derailed. Therefore, maintain your composure at all times and observe the other party’s emotions. If things seem to be spiraling, slow down the discussion so that everyone can calm down.

  1. Think Outside the Box

At times negotiations breakdown because of a boxed approach to coming up with solutions. This happens when both parties are unable to make additional concessions based on what is on the table. Although negotiations usually begin with key discussion points, the solution that seals the deal can come from elsewhere.

As negotiations proceed, try and understand the objectives and interests of the other party. This will help you identify other things you can offer them without compromising your position but are valuable to them and vice versa. The ability to invent new options can swiftly revive a negotiation and bring it to a close.

Givers Get More Than Takers

Successful negotiating is not about getting more while giving less but rather enabling both parties to get what they want. This is often achieved by a greater willingness to make concessions. In as many as 28 studies on negotiating, it was observed that negotiators who are just as concerned about the other party's success as their own, are more successful.


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