Mastering Negotiation Skills: What You Need to Know

October 4, 2023


Two people sit at a table in a conference room and shake hands, demonstrating a successful negotiation.

In any workplace or organization, there are specific skills and qualities that can help administrative professionals in the day-to-day. One of these skills is negotiation. While it comes naturally to many, negotiation takes practice. Yet, it is a highly transferable skill in both personal and professional situations. 

Here’s how negotiation can help you achieve your goals, build rapport with coworkers, and even make your job easier. 

Learning to Negotiate at Work

The workplace is one of the most effective places to learn how to negotiate professionally and then master those skills over time. Here are a few ways you can practice negotiating in the workplace. 

Adequately Prepare

In order to successfully negotiate, you have to come to the table ready. This means spending enough time preparing for the negotiation so you are put together and confident. 

Whether you’re asking for an extension to a deadline, a budget increase, pitching a campaign idea, or a raise, preparation is essential in business negotiation.

Communicate Professionally

Whether you’re role-playing with a coworker or having an authentic negotiation with someone in the office, exemplary communication skills go a long way. Be professional, respectful, and personable with the other party. 

Doing so will encourage them to do the same, and you can hold a productive conversation. It’s also important to actively listen to the other person and find common ground to build a connection. 

Build a Rapport with Others

You may not be close with every person in your workplace, but respect and rapport go a long way. If the other party respects you and holds you in high regard, the negotiation has a much better chance of going well. They may be willing to meet you halfway (or more) because they appreciate you, your work ethic, and how you interact with others.

Be Open to Alternatives & Possibilities

Another important facet of negotiation is maintaining flexibility and being satisfied with a compromise. During preparation, you should determine what you really want while also having an idea of an acceptable alternative. That way, you won’t be disappointed, and you’ll be motivated to continue sharpening those negotiation skills in the future. 

Knowing What Is Negotiable in Your Role

Wondering how to negotiate your salary in a future role or how to ask for a raise in your current role? Discussing compensation can be intimidating, but it’s a great opportunity for personal and professional growth. 

When negotiating salary within a job offer, it’s important to be able to speak to your strengths and what you bring to the table. If you’re in the negotiation phase, you know the organization wants to hire you, which may give you a needed confidence boost. 

Know the industry average salary for your position, and have a number in mind when you speak about salary. It’s best to leave a little wiggle room and be open to what the hiring manager says. 

Negotiating a salary or asking for a pay raise is most successful when you’ve adequately prepared. In your current role, it helps if you have an established rapport with your boss, communicate clearly, and are open to the possibilities. 

You may not get the exact raise you were hoping for. But with the skills you’ve honed from negotiation practice at work, you can arrive at an outcome that is satisfactory and motivating. 

Sharpen Negotiating Skills & Advance Your Career

As you climb the career ladder, certain skills and qualities will greatly benefit you on your journey to the top. Building rapport and effective negotiating are two of the most important skills you can have in any role in the workplace.

Want to keep learning and growing in your career? Consult ASAP’s assortment of articles, webinars, and digital downloads to help with your professional development.

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