Tag Archive for Negotiation skills

Ability to negotiate properly – how critical is it to your day-to-day business activities?

win win negotiation

There’s a misconception about top-notch business negotiators – people often assume that just because they have the best skills, they’re hostile and adversarial. That’s not always the case since having sound bargaining skills matters is critical to your daily business activities. In the business domain, you can’t survive just by saying “yes” to every proposition that you receive. Proper negotiation abilities are vital because they help you hone your business skills.

There have been many studies performed over the years on this matter, and they show that business people who resent negotiations are 60% less capable of success. If the rest of the people in your company would know to negotiate better it could greatly impact your company’s bottom line.

Outcomes must be determined before the beginning of a negotiation

It’s paramount that you understand exactly what your expectations are prior to entering a negotiation. Thus, you’ll know exactly if you can push forward or stop. Having a clear perspective of your bottom line averts you from manipulating or abusing counterparts. Furthermore, as long as your outcome is clearly defined, you’re on the safe side and you’re not at risk of saying “yes” to a deal that seems unacceptable.

Understanding the audience is critical

In negotiations and marketing, knowing and understanding your audience is critical. For that to happen, you must do your homework. How much information do your know about the person sitting across from your table? Before entering a meeting, you should find out more about their past deals. Did they have any issues with former clients? Are they open to negotiation? Do they have a rock solid reputation? Maintain eye contact and be prepared for anything. Engage in a conversation and keep your cool; it’s a sure way of knowing the person with whom you’re dealing with, not the business guru.

Negotiatio

Negotiation

Know your value – it will help you negotiate with a lot more enthusiasm

Many entrepreneurs are competent, trained individuals. They can achieve great things because they’ve got all the ingredients they need to attain greatness. Unfortunately, most of them are unaware of their true potential. In business, this can have dreadful consequences. Have your goals engraved in your head and adhere to your principles. Never let anyone intimidate you and stay focused if you want to make it in the business world. Having sound negotiation abilities is vital for your daily endeavors. You’ll have to persuade and convince employees, customers, and investors that you’re a capable and consistent individual. Provided that you know and understand your true value, you can do that.

Active listening – a vital skill in business negotiation

Generally speaking, business people are enthusiastic speakers. They want to say a lot of things and they want to say it fast. Unfortunately, they’re so focused on making themselves heard, that they forget to listen. Only the most skilled business persons can understand how important it is to listen. Active listening can provide you vital information about a counterpart, not to mention that it makes you appear calm and calculated. This is a good thing as nobody likes to negotiate under duress.

Active listeners are present and they never get caught up in the details; they allow the other party to talk and basically, they focus on what they’re saying. As opposite to average listeners, active listeners know every important fact, claim or allegation the other person has said.

Never get emotionally involved

As long as you can aim high and not get emotionally involved, you have an almost 100% chance of closing a good deal. Successful business negotiators are hopeful and confident in their abilities. You can get more as long as you have the nerve to ask for more. Only those who aim high become true experts in their field of work. The problem with most negotiators is that they get emotionally involved too often. They end up losing their temper and start screaming or shouting.

Don’t let an opponent get under your skin with plain words or an aggressive attitude. Fight back by remaining calm. It’s ok to be disliked, although it’s not ok to accept attacks and unethical remarks. In special circumstances it’s best to just walk away from a deal rather than risk damaging the integrity of your company.

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Negotiation tips for women – how to tackle negative feedback

Nobody likes to receive negative feedback and be judged for every little mistake they make; unfortunately, it’s a fact of life we can’t do anything about. Every now and then, we get constructive criticism from the people around us. This form of feedback is meant to improve our abilities, our skills and our perceptions. Experts agree that women get more negative feedback at the workplace than men. Why is this happening? Probably because a couple of centuries ago the work space was not meant for a woman, and whether we like it or not, some business fields are still made of 80% men and 20% women.

Negotiation tips for women

Ironically, women are not that sensitive after all. Some are tougher than men; and since modern society believes in equal rights between men and women, it’s now easier than ever to tackle negative feedback through negotiations. As long as women have the nerve to fight back, their negotiations techniques can help them ward off bad evaluations. Determination is everything you need to make yourself noticed.

Maintain control

Do yourself a favor and don’t start to cry at the office. Rather than make others pity you, it’s best to accept whatever they said and move on. Maintain a professional attitude – that will hurt them more than if you had burst into tears. Unlike men, women struggle to control their emotions. Although negative feedback can hurt, you have to be tough. In some circumstances, your boss might want to test your strengths to see how much you can take. If you get upset or defensive, the whole situation might worsen.

Every meeting should be seen as an opportunity to learn, and if your boss or supervisor is criticizing you, maybe you should revise your attitude. It’s really important to take notes when someone gives negative feedback. Accept whatever they have to say with dignity and don’t show any signs of weakness.

Negotiation tips for women

Why did you get negative feedback?

If your boss is giving negative feedback, it’s probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever’s necessary to fix it. There’s no shame in messing up, so just because you’re the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn’t mean you’re responsible for everything. Speak up and don’t let anyone assume you’ll start to cry. “What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I’m better than this”.It’s really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that’s fine. Embrace it and move on.

Prove that you’re valuable

Although it’s not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it’s not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you’re most committed person he’ll ever meet. “I’m going to work harder to prove you wrong”, “I’m driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better”. When a supervisor or manager observes you’re eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Why did you get negative feedback? If your boss is giving negative feedback, it's probably because you did something wrong. Ask for clearance in order to understand your mistake and do whatever's necessary to fix it. There's no shame in messing up, so just because you're the only woman in a team of 10 co-workers, it doesn't mean you're responsible for everything. Speak up and don't let anyone assume you'll start to cry. "What did I do wrong? Is there any way I can fix this? I would love another opportunity; I know I'm better than this".It's really important to maintain a positive attitude. You made a mistake, that's fine. Embrace it and move on.  Prove that you're valuable Although it's not that easy to tackle negative feedback, it's not impossible either. Have a one-on-one meeting with your boss; talk about your ambitions and highlight that you're most committed person he'll ever meet. "I'm going to work harder to prove you wrong", "I'm driven and determined, I just need another chance at making things better". When a supervisor or manager observes you're eager to fix your mistakes, he will see you have a lot of potential. He might even realize that negative feedback was necessary to get you out of your comfort zone.

Negative feedback can lead to success

It’s never easy to receive negative feedback, regardless of your career stage. Both men and women get upset and defensive when someone criticizes their work. Surprisingly, negative feedback is a great opportunity for you to learn, grow and surpass your boundaries. An employee who can take bad feedback with pride will probably become an excellent leader someday. It’s important to take risks if you want to succeed; he who has never taken a risk in his life can’t move forward because he can’t move pass his mistakes.

Usually, when a manager gives negative feedback, it’s because he cares. He sees something in you that you can’t. Young employees take bad feedback negatively; women in particular, often feel attacked and insulted. It’s wrong to assume that your boss has something personal with you. Rather than complain, did you ever think to negotiate? Bargain for what you believe in, let your boss know you’re the best and that his negative feedback will help you grow and make a name for yourself.

Comvort Professional post by Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Listening – a must-have skill at negotiations

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Negotiating deals and doing everything that needs to be done for the success of your company can be a dreadful task. The key to having a thriving business is to bargain – as an entrepreneur, you should master all the basic techniques, and also find a way to build a personal style. Listening is one of the smartest ways of winning negotiations. For some, it’s just a trait that shapes one’s personality; for others, it’s a golden tool that can do miracles when used appropriately.

How come listening is so important at negotiations and what can people do to develop sound listening skills? First of all, thriving negotiations rely on the continuous exchange of information. Because we’re talking about “a process”, it may take awhile to develop. CEOs and entrepreneurs in general, shouldn’t expect counterparts to reveal everything up front; at least not in the first 15 minutes.

Listening MarCom Negotiations- Comvort

Listening in MarCom Negotiations

The key to having a fruitful negotiation is to ask questions and be an excellent listener. The information obtained from an opponent must be used wisely. Write down everything they say, underline allegations that should be backed up by solid evidence, and don’t hesitate to ask for clearance. Active listening helps people create options; ergo, it will be easier for them to compromise and land a win-win deal.

Be polite, don’t interrupt

A good listener must not interrupt when the other party is speaking. In case you want to clarify some things or ask a question, it’s best that you write it down. Concentrate and give the other party your undivided attention. When they’re done, feel free to address your questions. It can be extremely dicey to stop someone from speaking because they could reveal valuable information.

Speak with your body and let them know that you’re listening. Nod your head to approve, maintain eye contact, smile and remain calm throughout the entire negotiation. This will prove to the other party that you’re paying attention, which means they feel comfortable in your presence – they might even reveal some more information.

Have an open-minded attitude

Active listening skills and an open-minded attitude are both necessary for the proper process of negotiation. Let your opponent finish his presentation and be ready to offer feedback at the end. Ask for clarifications about points you didn’t understand and think in the best interest of your business, too. By understanding the speaker – who can be an investor, employee or a client – you understand the reason that lies behind certain choices. This should permit you to talk about negotiations, without fearing that some of the information is wrong or wrongfully perceived.

Steer clear of conflict -Negotiation Comvort

Steer clear of conflict

A negotiation doesn’t have to be about getting what you want in proportion of 100%. It’s impossible to persuade an opponent to give you everything and remain with nothing. Bargaining for something should be about working things out, making concessions, and finding mutual ground. The resulting deal should benefit both of you equally. For that to happen, business individuals must be willing to listen. Let an opponent gauge your attention, and use the information received to your advantage. Don’t engage in conflicting relations as nothing good can come out of a stressful negotiation process. In order to become the best negotiator, use the following tips:

  • Assess your communication style – self-awareness helps people leave a long-lasting impression
  • Attentive listening to the speaker – nod your head to show that you’re being attentive, and find a way to earmark thoughts that are being distractive. Ignore outside factors like noise and focus on the words and body language of the speaker
  • Let your body language speak and use it to prove that you’re listening as well
  • Don’t interrupt and be respectful
  • Turn to negotiation training to hone your skills

While it’s certainly a good idea to listen to opponents during a business negotiation, you are not advised to take for granted everything they say. The information should be accurate, so be sure to check dates and numbers, too, just to be on the safe side. Wait for your turn to speak, share ideas and talk about compromise. Win-win solutions doesn’t just mean that you’ve landed a good deal; it means that you’ve got yourself a business partner too, someone who may be able to help you in the foreseeable future.

 

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Emotions – how to use them perfectly at negotiations

Emotions and empathy play a vital role in negotiations, whether in business or in politics. Emotional awareness can steer prejudices and it can also give self-control. Sometimes, classic negotiation skills fail, and to demonstrate poise and control, one must use inner emotions to land a good deal. Experts argue that emotions have no place in negotiations because they make people seem weak. However, it is possible to control emotions and use them to your advantage. Many people fear negotiations, and rather than finding a way to deal with their inner feelings, they clank up. Here are some excellent guidelines to help you put emotions to good use in a negotiation.

Nervousness – a feeling that can be controlled

Believe it or not, nervousness is a feeling that can be controlled in a negotiation. Make your anxiety become curiosity by attentively listening to your opponents. Pay attention to everything they say, as body language, words, and variations in their vocal tone can help you make an opinion. An observant negotiator is able to spot opportunities for mutual agreements, so it’s certainly a good idea to ward off your concerns and focus on the facts. According to some experts, when you’re deeply attentive, the mind “forgets” about feelings such as nervousness and concern. For a negotiator to attain emotional balance, he must ward off all his fears by focusing on the speech or presentation of his opponent.

Take a break

Experienced negotiators know how to cool off when things heat up in a negotiation. Taking a break is one of the most effective ways of dealing with your emotions. There are times when deals don’t go as planned, and although you are not nervous in the beginning, you may start developing some feelings of angst as things move forward. Skilled business people have the capacity and the expertise to intimidate an opponent. They can throw your confidence out the window in a matter of seconds. In this scenario, it’s best to ask for a recess. A short break will help you calm down; your team should be there for moral support, too.

Emotions

Anger can be an asset

Provided that you use anger strategically, it can become your strongest weapon. Some people are more productive when they’re angry; they have better ideas and they’re not afraid of dealing with unpredictable circumstances. In some scenarios, anger can be used as an indicative of your toughness. An attitude that’s hard-hitting may intimidate an opponent, and therefore your persuasion abilities will be greatly improved. As much as we want to believe that anger can be an asset in negotiations, it is important to know your limits. We’re talking about a feeling that can scare business partners and associates when it becomes too extreme.

Anxiety – the perfect recipe for success in business

Anxious people usually end up losing negotiations. Why? Because it’s simple for an opponent to sense that you’re afraid. Fear leads to a wealth of other unpleasant feelings, and in the end you may agree to a bargain that can’t possibly benefit your company. Don’t let your nerves get the best of your when negotiating, and use your anxiety to reap great benefits. Generally speaking, important decisions entail increased levels of hesitation, and trying to come up with a mutual agreement may lead to apprehension. Be lucid and don’t let emotions interfere with your logical way of thinking. The best way to make your anxiety help you win negotiations is to forget it exists.

While anxiety, anger, and nervousness are perfectly understandable emotions people feel in a negotiation, we can’t say the same thing about fear. Ironically, fear is more common than the other three, and it usually has dreadful effects on your self-esteem. Do you usually feel your heart pounding at the mere thought of bargaining with someone? You may be afraid of negotiations, and this unpleasant emotion won’t help you build connections and close good deals. If you can’t control your emotions when dealing with employees, investors, and customers, you might need some negotiation training; the best way to control emotions is to block them out of your system. Fear is a useless emotion in business. There’s absolutely no reason for you to be afraid of your opponent. Rather than let fear affect your judgment, focus on the facts and be rational.

By Jason Phillips and TheGapPartnership.com!

Win-Win Negotiations: Way of transforming them into reality

Win-Win Negotiations

For decades, people have been talking about win-win negotiations, but this type of positive outcome has not always occurred in reality. Often, negotiations still involve an antagonistic approach, where one party has to lose in order for the other to win. A 2013 survey of market shows some encouraging news. It seems that more businesses are finally realizing that a positive, collaborative approach can yield better long term outcomes.

Win-Win Negotiations

Win-Win Negotiations

A shift towards a collaborative approach

More are more business executives are pursuing a collaborative, partnership-based approach to relationships with suppliers. This is a change from the older, aggressive approach where business people tried to drive the hardest possible deal, usually at the other party’s expense. Though there have been negotiators who took a win-win approach before, they were typically the exception, not the norm.

Old-style negotiations relied heavily on defensive, compliance-based contracts that featured negative incentives for non-performance. These contracts were designed to reduce risk for the buyer, and transfer that risk to the supplier. Today’s contracts are more balanced, and include positive incentives, shared responsibilities, and shared benefits. Businesses today recognize the need for innovation, flexibility and continuous improvement, and these are increasingly allowed for in contract negotiations.

The role of negotiators is beginning to change. Talented negotiators now are not just skilled in gaining an advantage over the other side. Now communication and facilitation skills are coming to the forefront and negotiators seek to build consensus with the other side, rather than just scoring points. They work on creating an environment of trust between business partners, where both sides can pursue shared objectives.

 

win win negotiation

Win-Win Negotiations

 

Reasons for the shifting style of negotiation

One of the reasons for this shift is that more negotiators are looking at the overall outcome and business bottom line, rather than just the parameters of an individual deal. With pressure to show profits and growth, they are realizing that developing relationships and partnerships can be more effective than maximizing the profits of each deal on its own. The success of a deal is no longer judged in isolation, when the contract is signed. Instead, a longer-term view recognizes the value of sustained relationships.

Another shift is that the buyer in a negotiation no longer always has the greater power. In some industries, such as mining, utilities, automotive, or oil and gas, the suppliers can have the upper hand. Shortages in supply, technology, and skilled labor can shift the balance of power. If the buyers want to be seen as a favored customer, then they need to take a different approach to negotiations.

A third factor that is driving this change is that contracts are more complex than ever before. No longer are cost, quality and time the only factors, as in the traditional view of a negotiation. Today, there are also concerns with sustainability, regulatory compliance, and reputation risk. There are many different stakeholders to consider, and agreements can be complex and difficult to arrange. Developing an on-going relationship with valued business partners can be more effective than handling each deal as a one-off negotiation.

win-win negotiation

Win-win negotiations – your ticket to success

Believe it or not, win-win negotiations come with a wealth of benefits. First of all, all parties involved are more relaxed when entering a meeting whose purpose is to reach mutual ground. However, just because the parties involved want to collaborate and create a relationship, this doesn’t mean they will agree to any offer. Mutual relations are excellent in business, as long as they can bring valuable benefits to all the parties involved in the negotiation.

Win-win negotiations can bring a lot of benefits to your business. Companies that want to make a name for themselves and get recognized should compromise more to reap benefits in the long term. Take all the time you need to make a decision, counter offer if you’re not feeling comfortable with a first offer, and be ready to argument your claims. Not every business individual is a skilled negotiator; yet, you can always opt for negotiation training sessions to perfect your abilities and master the techniques. Stick to your guns no matter what, maintain a professional attitude, and you will have great chances of reaching a mutual agreement with your opponents.

R.G.