How to Learn to Negotiate and Why It Matters

Often our goals conflict with the goals of others and what is important to us doesn’t matter to the other. Being able to negotiate – to come to a consensus, to convince others of the need for certain actions – makes life easier.

Why It Is Important to Be Able to Negotiate

You don’t have to be a warlord or a movie star to benefit from negotiating and bargaining skills.

If it’s about work, you:

  • Get a job, even if you don’t meet all the requirements.
  • Get the best possible offers.
  • Work to a schedule that suits you.
  • Never waste energy and nerves on conflicts with colleagues because you know how to identify in time the causes of stumbling blocks and come to an agreement.
  • Get on well with partners and clients, earning the company a profit and reputation.
  • Take vacations when you need them.
  • Turn projects in when it suits you best.
  • Study at the company’s expense (and also work out at the gym and get your teeth fixed).
  • Do mostly those tasks that interest you.

In your personal life, negotiation skills also bring a lot of benefits, as you:

  • Buy an apartment or a car for the best price.
  • Get discounts in almost any store.
  • Borrow money on favorable terms.
  • Get more promising offers when you bet live on 20Bet or go to the nearest bookstore.
  • Quarrel less often with your beloved parties, parents, teenage children, friends, or neighbors because of trifles.

In general, the ability to negotiate helps you achieve your goals. Besides, you gain confidence in yourself and in the future, relations with people improve. You are no longer perceived as an egoist or a tyrant because you do not just strive to agree but also listen to the point of view of the other person, showing empathy and sympathy.

What Does It Mean to “Negotiate”?

Unfortunately, everything is more complicated than it seems. To come to an agreement, a consensus, or a solution that satisfies all participants, several negotiation skills are required. Among them:

  • Establishing contact (building mutual trust).
  • Active listening.
  • Empathy, emotional intelligence.
  • Managing expectations (you understand what the interlocutor wants from the negotiation, what result he is satisfied with and why).
  • Persuasion and argumentation.
  • Critical thinking.

Besides, your chances of negotiating are higher if you are:

  • Attentive.
  • Patient.
  • Friendly.
  • Flexible.
  • Honest.
  • Determined.

Anyone can be attentive, patient and honest – especially if they are interested in a positive outcome. And negotiation skills can be acquired or developed.

Let’s not dwell on paid courses and business training. It is worth resorting to them if:

  • Your success at work directly depends on your negotiation skills (e.g., you are a sales or procurement professional).
  • You have already tried out the methods below, have learned the basic skills of negotiation, have realized their usefulness, and are ready to go further.

Do Practical Exercises

Negotiation is a skill, and skills cannot be acquired without practice. Fortunately, almost any situation in life allows for practice. If you decide to improve your negotiation skills, always, without exception:

  • Bargain for a discount.
  • Ask for better terms.
  • Say no to small things (the ability to say “no” confidently is the key to successful negotiations) to negotiate later.
  • Name the best outcome for yourself out loud-before agreeing to the one offered by default.
  • Negotiate with your children about household chores instead of forcing them.
  • Try to guess what the person is thinking and feeling by their body language, gestures, and micro-mimicry.

At first, these tasks are hard to complete, but soon you will be able to do these exercises easy.