23 March 2021

Whether in-person or virtually, negotiation skills help build better workplace relationships...

2:00 Min

...deliver lasting solutions, and mitigate future conflicts. Here are three techniques to gain confidence and boost your chances of success.

Come prepared

Whether discussing day-to-day matters or closing a significant deal with a client, experts recommend fully understanding the context and variables of the discourse beforehand. According to seasoned negotiators, the first step is to identify your BATNA – i.e., your “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement”. Knowing the best outside option allows you to enter a conversation with a concrete plan that boosts your power at the bargaining table. Having a BATNA also provides a clear safety net should you fail to reach a fair compromise.

Build rapport

A confrontational attitude does more harm than good, while a collaborative tone is more likely to yield favourable results. Experts highlight the importance of fostering mutual trust, and establishing respect and reliability to ensure a transparent exchange. This will help form a positive long-term relationship with your counterpart. To engage in constructive dialogue, use practical communication skills, don’t assume anything, refrain from irrational or emotional outbursts, and do your best to end the discourse in a timely manner. Here are five phrases to avoid during any negotiation process.

Be Fair

Although bargaining requires give and take, always aim for a mutually beneficial agreement. “Fairness gives both sides a feeling of victory,” says Jon Dwoskin, author of The Think Big Movement. “Be open and responsive to the conversation that takes place but be confident in your position to come away with a fair result,” he suggests. To equip you with the right set of tools, here are ten skills to master the art of negotiation to benefit both you and the organisation as a whole.