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Six Steps to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Self Improvement
Do you struggle when presenting your needs to others? If so, you may need help with negotiation skills!

Getting your needs met in a positive manner requires skill and assertiveness. Here are six fundamental rules to follow so that you are prepared for the negotiation process.

1. Time your discussion

Most people think clearly during early morning periods. To be a successful negotiator you will need to accommodate the mood and mind of the other person who you are approaching. Find a time for negotiation that seems best for both yourself and the other party. It is better to move the meeting to a time that is available for the other party, if required, and this will increase your chances of negotiating with success.

2. Break the Ice

Use your initial contact time to create small talk prior to negotiating at a more serious level. The aim of this is to create a positive and friendly environment so that you can pitch your appeal for what you need in an atmosphere that is open. Only move into the negotiation process when you are sure that your request will be considered in a positive moment.

3. Use I Statements

Frame your statements in the first person, stating what you want directly. For example, if you feel that you are performing your work satisfactorily and would like to negotiate a raise with your employer, use the phrase, I would like to bring up the subject of a pay rise.

One mistake that people often make during negotiation is using You statements. These types of requests come across negatively because there is the underlying feeling that the other person has let you down. For example, if you stated, You need to consider paying me more for the work I do around here, this statement may be taken as a criticism.

4. Be honest and direct

Be honest about your situation. Explain what you need and dont leave the other person guessing about why youre approaching them.

5. Show appreciation

All successful negotiators understand that a win-win situation can be produced when both parties compromise on things of lesser importance. When the other party agrees to your request demonstrate your appreciation by thanking them verbally, and in any other way that you think appropriate.

6. Stick to the issue

Finally, the negotiation process can become quite complex. To avoid getting lost in the details, keep to the topic that you need them to agree to. Make sure you dont confuse the items you are negotiating with items of personal interest.

By using these six rules in the negotiation process you will be able to produce win-win outcomes that are mutually acceptable.