How to be a brilliant negotiator

What is negotiation? 

A negotiation is a strategic process in which two parties resolve an issue in a way that both parties find an acceptable outcome. In a negotiation both parties try to persuade the other of their point of view. Negotiation involves some form of give and take and inevitably one party must come out on top of the negotiation, and this can result from a good or a negative negotiation process.

Why a “win-win” negotiation result is important

Reaching a good, “win-win” negotiation is often the goal of most business negotiations.  Good negotiations contribute significantly to business success, as they help build better relationships.

Influencing a good negotiation

How can you influence a negotiation outcome, and ensure that you control a negotiation so it builds trust, identifies interests, gains agreement and secures mutually beneficial outcomes? Working on the skills that effective negotiators have to influence both the negotiation itself and the outcome is a great place to start.

Traits of effective negotiators

Great business negotiators share some of the following traits:

Think clearly when faced with conflict

Good negotiators are able to remain calm and think clearly in the face of conflict. A party may try to throw the others off balance with pressured or controversial tactics. Good negotiators don’t rise to conflict, they remain calm under pressure and demonstrate confidence in their own position.

Maintain self control

Negotiations can get tense. So good negotiators keep their cool and don’t allow themselves to be riled or irritated or upset by others’ behaviour. They are able to maintain their composure and respond appropriately and with consideration.

Able to easily flex their behaviours

Being able to flex and adapt as required during negotiations is an important characteristic of an effective negotiator. Adopting different negotiation styles as and when required and being able to flex their behaviour to match that of the other parties is key to a good negotiation outcome.

Create and maintain an effective negotiating climate

Good negotiators think of all the parties involved and are able to create a productive and positive environment for negotiations to take place. They carefully consider their own behaviours they display and avoid displaying behaviours that may irritate and provoke the other person. However, they can also influence the negotiation climate if they need to adopt a hard bargaining approach.

Need more help with brilliant negotiations?

Be a Brilliant Negotiator reveals the philosophy, strategies and behaviours required to enable you to prepare, structure and conduct “win – win” negotiations. It also identifies how a negative negotiation philosophy can adversely affect any of your virtual or face-to-face negotiations.

I found this really beneficial and insightful – practicing these scenarios really helps you to be able to learn from your initial approach and is a great opportunity to obtain feedback as we can always improve.

Rebecca Swann, Client Manager – Payroll services, Mazars

Extremely useful role play. Took me outside of my comfort zone but it was a valuable experience and I will take the feedback on board.

Daniel Watson, Senior Manager, Mazars