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Here's How to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Whether you’re keen to improve your success at work or in your personal life, negotiation skills are key. However, it can seem difficult to know where to start when it comes to tackling this daunting task. Here are some tips that will help to point you in the right direction.

Preparation Is Key

Everyone knows that preparation is key when it comes to negotiation, however too many of us fail to dedicate sufficient time and effort to this all-important element. Yet underprepared negotiators are more likely to make concessions that are unnecessary and to walk away from agreements that are beneficial. Therefore, preparing properly for important negotiations is the single most important thing you can do to boost your skills.

Taking The Proactive Approach To Training

If you’ve decided to take a training programme to help you with your negotiation skills, don’t just rely on recording the instructor’s key points. Taking notes is part of the process of learning, but it isn’t enough to help you succeed. You need to think carefully about how those concepts relate to your negotiations in practice. How can you apply these theories to your own talks and discussions? A proactive approach is the best solution. 

Be Prepared For Mistakes

Training for negotiations can be embarrassing, especially if you have to participate in simulations and roleplays. However, it’s important to recognise that these activities are vital to identifying and challenging flaws in your thinking and practice. Rather than feeling defensive or threatening when you realise you’ve made decisions in the past based on faulty intuition, accept that mistakes are a key part of improving your skills since they allow you to adopt more effective thinking patterns to apply to your practice in future.

Practice And Practice Some More

Turning new concepts into intuitive strategies requires practice. When you start transferring your newly acquired negotiation skills into your workplace it’s important to remain vigilant. Reflect on the things you’ve learned and decide which concepts you need to apply assiduously before actively practicing them at home and at work. Try out those new strategies and skills with your family and friends who will be more likely to forgive your mistakes until they become second nature and overtake your use of the old patterns you used to rely upon.

Find A Negotiation Coach

If you’re about to embark on a key negotiation, it’s like that someone in your company can give you the advice you need. Instead of just telling you the actions to take in any given situation, an effective negotiation coach will focus on boosting your own negotiation skills. They will help you to set realistic goals, to work out which techniques you should try, and help you understand what took place after the negotiation is complete. Good negotiation coaches offer consistent advice, stress how important thorough preparation is, rehearse your new negotiation skills with you, and then debrief your final result so you can develop and hone your abilities, and put them to good use in the future. 

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