Here are notes from a recent seminar I went to: The average negotiator is beset with doubt while the above average negotiator is confident. The average negotiator doesn’t tell compelling stories, doesn’t know their product and doesn’t translate features to benefits. A simple definition of negotiating is communication with another to the point of reaching an agreement. It is the simple human process of give and take; it is an essential life skill. The 5 negotiation personality types are based on the way you handle conflict called the Thomas–Kilmann Personal Conflict Styles: Avoidance, Accommodation, Competition, Compromise & Collaboration (best). The 5 “P’s” of being a strong negotiator are: Posture (attitude), Preparation, Positioning (identity/branding), Presentation and Performance. A few key tips, “don’t take anything personal”, “do not get emotional”, “be honest & flexible”. Great negotiators have great presentation, questioning and listening skills. More key tips: Look, Learn, Listen & Read and Have an appropriate sense of humor. 5 Myths Associated with Successful negotiators: 1. In order to win at negotiations you have to be a hard-nosed nasty son of a gun. 2. Negotiation is synonymous with fighting. 3. Negotiation is a skill & talent reserved only for very manipulative business people, educated diplomats & unrelenting children. 4. Great negotiators have no ethics. 5. Negotiating is always a structured, rigid process. 5 Strategies of successful negotiators: 1. Staying calm, exercising patience and remembering to be the calming influence in the negotiation. Be a reflective negotiator, not an emotional reactive one. Do more listening than talking. 2. A honed ability to question & then listen. Ask more questions and become a student of human behavior. 3. Understand the importance of silence. It makes people feel un-comfortable and typically concessions will fill the dead air. A pause will refresh you, a glace out the window or a sigh can speak volumes. 4. Not having a winner-take-all-mentality and understanding that the negotiation process many times necessitates compromise. Sometimes you can be right or you can be happy. 5. The ability to speak with clarity & conviction. Sometimes when you don’t know what you are talking about, it’s hard to know when you are finished. Misc negotiating tips & techniques: 1. The 1st rule of negotiation – BE NICE. 2. Ask more than you expect. 3. Never give a-take-it-or-leave-it ultimatum. 4. Figure out whether the disagreement is objective and quantifiable or emotional. 5. Never say yes to the first offer, there is almost always some concession on the way. 6. Know how to flinch effectively (non verbal communications speaks volumes).
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