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Best 5 Skills for Successful Negotiation

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

CMA Consulting in New Zealand give five skills for you to be a successful negotiator:

1. Reframe Your Anxiety as a Source of Excitement

Sweaty palms, a racing heart, and seemingly overpowering anxiety are all common side effects of the negotiation preparation stage. Even expert negotiators can get worried, but according to Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks, this state of mind can lead to costly conclusions. We often feel that the best way to deal with worry is to calm down, yet this is often easier said than done. Brooks suggests rephrasing the elevated physiological arousal associated with worry as excitement.

2. A Draft Agreement Will Serve as a Springboard for Debate

The anchoring bias is a common decision-making heuristic initially reported by psychologists Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman. It states that the person who makes the first offer in a negotiation is more likely to swing the discussion in their favor. Even for seasoned professional negotiators, the first offer can be a powerful anchor. Open substantive talks with a draft agreement, or standard-form contract, created with your legal counsel and any necessary decision-makers from your team to have an even more significant effect. A standard-form contract makes use of the anchoring bias and saves both parties time and money, making it one of the negotiation tactics worth attempting.

3. Use the Power of Silence to Your Advantage

We tend to hurry in to fill any awkward silences that arise in negotiations, as in any discussion, with persuasive strategies and counter-arguments. According to Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Guhan Subramanian, this could be a mistake. Allowing a few moments of silence after your rival speaks can help you properly grasp what he just stated.

4. Inquire for Assistance

Professional negotiators frequently feel that seeking help from the other party reveals weakness, inexperience, or both. In a recent study, Brooks, Wharton School professor Maurice Schweitzer, and Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino discovered that participants assessed partners who sought guidance as more competent than couples who didn’t. The researchers found that when we seek help, we flatter the adviser and improve their self-confidence. Take advantage of opportunities to seek advice from your adversary when you require it. Not only will you gain from the guidance, but you may also deepen your connection as a result.

5. With Final-Offer Arbitration, You Can Put a Fair Offer to the Test

You can be frustrated by a counterpart’s seeming incapacity to make or entertain reasonable, good-faith offers when negotiating to resolve a dispute under the shadow of a lawsuit. In such an acrimonious negotiation, how can you reach a fair resolution for both parties? Final-offer arbitration (FOA), often known as baseball arbitration, is a promising but underutilized instrument, according to Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman. In an FOA, each party makes their best and final offer to an arbitrator, who must choose between the two offers and not any other. The arbitrator’s ruling is final and cannot be appealed. When parties agree to employ FOA, their proposals become more reasonable since they have an incentive to please the arbitrator.


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Adam Goldberg