Why Negotiation is a Valuable Skill

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(Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash)

Negotiation is a type of discussion used to settle a dispute or come to an agreement. In the business world, negotiations are vital for setting salary terms for employees, equity percentages for investors, and contract terms for clients. Beyond the business world, negotiation is used in all areas of your personal life too. In many cases, it can be tempting to avoid conflict and accept current terms, but negotiating and improving your position doesn’t have to damage the relationship and can even strengthen it. Being able to negotiate well can lead to better opportunities in your career and personal life.

Learning How to Negotiate Effectively

While it may seem like some people are naturally better at negotiating than others, it’s a skill that anyone can learn and develop. Taking a negotiation online certificate course is a great way to develop your ability to negotiate successfully. Not only will a course give you the framework of knowledge you need, but it will also allow you to test out your negotiation skills and receive valuable feedback. Online courses give you extra freedom that an in-person course doesn’t offer, meaning you can complete your studies from anywhere.

Outside of taking a course, you can also develop negotiation skills through practice. It’s important to remember that a successful negotiation shouldn’t be getting what you want at any cost. Ideally, it should be a good compromise between both parties, where each gets what they want. Because it can be complex, it’s difficult to develop it effectively through practice, but if you’re mindful of your negotiation techniques and your conversations, you should be able to develop much faster.  

Steps for a Successful Negotiation

A successful negotiation will actually call upon several skills which are all interconnected. When you first enter into negotiations, analysing the situation is important to be able to see a situation objectively and identify threats and opportunities.

By analysing the situation before you start negotiating, you can avoid asking for something that is out of reach or getting into a negotiation where you have no hope of getting anything. You’ll also be able to look for ways that can improve your leverage and give you better bargaining power.

Once you’ve assessed the situation, the next step in negotiating is coming up with a strategy that combines strategic thinking skills with planning. This should look at what you learned through your analysis of the situation while also preparing you for anything that may come up.

Persuasion is the skill most commonly associated with negotiation, and it is generally very important when attempting to convince others of your point of view. Good persuasion skills require excellent communication skills, which is not only about getting your point across but also about understanding the other person’s point. You need to be able to show how the thing you’re asking for will also benefit the other person, which requires understanding their needs.

Types of Negotiation

There are two main types of negotiation, which each require a different approach. These types are:

  • Integrative negotiations – These are considered win-win negotiations, where both parties come away with something that benefits them. Trade-offs will usually take place that give a mutually beneficial solution and allow both parties to be happy.
  • Distributive negotiations – This type of negotiation is considered a lose-win, where one party is slightly worse off at the expense of the other. However, it doesn’t always have to be a negative result. For example, a deal could result in the seller of a product missing out on more money than originally asked for, but the payment could be completed instantly, meaning they don’t have to wait around for it to clear.

When analysing the situation before entering into negotiations, you’ll be able to determine whether it’s likely to be a distributive or integrative negotiation and how to handle your approach accordingly.