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Hardly a day passes when you don’t get into a negotiation. Even simple everyday activities like convincing your friend to eat at your favorite restaurant or negotiating an amount for a business deal. Being a good negotiator in today’s turbulent business environment can make a big difference in your career. While some of us are born with good negotiating skills but some of us might not. But it is not the end of the world because negotiating skills can be built. All it needs is practice and some strategies to follow. Here are some tips to help you improve your negotiation skills.


1. Accept your flaws

The first step to acquiring any new skill is getting to know your flaws and accepting them. By doing so you can work on correcting them. Learn from your mistakes and get help if needed. Recognize your powers by practicing it as often as you can. There are many books for you to read that will help you build your skills. 



2. Do your homework

Now, this is a key aspect to frame your argument around. Go ahead and gather as much pertinent information prior to your negotiation. This is a vital step and will help you in making decisions that would be very crucial during negotiation. You may leave some money on the table if you don’t do your homework properly. Plan your aspirations and outcomes. Prepare a rough plan of your strategies and plans to bring oin the leverage to the deal. 


3. Do not make the first offer

If you are new to negotiating try to avoid making the first offer. You may try to make the first offer thinking it would give you the leverage but sometimes it may backfire. When you let the other person make the offer, it gives you a chance to counter negotiate the deal. You can use the opportunity to make the deal anchor your way by using the information you gathered.



4. Never giveaway free gifts

Do not give away anything without receiving anything in return. Whenever you give something away, get something in return. Otherwise, you are inviting the other negotiator to ask you for additional concessions. Aim higher and don’t be generous. Winning a negotiation will build your self-esteem and help you with your confidence in the next deals. 


5. Listen more, talk less

Spending more time listening during a discussion helps you know a lot about what the other person wants. Many conflicts can be resolved easily if we learn how to listen. Listening is a forgotten art that we need to practice more. People are so busy making sure that people hear what they have to say that we forget to listen. Listening to them can really help you understand the other person and how to deal with them.


6. Don’t force the deal

Try to understand the other person’s perspective, understand their needs and concerns. Sometimes your needs and concerns may not resonate with that of the other person. If such a situation arises, it is better to walk away and not negotiate further. Winning is not everything there are other things that matter too. Rethink the deal and check if it resonates with your aspiration. Don’t force a deal if you aren’t happy with it. Prior to the discussion, make sure you are clear on what your goals, as well as the ‘walk-away’ points, are.


7. Take time to accept the offer

Patience is the key to success. Take your time to evaluate the offer. Never ever accept the first offer. Communicate your needs and wants to the other side and listen to theirs. There is always some room for negotiation. Successful negotiators always look at the situation from the other side's perspective. Never agree to a quick deal. There might be something on the table that you might not notice just yet. Do your research again and never agree without a good negotiation.


The biggest tip one can ever give you is to practice as much as you can. Think about all the aspects of the deal. Ask yourself a few questions before the negotiation, like

  • What does this deal mean to you?
  • What does this deal mean to the other person?
  • What are you ready to risk for it and what are you planning to achieve?

After reaching a conclusion after negotiation as yourself if the deal is beneficial to you? Does it resonate with what you previously anticipated? Make sure you are satisfied with the outcome. 

Build your confidence and do not be afraid to lose. Learn from your mistakes and try using the tips above the next time you are negotiating.



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