Many professionals struggle with negotiation because they don’t want to step on toes or come across as too ambitious. While negotiating can sometimes lead to conflict, it is necessary if you want to succeed in C-level support. The ability to negotiate effectively can help facilitate raises, promotions, and other career milestones, as well as improve your ability to gain new clients and influence decision makers. Below are some tips for how to improve your negotiation skills.
Rethink What Negotiation Means
Many professionals avoid negotiating with management because they equate negotiation with confrontation. Although it is true that the two can sometime go hand in hand, confrontation is not an inherent part of negotiation. Look at negotiation as an opportunity for both parties to come to an agreement in a way that gives everyone what they want. If you walk into a meeting focused on reaching an agreement that benefits you more than the other party, you either won’t receive what you want in the present or you’ll make future negotiations more challenging. Instead, focus on achieving an outcome that favors all parties equally.
Identify Interests and Goals
When negotiating, be aware of what your interests are and what the interests are of the other individuals involved in the conversation. The first step is to take the time to reflect on your goals before you begin negotiations. The clearer you understand your aim, the better. To understand the interests of the people you are negotiating with, you need to practice active listening. Let them talk enough for you to identify what they want and why they want it.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
If you have consistently struggled with negotiating, you are likely used to receiving less than you deserve. Over time, this can have a negative effect on your confidence. It is important to build yourself up before you walk into a negotiation. You need to believe you deserve what you are asking for from the moment you start talking. If others see hesitation or self-doubt in you, they will be less likely to cooperate with you because they will know it will be easy for them to get you to back down.
Successful negotiation is all about ensuring all parties walk away happy. You can improve your negotiation skills by focusing on creating win-win solutions, clearly identifying your interests, actively listening, and presenting yourself as confident and self-assured. Practicing your negotiation skills will make it easier for you to attain your own goals in a way that is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.
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