There is no life without negotiation. There, I said it. When you try to cross a busy road and you wave at the driver to let you pass, you’re negotiating. When you’re trying to get a discount from that salesperson, you negotiate. Or maybe you’re just trying to get someone to switch seats with you on the bus. Negotiation isn’t always about business deals and promotions, it is also a part of your everyday life - Which is why I truly believe that every single person should master the art of negotiation.
So what do the perks of negotiation skills look like? Let’s dive into it.
Who doesn’t like a win-win outcome?
While the goal of negotiation is most certainly getting what you want, the best deals often incorporate suggestions from both parties. A good negotiator takes into account not only his interests but also that of those he is negotiating with. Coming to an agreement in complex situations can be….well, complex. Especially in those situations where you just want what you want and you’re saying “it’s my way or the highway”.
Well what good would that do?
Anger is a double-edged sword. If you get mad while trying to negotiate, you might actually get exactly what you want because you’ll intimidate the other person. Unfortunately it also damages trust and goodwill and if anything, makes you look like a selfish person. If you’re trying to build a long term relationship with someone - whether in business or elsewhere, learn how to negotiate so that you can get what you want without hurting your long-term connection with others.
The Harvard Law School named Nelson Mandela as one of the best negotiators of all time. His ability to persuade his adversaries through patience, strategic thinking and practicality was unmatched. In negotiating with a government that prized violence and resistance, Mandela ultimately achieved through negotiation - an outcome that he could never have gotten through violence.
You do not have to resolve to anger, violence and tantrums to get what you want, all you need to do is learn how to negotiate.You get something, they get something and everyone is satisfied.
Which brings us to our next point!
Get you that added boost of confidence
Being able to negotiate is an excellent confidence booster - it helps you see your own value and the skills and talents that you bring to the table. Negotiations are commonly fraught with emotion, and it’s not just you, because even experienced professionals have mixed and conflicted feelings about negotiation, including anxiety and self-doubt.
In the recent past researchers have examined how particular feelings influence what happens during deal making. And as you probably already know, negative emotions lead to negative outcomes. I can guarantee you though, that once you’ve mastered the art of negotiation, you’ll have the guts to go after anything you want to.
Negotiation skills equals confidence. The better you are at negotiating, the more confident you’ll feel. That’s simple math. And the opposite is also true. When you suck at negotiating, you’re going to associate making deals with negative emotions; and it might look like this:
- Anxiety : when you’re trying to ask for a raise
- Anger : when you’re desperate to get what you want
- Sadness: You feel the need to plead, beg or gain one’s sympathy
Every month, 28000 people do a Google search for ‘how to negotiate salary’. That’s a lot of people who actually have concerns regarding their ability to negotiate. Now tell me, if you are confident in yourself, and you know so very well you deserve that raise, why are you worried?
Here’s the thing. Knowing your value isn’t enough, you still have to be able to communicate that value to others. You still have to convince others to see what you see and that’s where negotiation comes into play. You could be worth a million bucks, but if you can’t make others see that, then your negotiation skills need work.
And how does this extra confidence help you? Read on.
You strike better deals
Let’s be real here, “something is better than nothing”, and if you don’t negotiate you’d probably be getting “nothing”. If your boss doesn’t offer you a raise, and you don’t ask for one - chances are, you’re not going to get one.
When you have the capacity to negotiate- which we all do, you won’t settle for whatever that just comes your way. You’re actually going to ask for what you want and hopefully get something out of it. If you don’t ask, you don’t get - it’s as simple as that.
As a negotiator, you don’t do the “take it or leave it” act. Your priority is to keep the negotiation going on long enough for you to find a deal that works. When you know how to negotiate, you no longer come from a single-minded thought process, instead you’re focused on problem solving to satisfy yourself and the other party involved.
The key here is to always get something in return for your concessions and to remember your value. Negotiation skills help you provide others with the things that they value highly, but have little incremental value to you. When you’ve mastered that, you’ll be striking big deals.
You learn to communicate better
With interpersonal skills, it’s more than just knowing all the right things to say. It’s also about knowing how to adjust the tone of your voice, convey your emotions in an appropriate manner as well as allow your body movements to be in sync with your speech. If you were to speak, and only speak without considering any other aspect - you’d probably sound like a robot or just socially awkward.
Negotiating properly always requires inherent respect for the other parties involved. It’s important that you make others feel comfortable as well when you are busy making deals. In fact, some people are so good at negotiating, talking and just getting others to trust them that they end up using their skills for all the wrong reasons.
Back in 2012, the U.S. and North Korea came to an agreement whereby North Korea had given their word to put a hold on their enriched-uranium weapons program and its long-range-missile activities in exchange for food aid from the U.S.
Well guess what? Just 17 days later, North Korea sabotaged the deal by making plans to launch a satellite using a long-range-missile. A couple of weeks down road, they launched their rocket, which ultimately exploded in mid air.
Now I’m not telling you to use your negotiation skills to trick people or get into shady businesses - hey I mean I’m not judging if you do, but being able to communicate with so much conviction is just powerful. And with great power comes great responsibility. It’s evident that if you have a way with words, you can make a deal with almost anyone. Claim that power today.
With that, it’s also important to always prepare for the consequences of a broken deal, including damage to your reputation. Great negotiators have a way with words and you just can’t help but trust them. It’s like when you buy that 300 dollar coffee machine that you didn’t need because the sales boy convinced you to - only to come home and wonder why you even got it in the first place.
Imagine being so good at negotiating that you’re able to get the things you want while building great relationships with others. If that isn’t a good enough reason for you to master the art of negotiation, I don’t know what is.
Something extra to remember - high expectations produce the best results when it comes to negotiations. Start off on a high note. Put your expectations out there, and work your way downward based on the other party’s needs. Do not be intimidated by strong bargainers, you have the same capability. Happy negotiating!