Negotiation is the determination to get what you want, help the other party get what he/she wants, thereby creating a mutually beneficial business-oriented relationship.
Negotiation is a form of communication. To get optimum results, you need some skills in order to improve your bargaining power. Some of them include:
Probing: Before you hit the nail on the head, you have to probe to know the other party’s position. Don’t just be interested in what you want. Endeavour to know what the other party really wants. In chess game, if you are only looking at your own piece, without considering your opponent’s strategies, then the end is in sight.
Learn to drill the other party. Don’t just engage in peripheral conversion. Ask questions that will help you known what he or she wants. Don’t be in a hurry to seal the deal. Ask questions that really matter.
Build Rapport: The basis of rapport is that when people are like each other, they like each other, when people are not like each other, they don’t like each other. When you are negotiating, you can achieve more when you are liked by the other party.
The first major element of rapport is to match the other person’s modality. If the other party is emotionally/down, and you are in an excited state, there will be an emotional block in your conversion. Have you ever felt bad when you approach someone in an excited state, and the person ‘barks’ at you in return? That’s an emotional block. To be an effective negotiator, first thing you do is: Put yourself into the other party’s state. That way, you will be able to feel the way he or she feels, and then rapport is built.
The second element of rapport is the physical/mirroring of the individual’s physiology. People who are getting on tend to sit on stand as if the one is a mirror image of the other. This matching happens unconsciously.
Engaging in deep and productive conversation with someone can be achieved by building rapport. Is good to know that anything you do at the negotiation table will increase or decrease your bargaining power. Here are some rapport-breakers that can reduce your bargaining power.
Using formal language: In everyday conversation, if one speaks formally at all time, it hinders the flow of communication and breaks rapport. When you are formally dressed and the negotiation venue is a formal one, you don’t have to necessarily speak formally. The emphasis is that you should not be too formal in your conversation. Just open up by using everyday English.
Do not use words that the other party might misunderstand. (You don’t expect him/her to keep a dictionary beside to understand you.
Doing their thinking for them. Do not jump to conclusion by completing a sentence for the other party. It is unethical to do that fact is, you don’t know what the other party is thinking. Don’t conclude quickly, probe to get the facts right.
Not listening: Have you ever prepared your speech before talking to your staff, that you are to engrossed in your speech that you do not care to hear what he or she is saying? It is easy to do that if you want your request to be granted. You better listen to what the other party is saying. Listen as if the other party is the only person in the world. If you care to listen to him or her, he or she will tell you what you need to know when you listen to someone, you will also be listened to.
Your attitude determines your attitude. When you are, negotiating you should maintain a positive mental attitude. You are not begging the other party to grant your request out of pity. You are offering something valuable and mutually beneficial.
You should be prepared to net down the billion butterflies that might break loose when you want to start negotiating. If the other party knows you are nervous, then your bargaining power reduces.
Develop your confidence. I have realized that experience is an important recipe for success is confidence. Before leaving for the negotiation venue, psyche yourself up. Tell yourself positive things until you sense that your confidence has increased. Telling yourself “I can do it” fifty times is not a bad idea. You can even visualize your success at the negotiation state.
Okpala is an intern with The Tide Newspapers.
Okpala Ogoamaka C