Every day you face different situations in which, consciously or not, you have to negotiate to achieve your goal. But these situations also arise in the working world. Taking a decision, agreeing work plans or simply resolving a conflict – everything needs negotiating. That’s why it’s important to know not just how to negotiate but how to do negotiate well.

What is a negotiation? It is a conversation between two (or more) people that meet to seek an agreement that satisfies the interests of both (or all). The key to effective negotiation is the ability to compromise; in other words, being able to give ground on certain points so that you can attain your ultimate goal.

However, before facing any type of negotiation, you must be clear about what the different stages are:

Preparation: Define what you want to achieve and how to achieve it, set a goal and limit how far you are prepared to give ground to achieve it. In addition, before entering a negotiation, try to work out the strengths and weaknesses of the other party and, of course, your own.

Discussion: In this stage, a conversation or exchange of ideas between the parties takes place in order to define the points in issue with the other party.

Proposals: These are what are negotiated. Initially, avoid risky proposals; have prudent goals since it is more likely that they will be accepted. Before starting the negotiation, plan different strategies according to whether your proposals are accepted or not.

Exchange: This is a vital stage in the negotiation since both parties state that they are prepared to give up something in order to get something in return.

Closure and Agreement: The purpose of closure is to reach an agreement and in order for it to be accepted it must satisfy a sufficient number of both parties’ needs. Bear in mind that different types of closure exist:

  • Through concession. In this closure you offer a concession in order to reach an agreement.
  • With a summary. Make a summary of all of the agreements reached to date, highlighting all of the concessions you’ve made.

Nobody has said that negotiating is easy. Not only must you bear these stages in mind but certain abilities are also required to ensure the success of the negotiation. Active listening, control of your emotions, empathy, decision-making capacity and even being patient are some of qualities that recruitment managers value in selection processes, since they make candidates good negotiators.

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