Negotiation tips

Negotiations - Negotiation Tips

Experienced negotiators use a set of techniques, skills and etiquette to ensure that they manage to extract a favourable outcome from almost any negotiation. These techniques and skill can be used in any negotiation and situation – from family discussions, pay raises, negotiation with clients or vendors, bargaining while purchasing something and more.

Advice from Masters – Quotes & Tips on Negotiation

Negotiations quote by Chris Voss - He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of negotiation.

Dealing with No: ‘No’ is a reaction, not a position. The people who react negatively to your proposal simply need time to evaluate it and adjust their thinking. With the passage of sufficient time and repeated efforts on your part, almost every ‘no’ can be transformed into a ‘maybe’ and eventually a ‘yes’ .

Logic does not always prevail: We’ve been raised to believe that logic will prevail. Logic, in and of itself, will rarely influence people. Most often logic doesn’t work.


Herb Cohen – Author – You can Negotiate Anything

Free flow of information: At the core of every successful conversation lies the free flow of relevant information.

Keep Deadlines: Goals without deadlines aren’t goals; they’re merely directions.

Manage your emotions: Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.

Questions to ask yourself: What do I really want for myself? What do I really want for others? What do I really want for the relationship?

Start with Heart: this is the first principle of dialogue—Start with Heart. That is, your own heart. If you can’t get yourself right, you’ll have a hard time getting dialogue right.

Listen: One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears—by listening to them.

Always respect your opponent: Respect is like air. As long as it’s present, nobody thinks about it. But if you take it away, it’s all that people can think about. The instant people perceive disrespect in a conversation, the interaction is no longer about the original purpose—it is now about defending dignity.

Kerry Patterson – Author – Crucial Conversations

Manage your reactions: You need to suspend your reaction when you feel like striking back, to listen when you feel like talking back, to ask questions when you feel like telling your opponent the answers, to bridge your differences when you feel like pushing for your way, and to educate when you feel like escalating. 

Diplomacy: Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.

William Ury – Author – Getting Past No

Empathy: Negotiate in their world. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.

If you approach a negotiation thinking the other guy thinks like you, you are wrong. That’s not empathy, that’s a projection. Psychotherapy research shows that when individuals feel listened to, they tend to listen to themselves more carefully and to openly evaluate and clarify their own thoughts and feelings.

Politics aside, empathy is not about being nice or agreeing with the other side. It’s about understanding them. Empathy helps us learn the position the enemy is in, why their actions make sense (to them), and what might move them.

Calibrated Questions: Another simple rule is, when you are verbally assaulted, do not counterattack. Instead, disarm your counterpart by asking a calibrated question.

Ask calibrated “How” questions, and ask them again and again. Asking “How” keeps your counterparts engaged but off balance. Answering the questions will give them the illusion of control. It will also lead them to contemplate your problems when making their demands.

Use “How” questions to shape the negotiating environment. You do this by using “How can I do that?” as a gentle version of “No.” This will subtly push your counterpart to search for other solutions—your solutions. And very often it will get them to bid against themselves.

Giving your counterpart the illusion of control by asking calibrated questions—by asking for help—is one of the most powerful tools for suspending unbelief.

The implication of any well-designed calibrated question is that you want what the other guy wants but you need his intelligence to overcome the problem. This really appeals to very aggressive or egotistical counterparts. You’ve not only implicitly asked for help—triggering goodwill and less defensiveness—but you’ve engineered a situation in which your formerly recalcitrant counterpart is now using his mental and emotional resources to overcome your challenges.

Chris Voss – Author – Never Split the Difference

5 Negotiation Outcomes

  • Win-lose: when you don’t like the other person and don’t really care for the relationship, you don’t mind hurting the other person and playing win-lose
  • Lose-Win: when you like someone and care deeply for the relationship, you may have a tendency to accommodate and play lose-win
  • Compromise: an outcome when neither party gets exactly what they want, but also do not feel like they have lost either
  • Lose-Lose: the worst outcome, when nobody wins due to a failure to negotiate
  • Win-Win: the best outcome when both parties come out of the negotiation having achieved what they want. This is the ideal that should be aimed for, even if not always possible.

Top 7 Books that teach you how to Negotiate Better

7 books that will train you in the art of negotiation, to help ensure that you never leave another negotiation dissatisfied.

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