As January draws to a close it got me thinking how many of us have already broken our New Year’s resolutions.  It can be hard to make big changes to lifestyle and health – especially in the bleak month of January.  So, instead, I thought I could encourage you to make some small changes that will improve your negotiating skills and reap you many benefits over the next year.  I reckon once you try these, you will not go back.

There are plenty of things to remember to do when negotiating, but perhaps even more importantly there are several things we must NOT do.  Here is my list of 5 important things to stop doing, that will actively benefit your negotiations:

  1. Stop TALKING.  I don’t mean entirely, but one of the biggest mistakes I see in negotiations is too much talking and not enough listening.  We can get carried away explaining our positions, our wants, our justifications and our arguments, but it is time to learn to be concise, clear and then stop talking and begin to actively listen to the other side.  Understanding in crucial in finding a way forward in negotiation, and we can only understand when we stop talking about us and listen to them.
  2. Stop FOCUSING. Negotiators, at least the good ones, think in ranges, not fixed positions.   Yet I regularly see and hear people planning on getting ‘x’.  The whole point of a negotiation is an exchange, and fixed positions are not only inflexible, they are also unrealistic and cause unnecessary obstacles to a deal.
  3. Stop DEMANDING. “ If I don’t get 20%, then I’m not interested in anything you have to say”. Sound familiar?  It’s not helpful to make unilateral demands from the other side.  What are you prepared to give them in return for their 20%?  Think about their needs too, it makes it much easier to get what you want.
  4. Stop JUMPING IN. Many a deal has gone wrong when one side jumps in with an unprepared statement/demand/offer.  Be careful with what you say in a negotiation, if it is not well researched, planned and correct, it can come back to bite you.
  5. Stop using PLOYS. It doesn’t matter what you read about them, ploys are ineffective – especially on seasoned professionals.  They also eat away at your credibility.  I remind my students regularly that a ploy recognised is a ploy disarmed.

If you want more information on how to stop doing the above, and start being a better negotiator, get in touch for a chat about what we can do for you.