Knowing how to negotiate properly is something that is essential to enjoying a successful career. Developing negotiation skills help to get a pay raise, clinch an important business deal, or be accepted for a new job. In order for your negotiation skills to work to your advantage, it is important to avoid mistakes when negotiating.
Many of the most common negotiation mistakes can be avoided with a little preparation and forethought. For example, failing to prepare your side of the argument well, not actively listening during the discussion, and having preconceived ideas are all some pitfalls when it comes to successful negotiation. The result of these negotiation slip-ups could affect your career or relationship with others.
Before we look at the worst negotiation mistakes to avoid, let’s look at why we all should improve the way we negotiate.
Strengthening your negotiating skills certainly helps to avoid some of the worst pitfalls when it comes to negotiating.
What is negotiation? The Queensland Government says negotiating is a process between two or more parties to come to an acceptable solution for both sides. In the workplace, good negotiation skills are important in building better day-to-day relationships and agreeing on formal transactions.
Skills that are involved with successful negotiating involve give and take, being courteous, showing respect, and being clear about your own objectives.
Assertive communicators are usually able to reach win-win situations while avoiding the mistake of becoming emotional or critical of the other party.
If you have to come to an agreement about your job, rate of pay, working conditions, or overseeing a business deal, what are some of the most common negotiation mistakes to avoid?
Good preparation is one of the keys to being a good negotiator. Even though you may have your main objective clearly in mind, don’t make the mistake of failing to prepare.
Good preparation before entering a negotiation will help you be more confident in your objectives. Adequate preparation will help you put over your arguments in an assertive way with confidence. Being well prepared will also help you avoid getting too emotional on the subject which means that you are less likely to forget something.
Not making the error of forgetting to prepare may also help you identify arguments that the other party may present in the negotiation.
One of the worst mistakes that undermines your negotiating skills is to make assumptions. So, never assume that something to be discussed is non-negotiable.
Making the mistake of assuming that something will not be possible could tie your hands in the negotiation process. So, think like a negotiator where everything can be up for discussion. If you do your preparation well, you may be able to present viable and mutually-acceptable solutions. Remember, that in many cases, rules and terms can be changed if you develop your negotiation skills well.
One of the keys to negotiation success is to build relationships with the other party before negotiation. Even if you have to go in ‘cold’ to a negotiation, making connections with the individual beforehand can benefit your discussion.
Getting to know someone better can help build mutual trust and help reach the best outcome in the negotiation.
Emotions can run high during negotiations and it’s important not to make the mistake of taking things personally. Of course, this can be difficult especially if you are personally affected. However, getting emotional during the discussion will put you at a disadvantage in achieving a win-win situation.
Keeping control of your emotions and avoiding the mistake of making an emotional reply will help you get the best possible outcome of the negotiation.
To help achieve the best result from the negotiation process, listening to the other party is just as important as what you have to say. Active listening shows respect to the other person and this will likely help find mutual areas of agreement.
Listening will also help you find out what the other person wants. This could also help strengthen your hand in the negotiation process as you may be able to find common ground. Identifying the needs of the other person also helps to see exactly where you are in the negotiation process.