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Acing the Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is a process through which people agree or disagree with a point. It is an art of conversation in which the negotiators try to settle the point, either in agreement or disagreement, to achieve the best possible outcome. A negotiation is an important tool which is used in daily business transactions, settling disputes, asking a salary raise, dealing with international affairs, government matters, and legal systems. Negotiation skills can be of a great benefit in resolving disputes and coming to a conclusion which is mutually agreed upon. The key to negotiation is to get what one wants without cheating or neglecting the other party’s wants, and that’s a big challenge!

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One can easily become a good negotiator with practice. We have put down a few tips for you to get started.
1.  Be a good listener: It is very easy to assume what the other person is saying that we don’t give them a patient ear. Listening is important because it will help build trust with the other party and secondly, make them feel respected. It is essential to concentrate on what the other party is saying, so as to understand all aspects of the negotiation.
2.  Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA): It is always advised to have an alternative plan which you can pull into your negotiation conversation when you feel it is going out of hand. A strong alternative will lead to two possible outcomes – settle with the agreement with terms favourable to you or decline the negotiation deal. Having a strong alternative will boost your confidence to reach a mutually beneficial agreement or opt for a better alternative.
3.  Look for common links: Another key point in negotiation is to look for common interests which you share with the other person. You can have an informal chat and figure out what interests both the parties. It could be a common interest in sports, films, or history. When you share common interests with the other person, it would be difficult for them to confront you.
4.  Ask questions: It is very important to delve into the minds of the other party and try to gauge their thought process. For doing that, you must ask them questions. For example, if you are negotiating salary, never give them a salary range such as Rs.7,00,000 per annum to Rs.10,00,000 per annum. The potential employer will tend to close the negotiation at the lowest range i.e. Rs.7,00,000 per annum. Instead, ask questions and do not provide any range if you do not have much information.
5.  Look out for trade – offs: Successful negotiators seek to win – win solutions in every deal. After – all, the objective of approaching a negotiation is to attain a win – win situation for both the parties. It also helps you in broadening your pie of share. For example, if your boss is not able to give you the salary raise you wanted, but speaks to you about your promotion or adding more role responsibility. Thus, he is able to offer you more than the original deal, thus reaching a mutually beneficial outcome.
Negotiation is an art which can be aced through practice. One needs to be open and honest while approaching the other party with a keen intent in how to maximize benefits for both of you.

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