AKALI_Academy_Blog_Post_08_How to negotiate skilfully and master yourself as an effective leader

How to negotiate skillfully and master yourself as an effective leader?

The ability to negotiate skilfully is a crucial core leadership trait that effective leaders should be masters of. 

A good part of a leader’s time is spent in negotiation. 

The skill of negotiation takes a bit of tact that not everyone possesses right out of the gate. Leaders who lack the ability to negotiate can find themselves losing deals or getting into a situation that they later regret. 

Being a master of the art of negotiation can help you not only to become a better leader but can help you excel in other areas of your business as well.

Due to this, negotiation skills are an integral part of effective leadership because it involves the use of persuasion and negotiation to achieve a win-win outcome.

Effective leaders also adopt a certain type of behaviors and attitudes that can convert their opponents into allies:

  • Being proactive, not reactive;
  • Demonstrating a positive attitude; view their opponents with a positive frame of mind;
  • Avoiding pre-conceived notions;
  • Ensuring that their mind is fully focused
  • Keeping the channels of communication open
  • Being cheerful and avoiding talking negatively about the other party
  • Empathizing with the other party
  • Striving for win-win

Beside the mind-set, there are skills that leaders can develop to become better negotiators and, consequently, more effective leaders:

1. Identify your outcome

If you want to influence people to rally behind your vision, perspective, a cause, or simply a new way of doing things, you have to know what exactly you want to get out of a deal and then figure out how to best acquire these negotiation skills through training.

2. Planning Ahead

Preparing an event with time ahead is a must in the art of negotiation. Before going into a negotiation, an effective leader must study and understand the personality of the stakeholder, get knowledge about the interests of both parties and anticipating objections.

3. Presenting the facts and numbers

In a negotiation, you need to be able to back up the point with facts and figures. An effective leader influences the thinking of others by showing them where their information comes from.

4. Be ready to bargain

Once the facts and figures are on the table, there may still be some dissent. An effective leader doesn’t impose the timetable that is compiled on others.

Instead, bargaining is now encouraged. So, as an effective leader, you should think of alternative solutions that will satisfy the other counterpart.

5. Active listening

An effective leader listens actively. This means, that not only listens but also reflects other people’s positions. By practicing active listening you can ponder the other position and lets the opponent know that you have considered their stance. 

6. Practice silence

To ensure that we are heard, practice silence. This way, the other party understands something is non-negotiable, and to listen to what is being presented.

7. Role-playing your way to success

To ensure that we are heard, practice silence. This way, the other party understands something is non-negotiable, and to listen to what is being presented.

8. Emotional intelligence

The key skill for elevating negotiation skills is emotional intelligence (EQ). Negotiations are won and lost in the “feelings” of the parties involved versus in their “thinking.

9. Reversal techniques

Put yourself into the other side’s shoes, know their concerns and learn their motivations so well that you can create an argument supporting their side.

10. Willingness to compromise

Negotiation is about persuasion and not manipulation. In a negotiation process, each side is willing to listen, to compromise, and to come to mutually beneficial terms that help each party accomplish a goal. 

11. Empathy and creating a connection

Negotiation must be a win-win situation. So, you have to face a negotiation according to other parties’ point of view, what they have to gain or lose, and based on that, what they best respond to. 

12. Be yourself

To a truthful negotiation, you have to be confident to be yourself. Humour, light-hearted and down-to-earth conversation are always powerful ways to inspire and influence others.

13. Communication skills

You have to “walk the talk”, per se. The other party must see that your intention aligns with your objective. So, you have to talk not only with your mouth but with your body language, facial expressions, etc. 

14. Being comfortable with conflict

You can do your best to avoid conflict by being assertive. Nevertheless, that may occur some conflicting situations, and that’s ok. You just to swim with it. Do your research and have a plan ahead of time. Know your priorities before the discussion. 

15. Asking questions

The best way to approach a negotiation is to from a place of “being helpful” rather than as an adversary. This approach is much less stressful and much more constructive. You can ask about the issue that is being discussed, by asking: “Why is that important?”; “Is there another way?”; “What you gain with it?”

16. Asking “Why”

Ask not just what the other party wants, but why they want it. Ask “why” several times, if necessary. Equally important is to use this method to clarify one’s positions and interests.

17. Knowing your bottom line

The quickest path to a successful negotiation is to know your floor, mid-level and ceiling acceptable terms and to negotiate in that range.  

18. Coming up with an alternative plan

Good negotiators have a plan A, B, and C and they even have an exit strategy if things don’t work out. Roger Fisher and William Ury call this the “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement” or “BATNA”.

If you want to become an effective leader and a successful manager, you cannot underestimate the importance of negotiation skills.

You have to distinguish yourself as a master negotiator. 

For that purpose we invite you to know more about our next Training Program: Negotiate as a Woman @ AKALI Academy. Continue to follow us to know more details about it. 

Meanwhile, thank you for engaging with us on this blog. Please let us know your thoughts, questions, or doubts by leaving us a comment below. 

We also invite you to follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, share us on Linked In, or visit us on www.akali-academy.com and sign up for our free tool.

I look forward to continuing the conversation with you.

Have a great day,

Liliana Domingues

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