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Six Strategies To Excel In Negotiation Knowing how to negotiate your way will always dictate your approach to success or failure.

By Ranya Al Hussaini Edited by Pamella de Leon

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Negotiation is a bargaining session to settle difference and reach a midpoint between two parties. We negotiate a salary, a raise, a deal or any matter of the heart. Knowing how to negotiate your way will always dictate your approach to success or failure. Technically, the skill is considered one of the most wanted soft skills that requires patience, persistence and stamina. To gain more credibility while negotiating, you need to emphasize the importance of building a rapport with the other party. By building a rapport you will not only consider a common ground to negotiate from but will accentuate the durability of the connection. Preparing for negotiation you would need to prioritize the importance of gathering all the required information and understanding the pros and cons of the situation.

In a recent study over salaries, people at discovered that people would avoid negotiating salaries fearing they would lose the job or lacking enough confidence to fight for what they deserve. The study showed that 74% of people would avoid putting themselves in such situations because they were nervous and not confident enough. Whereas, 67% of people did not want to appear difficult, 51% of the people avoided negotiating because they were afraid that they would not get what they wanted and the rest 48% did not know how to ask for more.

Related: How To Find Your Negotiation Comfort Zone

As entrepreneurs, you are constantly put into situations that push you urgently to negotiate a deal or an idea. Learn how to initiate calibrating questions (open ended questions) which are the kind of questions that grasp the core of the subject matter. Come forward with an amicable demeanor and establish affinity between the party members. To win this over, emphasize the power of "we" rather than "I". Look for a common place where both parties can walk away with a satisfactory smile.

To give you an extra oomph, and get you started; I will pinpoint six strategies to excel in negotiation.

1. Always bid for a little higher

The main concept here is to realize the importance of what you are negotiating for. For this to be achieved, having more confidence with the subject will always push you to raise the bar a little higher than expected. Figuratively, such practice will place great value, stabilize your confidence and emphasize the importance of the subject put into negotiation. Remember that knowing all aspects of the deal will lay more importance on studying the matter from all angles. Hence, you will never be pushed into lowering your standard.

2. Maintain a poker face

Basically, you need to maintain a poker face if you ever want to be ahead of your game. Understanding the deal on the table will empower you to own up your stand, intelligently. Avoiding the fact of falling weak or reflecting a moment of emotion in front of the counterparty. Remember that you need to demonstrate a position of power and accountability. Stay firm and flexible to push the matter to the desired place. Know more from your counterparty by understanding their budget, issues, and any given specifications. Ensuring a poker face will make you on a leading position of stability and authority.

3. Place yourself in a position of power

Placing yourself in a position of power will not only gain you respect but a lot of influence and integrity. Always stay calm and collected while negotiating the matter. One way to do that, never toss a number, and never speak first about the subject. Always listen with tact to the other party, know how much they can stretch with the subject. The idea here is to remain flexible and yet so composed if the matter went unexpected.

4. The power of "We vs. I"

Nowadays, negotiation is built successfully on a win- in situation. Building such a relationship will promise longevity and loyalty between the party members. The significance here is mainly placed on sharing the game with good heart. "We vs. I" will always establish a base of goodwill, trust, and more common ground for both parties to share.

5. Know when is your BATNA or WATNA moment

BATNA stands for the best alternative to a negotiated agreement and knowing your alternatives before any negotiation will place you in a position of accountability. The BATNA moment will act as a cushion to all other shocks or underestimation you might face in any given agreement. Knowing your BATNA moment will be the best solution you would refer to when the agreement tightens up. Your BATNA will strategically play on strengthening your position in any given situation. In here, you will understand that any given situation will have multiple choices. A good example of that, leveraging yourself with so many options before any given agreement will promise to boost your confidence, and will act as a resistance point to your stand.

On the other hand, your WATNA moment stands for the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement. To understand that, you need to acknowledge what are the weaknesses hiding around the corner of any given agreement, and what could fail or not come back to your interest. Going to the worst-case scenario would always teach you one thing- to reconsider your bottom line. WATNA is very helpful when it comes to understanding the bound of the deal. In here, you will understand your priorities, the range of the agreement and what could go wrong. A good example of WATNA would be if you set to sell an item within a limited time period then reconsidering the selling price will help to sell it fast.

6. Listen tentatively

Once you start discussing any given agreement, make sure you listen carefully to the other party. The idea here is to understand the other point of views. To secure a place of trust, land an ear to the counterparty's issues, worries, or maybe obstacles they are afraid to face. By listening, you gain more knowledge about the other's position. Thus, will make you more aware to stir the wheel intelligently while discussing the agenda on hand. Listening here is mainly about collecting more information from your counterparty. Respectively, make sure you drop down more open-ended questions to learn more, and summarize the whole deal.

7. Mirroring

The fact of mirroring your counterparty will enforce affinity and loyalty between the two parties. In here, you are initiating a relationship built on trust and honesty. Repeating the other's non –verbal cues, wording or any other reflection will help in building trust between the members. Hence, agreement on the scheme would go smoother, and more successfully.

Related: The How-To: Tackling The Emotional Challenges Of Being An Entrepreneur

Ranya Al Hussaini is the wordsmith manipulator. Ranya believes that all mistakes and problems occur from the fact of miscommunication. Diving deep into NLP, psychology, and human nature brought the urge to write back to the public. Her aspiration is Helping to shed some lights on society's main issues and problems. Ranya is a sporadic writer on many topics including self improvement, and business.  She is a certified coach in NLP- hence helping her to master writing from different perspectives.

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