Negotiating Skills Are Key To A Prosperous Future

Words such as negotiating with jello, shape-shifting, emotionally unstable are just a few of the terms recently used to describe Trump’s negotiation style. Donald Trump has made certain that we have all heard about his great ability to craft a great deal and his book “The Art Of The Deal” which was written in 1987. This book is partly a memoir but at the same time a business advice book that reached #1 on the New York Times best-sellers list. Trump understands both the power of this skill and how to use negotiating in a way to propel himself forward financially as well as socially. Being able to navigate around obstacles to reach a positive objective that works for all parties involved has a great deal of merit and getting a better price when buying or selling an item quickly adds to your bottom-line.

Never Underestimate The Role This Skill Plays

The simple truth is that for the average person becoming an astute negotiator is the best way to increase their ability to get what they want. One of the greatest skills a person can develop is the ability to negotiate. Life is a giant negotiation where we constantly bargain with people in an effort to reach our goals. Failure to do so generally will result in a person continually being shifted to the least desirable table in a restaurant or not getting fair compensation for their work. This is an area of our lives people often overlook or fail to give enough thought or invest enough time to understand or learn. Let me clearly state negotiating is not simply about the ability to get rich, but much much more. My advice to all is we should never underestimate this skill and the power derived from using it well.

Sadly, I find that people often rush to subcontract or outsource the task of negotiating to others such as a real estate agent or attorney, this is something I suggest you resist in that without a vested interest or what has been referred to as, “skin in the game” they tend to go through the motions but not do a very good job. Instead, it is best to improve your own skills. I went to an extensive seminar decades ago that proved one of the best investments I ever made. It highlighted and brought home the importance of negotiating. I consider this so important that I have made an effort to mentor all of those working with me in expanding their ability in this area. Negotiating skills include studying and understanding body language as well as the hidden meanings within conversations. At times it can extend further into grasping true motivation of all parties, the issues behind the issue, or the ability to figure out who really holds the power to broker a deal.

Negotiating Is A Complex Skill That Can Be Learned

Many negotiating tools and strategies exist, so the more options you bring to the table the better. Some strategies are cultural or seem to be dominate in specific regions of the world. The Chinese and Asian cultures often use a patient and unbending technique that is designed to wear down and frustrate their opposition. In this game, they seem in no hurry to resolve issues and tend to grind you down, while in Russia the bargaining might be very hard and every possible concession squeezed from a situation before an agreement can be reached. Here in America, we rush to compromise and it is that willingness to be fair that often weakens our position.

Not only can learning to negotiate at a higher level help you get more out of life but as a bonus, this skill can also be used for conflict resolution. While writing this piece I referred to the book I had written and I happened to come upon an interesting story about an orange that I had forgotten. In this story, two sisters quarreled over an orange both sisters wanted. The suggestion they could split it in half made neither sister happy. This was because of the failure to realize that one sister wanted the fruit of the orange to eat and the other wanted the peel from the orange for baking. A better option was available, but neither one saw it. People generally assume the differences between two parties create problems but they can also be the solution.

We cannot appreciate enough how understanding the fundamentals, psychological skills, strategies, and a structured approach enhances the chance of reaching a positive result. I strongly advise reading a book about negotiating techniques, it can quickly reveal the often hidden complexity of this process. One really important thing to remember is that not all deals are equal, this means it is extremely important to think a lot about “major” deals. When negotiating an agreement with oversized ramifications or involving a great deal of money, slowing things down and taking your time can improve your outcome. The more experienced the party you are dealing with the more caution you should exercise, as it has been said time and time again, the devil is in the details.

Some people may possess a special ability or have a “natural knack” for negotiating, but we must remember this is a skill that you can learn and hone with practice. Like the art of salesmanship or any other skill, it is important that it become part of your arsenal as you navigate life. In a situation where we fall upon hard times, it could become invaluable to both yourself and those you love. We should never underestimate the power of being able to arrive at an outcome that is beneficial and hopefully, at the same time creates an environment of trust putting in place the foundation for future cooperation. The fact is a person who masters this skill can negotiate their way to success and has the potential to better their life in ways we can only imagine.

H/T: Bruce Wilds


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