How to Negotiate Successfully Whilst Keeping Your Dignity

Whether you have just finished University and are in the process of considering job offers, or well evolved in your career and working on high-profile deals, negotiations are a part of everyday working life. Here are some tips to make sure you seal the deal and leave graciously with what you set out to achieve.

1. Set clear goals in advance

Without knowing what you to achieve before heading into a negotiation, you allow the opposing party to define your goals. Whatever you set to achieve make sure it is definable, and clear in your head first. Have a worst case scenario that will you will be prepared to lower your expectations to.

2. Pay attention to body language

Body language experts state that only 8% of communication is spoken, the rest is conveyed via nonverbal cues, including facial expressions, and posture. For example, sitting on the edge of your chair gives the impression that you are overly keen. Tapping your nails could make you seem impatient, and crossing your arms could make you seem closed off or even intimidated. Try to avoid these basic social faux-pas when you are negotiating. Remember to smile, give eye contact and even if you are nervous, allow your posture to seem somewhat relaxed.

3. Negotiate face-to-face

By not speaking in person, sets you up for a number of failures, even before the negotiation has begun! Email allows the weaker party to avoid or delay a confrontation, allowing them more time to write a strong response. Also, it’s much more difficult to misinterpret tone when speaking face-to-face, so make the effort to meet in person, so misunderstandings occur.

4. Try to understand the other person’s objectives

The best thing you can do during the negotiation is to correctly identify the other person’s most valued priorities. Quite often, the other person’s objectives aren’t that different to yours and you can then seemingly give them what they want, and feel as though they have also come away with a benefit.

5. Listen first and then speak

Notoriously good negotiators are known for sitting back and listening. This puts you in a position of advantage, as the less you engage, the more likely the other person is to speak out during your silence, and offer information they otherwise would have kept guarded.