Negotiating is an essential part of business life especially when collaborating. Whenever you attempt influence others, push through ideas, establish or improve relationships, you are negotiating.

Here are 10 tips to help you become an effective and confident negotiator:

  1.  Preparation: Never enter negotiations without preparing – the person with the most information usually does better. The more you know about the other side’s strengths and weaknesses, the greater your chances of getting what you want.
    2. Practice and being confident: The art of persuasion involves a rational and reasonable approach. Practice at every opportunity – most people hesitate to negotiate because they lack the confidence. Develop this confidence by negotiating more frequently.
    3. Flexible Style: Different types of negotiation require different styles. The secret to negotiation is therefore preparation, confidence, an ability to persuade, and a flexible style.
    4. Decide what you want to achieve: Define your expectations from the beginning to avoid confusion at the negotiating table.
    5. Separate People from the Problem: Negotiators are humans with their own perceptions and feelings. The other party also wants something out of the negotiation; therefore, each position should be taken into consideration. The technique is never to attack, but to stay objective.
    6. Listening and responding: Avoid interrupting when the other negotiator has the floor. When speaking, it helps to use sentences that start with “I feel.”
    7. Plan B and Plan C: Have a practical back-up plan in case your first plan is unsuccessful – you may end up having to compromise.
    8. Focus on mutual interests: An effective negotiator keeps in mind that the other party may be trying to achieve the same goal but may be using different negotiation tactics or strategies.
    9. Win-Win Situation: A successful negotiator tries to work out a solution that is mutually beneficial for both parties. It is about compromise in which all parties get what they want in a mutually beneficial agreement.
    10. Put it in writing: If you want to solidify a deal write it down, this ensures that all parties are accountable.

A successful negotiator is calm and collected – stating their arguments in a logical and reasonable way, but at the same time, they are not a soft touch.