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Negotiation Skills for Work and Life (or How To Master the Art of Getting What You Want)

Negotiation Skills for Work and Life (or How To Master the Art of Getting What You Want)

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“He who has learned to disagree without being disagreeable has discovered the most valuable secret of a diplomat.” – Robert Estabrook

Are you a skilled negotiator?

Negotiation skills are often the difference that make the difference in achieving more of what you want in business and in life.

We negotiate every day.   With our friends, our family, our colleagues, our bosses.   We negotiate everything from where we want to go on vacation, to what to work on next.  We negotiate our jobs, our schedules, our salaries.

Strong negotiation skills can set you apart.   Especially, if people find out that you are fair, flexible, and have their best interests at heart.   If you are manipulative, out for your won interests, and go for the win-lose, you’re the one who loses over time.  Zig Ziglar said it best:

"You can have everything in life that you want if you just give enough other people what they want."

But negotiation skills don’t come easy to many of us.  We have to work at it.

What are some of the things we have to work on to build our negotiation skills?

Here’s a short list …

How to figure out what you want

How to figure out what other people want

How to be able to read a situation

How to figure out what people value and to speak in that language

How to be able to figure out key concerns and the threats people perceive

How to know what success looks like for both parties

How to be flexible in what you want

How to trade up short-term wins for long-term gains

How to stay connected with people while having crucial conversations

How to develop your emotional intelligence and keep your cool under pressure

These negotiation skills and many more help equip your for negotiating with the best of them.  But, where do you start?   There is a lot to learn.

One effective place to start is the book, The Complete Guide on How To Negotiate.  I wrote a detailed book review so you can explore it:

The Complete Guide on How To Negotiate: Master the Art of Getting What You Want in Business and in Life

What’s good about this book is that it cuts to the chase, equips you with the mindset of an effective negotiator, and gives you strategies and tactics you can use for a variety of scenarios.   It’s a short book that focuses on giving you negotiation skills that you can use in work and life to get more of what you want, and potentially more important, help you avoid getting taken advantage of.

The book has a solid foundation because the author both has extensive experience and drives from the philosophy of going for the win-win, rather than playing a bunch of tricks to take advantage of, or manipulate people.   That said, you’ll learn what the most common tricks of the trade are, and how to deal with them.

I could recommend a lot of books on negotiation skills.   In fact, another book I would recommend that helps build your fundamental negotiation skills is Influence Without Authority.    What I like about The Complete Guide on How To Negotiate is that it gets you up and running fast.   Then, if you want to really build out your repertoire and understand persuasion and influence at a much deeper level, then dig through Influence Without Authority.

If you read these two books, you’ll be well ahead of the pack.  In fact, you’ll know when people have not read these books because they’ll be negotiating all wrong.   They’ll only know their point of view.   They won’t answer what’s in it for you.  They’ll be rigid in their approach.  They won’t speak in the language of what you value.  They’ll be going for a win-lose.   You get the idea.

Even if you don’t like negotiating, at least work on your negotiation skills so that a lack of negotiation skills won’t work against you.   Too many people, all around you, are asserting themselves and their positions for you to sit idly by and be on the receiving end of bad propositions.

You know you’re doing a good job when you can effectively argue for you, your team, your company, your customers, the right thing to do, etc.

In fact, the more you build your negotiation skills and learn how to influence without authority, the more you will enjoy using your ability to grow new and better opportunities for all those involved, right under your feet.

It’s the Stephen Covery way of staying out of the scarcity mentality, finding 3rd alternatives, and creating a bigger playground for everybody to play in.

  • A very nice article, J.D!

  • Strangely, your blog has again appeared when I needed it most. Your inspiration is appreciated, thanks mate.

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