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5 Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid

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The art of negotiation is an art every man, woman, and child in the world has to learn. From convincing your teacher your dog ate your homework to negotiating a business deal that could make or break your business, this is a skill you need to master if you want to prosper. There are five mistakes you need to stop making, however.

Let’s take a look at how you can rectify these five negotiation errors.

1. You’re a Bad Negotiator

Stop believing you’re a bad negotiator. You’re not a bad negotiator. It’s all in your head. The fact you’re even in a position to negotiate demonstrates someone must have faith in you. Think positive thoughts whenever you enter one of these situations. Take the dominant position and say to yourself you’re going to get this, this, and this, without question.

Even deep breathing exercises can banish these negative thoughts.

2. Negotiating in High-Pressure Situations

Negotiation happens in every aspect of life. Don’t rely on what you have at the times where it really matters. Train yourself by negotiating whenever you can. One situation you could use is negotiating a discount with a cashier. Little situations like this can refine your skills and give you additional confidence in those high-pressure situations.

3. Not Doing Your Research

You can’t negotiate with someone if you know nothing about them. To better understand what you can negotiate out of someone, you need to try to assess the situation from their point of view. Think about what they likely want and what realistic want they can compromise on. Do your homework on the other person’s business interests and do it well in advance.

You’ll have few problems getting your strategy right if you do this.

4. Unbreakable

Negotiation isn’t a synonym for arguing or bullying. You’re not here to win and conquer all in front of you. Negotiation is about compromising, so both parties leave happy. You’ll find it difficult to make good relationships if you’re determined to get everything you want to the detriment of everyone else.

Be willing to compromise. We all have our sticking points where we won’t climb down, but make sure you have some room for manoeuvre. Before entering any negotiation situation, confirm what you can move on and what you can’t move on.

5. Not Asking the Questions

If you don’t know something about the other person or you don’t know what they want, ask them. It seems like a stupid thing to say, but it’s shocking how many negotiators assume things. They fear that they’ll look silly or unprepared by asking questions.

The reality is they will probably appreciate you more for it. It shows you want to know more about them and you’re being attentive.

Want to know something? Ask. Want to know whether the other party will climb down on something? Ask. On average, someone may say no three times before they say yes. Even if you’re rejected, you shouldn’t consider it anything other than a victory.

See also: How to Successfully Negotiate With Clients

Overall, negotiation is one of the most difficult situations we can find ourselves in. Too many people misunderstand what negotiation actually is. This is not about going to war. You will have to work with the other party, at least in the short-term. There’s no future in any professional relationships if someone leaves with a bad taste in their mouth.

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Getting what you want is as important as making the other party feel as if they’ve had some success. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but get it right and negotiation will ultimately lead to a more profitable outcome for all involved.

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