What do venture funding, employee reviews, project planning and vendor selection have in common? Let’s put it simply – they call for negotiation and persuasion. Most business meetings are not seen as a negotiation, but they still involve communication and bargaining. The parties involved must reach an agreement and for that to happen they have to resolve their differences. Leaders who want to attain success need the mindset of a skilled negotiator. Whether we’re talking about CEOs, entry-level managers or entrepreneurial leaders, to get to the top you must be ready to ask for what you deserve.
Negotiations are complex – in business, they’re vital
Leaders should possess strong negotiation skills. Bargaining is not just a matter of buying and selling, it’s more about doing everything that needs to be done for your company to thrive. Sometimes, you can only achieve your goals if you’re ready to sit down and negotiate. Internal meetings for example, are common situations wherein leaders must use their negotiation skills. You will have to discuss about technical specifications, timetables, staff management, and financial incentives.
Whenever you’re settling for terms, fixing a problem or dividing tasks, you are negotiating. These are common situations that happen anywhere; leaders are used to dealing with people – whether we’re talking about employees, vendors, investors, HR – so they shouldn’t hesitate to speak their mind in an email, on the phone, or during a formal meeting.
Leaders should master the art of negotiation
To master the art of negotiation you have to be good at influencing people. Leaders can do that, however it’s equally important to sway perception while maintaining positive relationships and outcomes with employees, customers, partners, vendors, and investors. Believe it or not, it’s easy to make people like you. All you have to do is make them trust you first. Cater for the needs of your people, understand their desires and fix small issues before they turn into giant dilemmas.
Are you ready to build rapport? Just because you should. Good relations lead to increased trust, and when people trust their leaders, they’re more open to negotiating perks. For example: you know your top 5 employees should get a salary raise. However, sudden company issues doesn’t allow you to offer them that raise. What do you do to convince those people that working with you is the right thing to do?
It’s simple: you bargain. Give them something equally satisfying without having to talk about money. Better working hours, a nice office, a paid vacation sometime in the future, are perks that will convince employees that your company can offer them work satisfaction.
The mindset of a negotiator is authoritative
There’s nothing more powerful and compelling than the mindset of a negotiator. As a leader, you should have an authoritative attitude without taking things too far. You may be in change, but that doesn’t mean you have to abuse that power. The mindset you convey in every possible negotiation is just as significant as the strategies, tools, and tactics you’re planning to use in the process. Are you a leader who’s willing to listen in order to become a master negotiator? Here are 5 traits you should possess:
- Flexibility – you may have to change your beliefs to reach an agreement and close a good deal
- Patience – keep your cool, let others make mistakes
- Resilient attitude – no matter what happens, keep your feelings under control
- Emotionally proactive – control your emotions and don’t let them interfere in the negotiation process
- Listening abilities – skilled negotiators are excellent listeners because they know they can use an opponent’s data to their advantage
Are all leaders’ good negotiators? No, they are not. Negotiation is an art, a skill that needs time to develop. Without this skill business people, mostly executives won’t be able to make sensible decisions. Leaders are the extremely important for a company because their goal is to inspire, motivate, and engage employees, vendors, and investors.
If you’re not ready to bargain for what you want, and deserve, than your whole company’s productivity may be compromised. Always be ready to fix conflicts, listen to all complaints, and try to find a way to please everyone; while that might be hard to achieve, you can always negotiate to solve issues and make sure your company stays productive.