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Learn To Negotiate To Get What You Want

Updated: May 21, 2020


Negotiation skills help you prepare and be confident in any situation • Negotiation is a useful skill to have for personal and professional situations. • Becoming a better negotiator takes preparation, practice, poise, and perseverance. • We have opportunities every day to become better negotiators at work, school, and at home.


Negotiation Skills Matter Remember the last time you were asked to do a new project that stretched your resources without compensation? Or when you wanted to ask for a salary increase but did not feel confident enough to begin the conversation? These are common instances in our modern professional life that call for negotiation. The word “negotiation” brings up an image of people arguing in a room and not reaching an agreement. This is not always the case – we negotiate with everyone we interact with daily, and some of these conversations have more impact on our lives. These important conversations are the ones that require you to know how to negotiate skilfully so you can get as close as you can to what you really want.

You can follow these four steps to create the opportunity for you to negotiate to get what you want: • Recognize The Opportunities • Organize Your Curiosity • Start The Conversation • Steer The Conversation

Recognize the Opportunities The conversations that you want to have – about more resources or a higher salary, for example – can begin anywhere. Formal settings like a meeting usually puts people on higher alert, more defensive, and less agreeable. If you know what you want to ask for, be mindful of the small interactions that can lead to having a more meaningful conversation down the road.

Organize Your Curiosity Once you have information about how to have more resources, or if there is a possibility of a salary increase, be strategic with how you gather information. Preparation is key to negotiation success, so ask if there have been instances when more time or manpower was given to a similar project. Perhaps there was a colleague who received a salary increase. Ask the right questions.

Start the Conversation With the right information and knowing who the decision maker is, go ahead and introduce your interest to the right people. Know how to approach the decision maker – does she like new ideas or prefer traditional methods? By initiating the conversation you are showing leadership and responsibility, which are key values in negotiation.

Steer the Conversation A dialogue will always have twists and turns, specially when there are multiple interests at stake. Remember what matters most to you, and learn to be sensitive and creative without giving up on your BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement). Come prepared with reasons why you need the extra resources or the salary increase while maintaining your poise.

Skilful negotiation can bring you closer to what you want, and the more you prepare, practice, and persevere, the better your outcomes will be.


The Leadership Institute offers a 3-day WSQ Strategic Negotiations Course to equip you with a Blended Learning environment to practice your negotiation skills.

Find out more about our negotiation class here:

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