Become a Better Negotiator – Work on Your Communication Skills

Is it possible that we’ve got the idea of negotiation all wrong?

Some of us do, anyway. It’s easy to think of negotiation as a game, or a contest-especially when you’re good at it! As you approach the table for a negotiation, it can be tempting to think about how you might crush your opponent, or how you might try to get as many of your terms agreed to as possible.

But in the end, that’s an empty and ineffective approach. Negotiation should really be about compromise. It should be about both parties involved feeling like they got something of valuable-not necessarily all of their wishes met, but at least a fair shake.

Everyone should walk away from the negotiation table feeling good about things; that’s the idea, anyway. It’s ideal because it builds a foundation for a long-term relationship from which both parties benefit. Consider: If the settlement you reach is lopsided or unfair, at least one party is going to be reluctant to come back to the negotiation table again. It’s essentially a burned bridge.

It’s not about winners and losers, then. Negotiation is really about clear and effective communication. Communication is how you arrive at a conclusion that leaves you happy, but also leaves your partner feeling like he or she was heard and respected.

The Lost Art of Listening

So what are the communication skills you need in order to be a more effective negotiator? Here’s an important tip: The list doesn’t begin with speaking. It begins with listening. Active listening is perhaps the most significant communication skill you will ever learn, and it’s what separates great negotiators from inexperienced and ineffective ones.

As the other person talks, don’t just think about how you’re going to respond, or what you’re going to say next. That’s a quick way to lose invaluable information. Instead, really focus on understanding the person’s values, goals, and point of view. Encourage the person to keep talking, rather than rushing to jump back into the dialogue. “Keep going,” is something great negotiators say all the time. Or: “Go on!”

Remember to read between the lines, too. It’s not just about what’s being said, but what’s being implied. Even body language can be telling. Be alert to whether the person seems open, calm, frustrated, or standoffish.

Reentering the Conversation

Even when you do start your part of the discussion again, your goal shouldn’t necessarily be to start rambling. Instead, ask questions. Try to learn what the other person is aiming for, and where you might find common ground. The more information you can gather, the better prepared you will be to reach an agreeable settlement.

Hopefully, your questions will encourage the other negotiator to follow suit and make some inquiries of you; that’s when you’ll really start arriving at common ground. In any case, work through your conversation as though it is a collaboration. Don’t communicate like you’re speaking to an adversary; communicate like you’re speaking with a colleague, someone with whom you’re working together to find a solution to a shared problem.

Remember that negotiation is about moving forward together. It may sound counterintuitive, but that’s the best way to reach an agreement that truly satisfies.

Purchasing Presents Online

When it’s a loved one’s birthday everyone racks their brains in hope of a great gift idea. It can be difficult to purchase a great gift for people as many people buy anything they desire so there is nothing to purchase them that they have desired for some time. The following article has been written to help identify which present is most suitable to your loved one.

If there is a limited options to what to purchase for your loved one why not try a collectible item. Not only does this mean they can continue to collect them if they so wish but it is also possible worth money in the future. With collectible items you can sell them many years later for a lot of money. This is nice for younger family members and you are giving them money to use in the future. Personalised items are also a great options for people who purchase everything they want. Not only does it show thought but everyone likes a personalised gifts. These companies can easily be found online by using a search engine. They will often incorporate the cost of personalising the item within the price.

If neither of these ideas is suitable people often like children’s presents. However silly it sounds people often love have children’s gadgets or games to play with and it’s a great novelty gift. Adoption packs are also a great idea. People like to feel as though they are helping the environments, wildlife or third wild countries. This is great for people who have everything already. Don’t forget that anything you purchase should be purchased from a reportable site and you should keep the receipt or payment confirmation so that you are able to send the item back if it is not suitable.

Making a Buck From Presenting – You Can Do It!

The world – at least from where I see it, is full of people who either tell their story or tell you how to do something for money. For example, some time ago I attended a combined breakfast and talk by a young, personable (and pleasantly attractive) lady who told the story of how she had gone from rags to riches in a home-based-business. Until I signed up to hear her story, I had never heard of her, her firm, or her product. Thirty-five to 40 other people were also interested enough to hear what she had to say that they paid $15 (AUS) per head. Not much risk in a $15 fee (subsidised by a government agency) when a light breakfast is thrown in.

All of us have information and experience that is unique. You don’t have to be a Bill Clinton with high-flying stories of presidency and oral sex that wasn’t really sex, to earn an income, although it helps. There are dozens of less famous or infamous people earning a good income on the presentation circuit. True, it’s easier if you are tall, dark and handsome if male or lean, shapely and stunning if a woman. But don’t let your physical attributes deter you – there are many ‘ordinary’ people on the presentation circuit doing very well, thank you.

What you have to do is find a topic of interest that lends itself to a mix of humour and seriousness; ‘How to Make Your Marriage Last X Years or More’, ‘Being a Successful Marketer’, ‘Keeping Your Kids Off Drugs’, ‘Making a Fortune from Affiliate Programs’, ‘Creative Communication’ and so on. I’m sure you can think of a few.

Next, chase up some sayings and jokes that fit your topic. Put your presentation together and test it. Buy some nice clothes. Get your hair and finger nails done. Buy some nice jewellery – after all, if you are preaching success, you need to look successful.

People are keen to hear what others have to say and they’ll pay. To start with, pick an interesting or unusual topic, choose a town that has few presentations where people are starved of development opportunities, advertise widely, accept money up front and bingo! All you need then is a slick presentation and after a while people will be begging you to speak at their venue. You can make even more money if you have something to sell while your audience is excited – books, tapes, CDs, subscriptions etc. It can be a handsome money earner and a lot of good fun.

If you aren’t brimming with confidence, attend one of these motivational presentations some day and, If I’m right, by the end of it you will be saying to yourself, ‘I could have done that’

Copyright 2006 Robin Henry.