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The Art of Negotiating – How to Win at the Negotiating Table

You wouldn't want to go to the battlefield unarmed. The same thing is true when entering negotiations. You must know what you're getting into. If you want to win at the negotiating table, you must anticipate your opponent's tactics and countermoves. You must know the right approach to get the upper hand. After all, half of the battle is won through preparations. Be it in marriage, career, family, friendship, or business, you must learn the art of negotiating.

Here are some great tips from experts:

Drop the ego.


When you bring your ego to the negotiating table, talks can easily get hostile and lead to a heated argument that could go round in circles without any resolution in the end. And this can be a complete waste of time. Instead of focusing merely on what you want and how you can get it, try to keep an open mind and know how to manage your emotions well (not to shut them off completely).

Although your buttons might be pushed, don't allow yourself to be controlled by your ego, taking things personally. Be reminded of what truly matters and present your case well with well-thought of counters, hoping for not just for a one-sided victory but for a win-win at best.

Find the right tactics.


Do your homework. Know who you're dealing with and try to figure out their perspectives beforehand. This will help you develop the right strategies and use the right approach and tactics for a more favorable outcome. You can't secure a win simply by laying down all your facts on the table and forcing them to agree with you. You have to be prepared with the counter-arguments. Negotiations are a two-way street, after all. Aside from creating a well-developed argument and organizing your thoughts when presenting your case, you must also anticipate their responses and know how to react to these. Be flexible and open yourself up to collaboration.

Be wise.


Sometimes, it's better to be wise than smart. Negotiations don't always go smoothly. There could be some setbacks. Don't get derailed and discouraged by any untoward circumstance or unexpected response. Consider the other party's point of view and understand where they're coming from.

Instead of focusing solely on winning, look into your mutual interests and evaluate both the short-term and long-term goals and benefits. Don't be afraid to raise questions and to lay down all your concerns on the table. Seek out the best alternatives in case the negotiations turn a different way than what you imagined. Be patient. And even if you have all intentions to stand your ground, don't lose your professionalism.

Pay attention to body language.


Body language also matters when negotiating. It says a lot about you and the people you're dealing with. Apart from knowing what to say, you must also learn how to communicate your thoughts and interests through body language. By paying attention to gestures, you'll also get a hint if the other party is interested in the plan or if they're not on the same boat as you. In which case, you can try another approach or find something that can get them on board. Watch out for the cues. Be more open and try to communicate with enthusiasm to get them engaged or more involved.


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