Negotiation Skills Training

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Communicate Clearly

Related:   Closing the Deal    > Communicate Clearly <   Learn to listen   Preparation   Set Goals and Limits   The Six Basic Principles of Negotiation  
Communicate Clearly

Be Clear

When I say be clear, I mean be clear in what you say and what you do. This sounds easier than it is. You must be sure that your actions, your body language, your tone of voice, and your words all send the same message. Are you as clear as you can be in your communications? You can rate yourself or ask those you love and trust. A good negotiator is an excellent communicator and understands how others think, feel, and function. But first, you must start by analyzing yourself.

Here are some tips for being clear:

Know your purpose in speaking and cut the mumbo-jumbo. Keep all your commitments. If you say that you are going to get back to someone at 10 a.m., be sure that you get back to them at 10 a.m. 14 Part I: Preparing to Negotiate In the rush of the workday, we often shortchange ourselves and others on clarity. When you say one thing and do another, you may confuse people. Good communicators are consistent communicators.

When you become sensitive to being clear, you can start helping others. You can tactfully bring the tangent people back to the point of the conversation and subtly curb the interrupters. When you meet people who are unprepared, you can educate them and bring them up to speed. As you master the six skills, you model them for others on your team and often to those on the other side of the table. And the negotiation goes all the better for it.

Push the pause button

Everyone has a pause button - a little device inside our heads that helps us maintain emotional distance in a negotiation. Some use it more than others. Others don't use it all. The pause button can take many forms - it can be a break during a heated negotiation, or it can be a moment of silence when you don't agree with someone's argument.

When you use your pause button during a negotiation, you prevent yourself from saying things you may later regret. Your pause button also allows you a moment of reflection. When you don't use your pause button, you may jump into a deal too quickly because you didn't spend enough time thinking about your words and actions. Never let your emotions take control of your actions.

Figure out in advance what sets you off. Identify your hot buttons. When you know what upsets you, talk about it with others on your team so you and they are ready if this kind of situation arises. We all have hot buttons, so we may as well deal with them upfront. If a negotiation looks to be headed south and talks are at a standstill, don't panic. Use your pause button. Think about the steps that got you to this point. Instead of making outlandish demands or angrily storming out of the negotiating room, take a breather and suggest meeting at a later time.

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