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The art of becoming a better negotiator

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Lisa Barrand 1 minute read

There are four simple things you can do to ensure you always come out on top

1. Take the time to properly prepare. Preparation includes: understanding what alternatives your partner has and working to enhance your offering relative to these; setting aspirational but realistic goals in terms of outcomes; and designing creative options that deliver more value for you and your negotiation partner. In other words, taking the time out to think about how you are going to negotiate before you have to.

2. Be wary of what you say and how you say it. People make agreements with people they feel they can trust. Perceptions of trust are built (or destroyed) quickly and often relate to the perceived consistency between body language and what is being said. Notice how you stand/sit, where you look, what expression you have on your face and what words you say.

3. It’s all about the tone. You might have found yourself at times being strident, arrogant, placating or submissive when you haven’t thought through your clients’ needs and your own options as well as you might have.

4. Dress to impress. There is a fine line between “relaxed”, “professional” and “slimy”. It is crucial that your appearance matches your value proposition for being competent.

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Lisa Barrand, director, Negotiation Education Australia

The art of becoming a better negotiator
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