Finance & Tech Enthusiast
How to become a professional negotiator? (Quora)13 min read
Why do you want to become a professional negotiator?
Is it because you want to further professionalize your negotiation skills? Or do you just start your professional career and want to pick up the skills necessary?
As already written, negotiation skills come along with experience. Also, picking up experience in a negotiation team is always a good way to learn. However, I slightly disagree that subject matter expert knowledge is a must have.
From a theoretical point of view, it boils down to three elements you should master:
Know how to deal with the substance of the negotiation. I am not talking about being the expert of the subject you are negotiating about, but about the method you are applying. Know about the elements necessary to commit to an agreement. In my point of view Principled Negotiations is still the gold standard in this area.
You need to take care of the negotiation road map. Be cristal clear when setting up meetings. Plan your agenda and your expected outcome. Separate the subject matter expert from the negotiation facilitator. You want someone to be in charge of the process.
Maybe the most important point. While it is always very likely to find a solution on the substance, negotiations often fail because of people. Start with yourself. What are your stress patterns? How can you detect those? How can you detect the stress patterns of your counterparts? How can you help to get the stress out of the negotiation and bring all the talent back on the table? You get the best possible outcome only if you are able to work with the talents of all the participants.
And never forget: if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
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