Aiming True: Selecting the Best Techniques For Various Kinds Of Negotiations

 Techniques For Negotiations

For a starter, let’s sort out some basic concepts. The best negotiation technique is a relative idea, depending on what your goal and situation are. If you have the single goal of getting the most of the other party and don’t care about further relationships or collaboration, hard techniques may be a better option. You put permanent pressure on your opponents at the table and extract concession after concession without giving anything significant in return.

If you plan to establish long and successful collaboration in the future with this team or company, you need to use different techniques that enable building trust and finding solutions that satisfy both parties. ‘Soft’ techniques take more time and preparation to apply, but they bring more sustainable and fruitful results and help build alliances for the future.

Each tactic has its specific steps and tricks and can be mastered like any other skill. Good training in negotiation techniques will equip you with theory, practical skills, and feedback on how you apply them (and how to improve). One such place to find trusted training providers is where you can pick and choose among reputable venues and experienced coaches and trainers. Read the reviews, explore the program and choose the one that suits your team and you best.

Yet, if we were to point out the best techniques to help you decide what direction to pursue at the talks table, let’s do it briefly. 

Collaborative ‘soft’ techniques

Collaboration and compromise lie at the heart of the soft approach, and they resemble regular civil and productive communication with other people at work or in daily matters. Yet, in negotiations, you must get what you need from the other party, so there are specific techniques that allow you to influence others without being manipulative or aggressive.

  1. See negotiations as a complex affair with multiple participants.

  2. Explore the background of the other party and decide who can potentially be your ally.

  3. Think through who may be your opponent and why before you get to the table.

  4. Watch out for temporary coalitions that people may form against you during negotiations.

  5. Listen actively and process carefully what you have heard. Then take steps based on the actual information (and not the image you have built in your head).

  6. Negotiation is really a complex affair: it starts at the table, continues through the deal closure, and ends after all parties got what they needed. Or, if the partnership was successful, this negotiation cycle is a bridge to another partnership and a new cycle of negotiations. 

Competitive ‘hard’ techniques

  1. Good cop and bad cop: one person is reasonable and another one is a trouble–maker who raises the stakes or scoffs at the achieved agreements.

  2. Threats and open pressure: that’s an openly impolite approach, so resort to it (if ever) when all other options are excluded. After this move, your partners either give in or walk away from negotiations.

  3. Take-it-or-leave-it technique: an ultimatum approach. Use it when you have a valid BATNA to use in case of leaving the table without a deal. 

  4. Exaggerated demands followed by small concessions: usually, that’s a standard way to begin negotiations. Higher demands are put forward and then reduced to a reasonable level during negotiations. Yet if you put forward demands too high, and give in too slowly, it will work as an aggressive technique.

  5. Requesting for unilateral concessions (salami slicing technique): that’s a dirty trick used by skilled negotiators (so beware and don’t get sliced). A party asks for concession after concession, in small innocent-looking steps, until the other party is stripped of everything without even noticing it. 

As you see, negotiation techniques are diverse, and in different situations, different approaches will work best. So know them all and be prepared to engage in negotiations successfully.

Similar Posts