Dialectica opens up a world to its employees full of opportunities to grow professionally and develop new business and soft skills. The latest are significant for personal development as they include the way one can interact with other people, manage work and also problem solving. Amongst them are also negotiation skills.
What is negotiation?
Negotiation is this tool that can be used in many different situations to provide solutions to raised issues and create the ground for cooperation among different parties. Negotiation plays a crucial role in our daily lives. Think about it: from children asking their parents to stay up a little longer so they can watch their favorite Netflix show, to job candidates negotiating contract terms during the interview process, the negotiation never stops.
But what exactly is negotiation? Negotiation is the process in which two or more parties with different needs and goals discuss an issue to find a mutually acceptable solution. It allows people who practice it to actively resolve conflicts, seek the best deals for themselves and effectively communicate an idea while building lasting, durable and constructive relationships with the other party. Developing effective negotiation skills can add significant value not only to your professional life but also in other aspects of it.
How can one grow their negotiation skills and apply them into their daily lives?
The members of Dialectica’s Client Service team practice the ability to prioritize and go after specific goals, find solutions to problems in real time and become more effective communicators. By doing so they learn to identify and grow effective negotiating techniques that allow them to practically address different scenaria and reach beneficial agreements for all parties involved. And then they apply those learnings in their daily lives. An example of applying negotiation skills to life outside of work comes from our Client Service Associate, Anna Maria Dimitrakaki, who used the learning outcomes she gained from her experience at the company when looking to book summer holidays with her equally busy friends. One tip she shared is: “Be honest and respectful of others’ needs and schedules. Listen carefully to what they have to say, explain your position in a simple, structured way and try to propose alternatives. Remember to define and highlight the common goal, which in this case is no other than spending some quality time with your favorite people”.
There are many different situations and negotiation styles that someone can adopt, however a necessary step in all cases is to define the desired objectives and apply well-tried negotiating techniques. For instance, it is important to do your research around the person and topic of interest and prepare well before the negotiation. During the discussion you can use pauses to let the other person express their position and also ask some open-ended questions to invite the other party to open-up and share their thoughts and perspectives. Another method will be to prioritize your objectives to identify how persistently you can set them and how consistently you can stick to them. According to Client Service Associate Manager, George Rogokenis, “it’s important to be the first to make an offer, set the expectations and then let the other person respond. In this way you determine the pace of the discussion and have some control over the extent to which you eventually compromise.” Ideally, when exiting a successful negotiation you have not made significant concessions, but you have offered the other party something important to them.
What are some key tips around negotiation skills?
Confidence, good preparation and time accuracy can change dramatically the course of a negotiation, but there are also more factors to consider. Always remember that the other person is also negotiating. Active listening will help you better understand the other’s party position, needs and goals and adjust your arguments, speech and body language accordingly. After all, value creation is the reason you joined the dance in the first place, right? These interactions are not just about give or take, but are two-way, as both parties have something to gain from an agreement. Successful negotiations are about creating and maintaining good long-term relationships and thanking your negotiating partner regardless of the outcome.
As important as the negotiation itself is, we should not forget the post-negotiation stage as it’s here where the discussion is wrapped up and the last points and impressions are made. Additionally, one should outline the expectations and ensure that the compromise will be implemented effectively. The best way to close a negotiation is a written follow-up that includes all points agreed upon during the negotiation. In most professional cases, this includes a contract.
You can always improve your negotiation skills and elevate the way you address not just business related matters, but other aspects in your life. Mastering negotiation competencies leads to further developing important soft skills such as, communication, emotional intelligence, patience, adaptability, problem solving and decision making among others, and ultimately to personal and professional growth.
Interested in joining our Client Service team and sharpening multiple different skills, including time management, project management, communication competences and efficient listening? Find out more about our English speaking jobs in Athens, Montreal and Vancouver here.