Negotiating innovative solutions is a critical asset for any leader. It is an ability that measures the leader's capability to manage differences and bring opposing parties together. Suppose you want the best deal out of any situation. In that case, you must find common grounds to create the opportunity you desire, and as a leader, the stake is even higher. You must understand the premise of the situation, the other party, precisely identify your goal, and what you need to reach that goal fast.
When negotiation is mentioned, business leaders are often quick to find a short route to reach their goal by either defusing the situation or leaning to an alternative. Yet, every business leader must realize that negotiating your way is usually the ideal short route to running a team/organization.
Effective Communication and Negotiation
Negotiation is an effort centered on a discussion intended to create a common ground between two or more parties. Though negotiation involves series of compromises, leveraging, ego management, and being right, it is a needed one that both sides must take on to get what they want. What this means is that it requires more communication skills than you can imagine. It involves using the correct language, setting the right scenarios, and demonstrating ethics to make both parties settle.
Too often, communication is restricted around what is said and written. However, communication is more than that. Communication is more about two or more parties declaring their intention yet ensuring that no lines are blurred. It is making sure the exact purpose is heard and communicated. If the hearer/speaker misappropriates the speaker's intent, what has just happened is not communication. Hence, there are specific communication skills that must be mastered.
Getting Communication Right: Communication Skills
1. Active learning
When you are trying to make a deal, you can not afford to be listening passively. It would help if you were actively involved in whatever the speaker is saying. A strong point of communication is that you can see the scenario from the speaker's perspective. It consists of making an effort to demonstrate that you understand the speaker and their standpoint. It is more than just hearing the words said. It is an attitude that shows listening with a shared understanding.
When you make this effort, you will understand what the speaker really wants. You will know what they stand to gain, what they can compromise to get the deal done, or what their weak spot could be.
2. Ask questions
If you are trying to negotiate and ask questions is not part of the deal, you should reconsider your plan. As a leader, negotiating involves asking questions and providing relevant answers. Now, asking questions is to get the other party to open up to you to understand their needs. Hence, you must be able to ask open-ended questions. However, open questions can be difficult, especially with a new party. However, with small talks, you will ease you and the other party for the deliberations ahead. When you ask questions, it will help you find common ground that can position your offer. It also helps the other party feel essential, which is vital in building relationships.
Now, what is the deal about open questions?
Open questions are general questions that require your partner or the other party to provide more answers than the regular, yes" and "no." Open questions will give room for more information, encourage the partner to speak openly, and encourage your partner to share their ideas and opinions. On the other hand, closed questions require a single response. You can use close questions to begin a conversation and help you easily interpret what is going o in your partner's mind. Yet, if you will like an exchange that enables you to understand the situation, you should avoid closed questions.
Let's walk you through a process that can help you probe to get your answers, especially when expanding the conversation.
1. Start with an open question
2. Pause, listen
3. Use reflective or mirroring questions
4. Paraphrase the response
5. Use summary questions
At the start of this article, we described how much communication doesn't just mean what you say but also how you sound. This means your body language has a great deal on the outcome of your negotiation.
Relevant Body Expressions You Must Note.
Facial Expression – for instance, a relaxed face may convey the message that you are comfortable with the direction of the conversation.
Smiles – a smile is a great way to welcome and help the other party relax. Smiling also shows that you enjoy what you are doing the process that it takes.
Eye contact – making sure of eye contact shows that you are steady and confident. Never stare people down; take the bold step to look into their faces.
Your body language has to show that you are confident and comfortable about the situation. This will help your partner feel interested in the conversation. Also, avoid distractions like your phone and learn to convey only positive messages with your body.
If done right, communication will help you effectively find common grounds between you and your partner and create better opportunities for you. Hence, as a leader and a business owner, you must learn the art of communicating, stating your case, studying the situation, and negotiating your offer.