Negotiation Techniques: an Introduction

Good negotiation techniques can aid in preparing for bargaining sessions and ensure a successful negotiation. Business owners and manager will find that these techniques are valuable assets to have when negotiating with employees, purchasers and suppliers.

Successful Negotiations

Successful negotiations should leave each party feeling satisfied (Win-win Negotiating) and without animosity. Employing good negotiation techniques will permit each party to compromise on certain points without sacrificing their key issues.

The ability for both parties to walk away from the negotiations satisfied will require good negotiating techniques. Maintaining a professional attitude, refraining from making demands and learning to communicate objectives clearly, are simple techniques that will result in a successful and amicable negotiation.

Plan and Prepare

Negotiators who fail to plan and prepare are occasionally caught off guard during the bargaining session. This can place them in a defensive position. When one or both parties in a negotiation are in a defensive position, frustration and occasionally anger will impede the negotiating.

Preparing ahead for a negotiating session provides background information, the other side's goals and their needs. Planning how you will conduct a negotiation allows composure during the session, even if the other party is not composed.

You will want to research to discover any pertinent facts and include them in the negotiating strategy. Knowing the facts can lead to a smooth and successful negotiation.


Learning to listen to the other party is a valuable tool. Patience is an important aspect of listening, and exercising patience will allow the other party to "make their case".

Not interrupting will provide insight into their strong points, weak areas and concerns. Allowing the other side to explain their goals and parameters provides time to adjust your negotiation strategy to fit their needs.

When listening, observe the other party's body language and verbal emphasis. These things may provide clues as to what issues they may be willing to concede and which ones they may not.

After the other party has finished, ask questions. In many cases, this will provide many advantages. The purpose of learning negotiation techniques is to walk away from a bargaining table satisfied.

Avoid Manipulation

Some negotiators feel that manipulation is a good negotiating technique. Many times this type of negotiating can backfire. It is easy to be drawn into other people's problems. This is the key to manipulative negotiations.

Remaining detached and unemotional will prevent their problems from becoming your problems. However, in all negotiations, some compromise is required. Setting parameters before negotiating will allow you to stand firm on your principle points during the negotiations.

Avoiding manipulation prevents core principles from being compromised. Tact is one way to avoid manipulative techniques. Remember that defensive people can be very difficult to deal with.

Adapt and Overcome

People who are good negotiators have learned to adapt their negotiation techniques to each bargaining session. What worked during a prior negotiation session may not work with the current one.

Being flexible, having the ability to sense people's moods, skills and expectations allows for effective and positive negotiations. Learning how to compromise and offer concessions in a professional manner is one way to adapt and overcome difficulties.

If one party is unable to demonstrate flexibility, the other party may also become inflexible. Adapting to possible variables allows you to overcome obstacles resulting in a positive resolution.

Negotiation techniques are easily learned and can quickly be put into action. Personal communication skills including listening, speaking and understanding are assets during any negotiation.