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The Art of Negotiation

The art of negotiating is a critical skill to master and is necessary in order to further your career, regardless of what field you currently work in. Negotiating and effective communication skills will help you when it comes time to pitching an idea to investors, putting together a project for your company, or even requesting an increase in compensation with your supervisor. No matter what you’re vying to gain at your next negotiation, using these tactics will impress the other person and help you convince them to see your vision.

Think About What You Want

What are your goals for this negotiation? What is the best possible outcome for this conversation? If you go into the negotiation not knowing exactly what you want, you can't expect to have a great outcome. Have a clear idea of what it is you want, how to get it, and aim high during the conversation.

Be Prepared

Know what you’re going to say and be able to articulate it accurately. If at all possible, brainstorm possible objections the other party may have in the negotiation process. Thinking about how the person will respond can allow you to have a chance to rethink your negotiation tactics beforehand and be ready for possible objections. Being prepared also shows that you truly care about what you’re speaking about and shows that you value the time of the other person.

Ask for Clarification

After you’ve explained your plans, strategy, or reasoning for requesting a pay increase, allow the other person a chance to object or agree. If they have any objections, don’t go on the defensive or get emotional, instead of asking for clarification. Listen to their reason for disagreeing with your ideas and try to adapt your request accordingly. If you need more time to re-strategize, ask if it would be alright if this meeting was moved to a reasonable date.

Know What They Want

Much like an interview, it’s not what the company can do for you, it’s what you can do for the company. Explain how your plan or strategy would be best for them and how they would benefit from it. If you’re trying to negotiate for higher pay, be able to sell yourself and describe accurately how you’ve been an asset to the company. Additionally, be able to find common ground between the two of you.

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