Business English: Negotiation skills for success in the work place

Business English: Negotiation skills for success in the work place

In our article series focused on online Business English lessons for working professionals, today our topic of discussion is on negotiation skills in the work place.

Our expert online spoken English tutors and their commitment towards our students has made Speechify the best online English speaking course in India. Our spoken English tutors provide and receive continuous feedback after each lesson and therein we have been able to identify just what the learners need! This is where we stumbled on the latest pandemic led trend where working professionals are now preferring to learn English online.

Most online English speaking courses in India are coming up with online spoken English classes for working or business professionals. Some are even catering specifically to only Business English lessons. However, the problem arises when solutions are offered with the one size fits all package!

An online English speaking course is a successful investment only when the solutions are customized to your learning needs along with consistent practice. This is one golden rule which is applicable to any skill development class and not just online English speaking!

For working professionals, Business English lessons in the form of online spoken English classes deliver wonderful results. Working professionals require the flexibility to take lessons while learning new skills. Online English classes makes it possible to plan out lessons enabling them to learn at their own pace.

Business English comprises of a plethora of topics such as Email writing skills, Report Writing and Presentation skills etc. But the most crucial skills for career success is to sharpen your negotiation skills!

What is the meaning of negotiation?

Negotiation is defined as a strategic discussion that resolves an issue in a way that both parties find acceptable. In a negotiation, each party tries to persuade the other to agree with his or her point of view. It is an interactive process that aims at reaching a mutual agreement, a decision or series of outcomes that are honored by the parties involved.

Negotiation in the workplace can be an internal dialogue - between two employees, an employer with an employee or they can be an external dialogue- between an employee and a client or those with other third parties involved.

There can be only two individuals involved in a negotiation or negotiation talks can be between two different groups. The outcome in each is to be able to identify a middle ground in such a manner that ideally both parties suffer minimal losses or at least benefit through a win-win situation.

Why are negotiation skills needed in the workplace?

Negotiation skills are required daily in the workplace. You may be unaware but you are negotiating daily and on various occasions. Convincing your manager to include you in a good project, being able to take your vacation time in a hassle-free manner, nudging your co-worker to help you with certain details that will help you with your deliverables are just few examples.

Other critical tasks that determine your success rate are salary negotiations when you land up a new job or a new role in the workplace, yearly salary hikes and bonus payouts, negotiating sales deals with clients, ensuring that your projects are well budgeted etc. Negotiations are must especially in conflict resolution! Disputes or disagreements are common in the workplace and for a healthy work place environment, organization strive to balance expectations on the go daily.

Thus, if you observe, negotiation skills help you maneuver through everyday life at work with ease provided you are proficient on the how and when to negotiate!

What are the 6 steps in a negotiation discussion?

In order to be a good negotiator, follow these 7 steps that will help you succeed in any situation.  

  1. Do your homework- Being well prepared ensures that you have done all the background research and are well informed. This sets the groundwork for an effective discussion. It also helps you clearly define your goal or objective of the entire discussion. This step can also be called as strategizing and planning. You are in better control of the momentum of the talk and are able to exercise control.
  2. Be impassive- The more you are calm and composed, the more power you yield in a discussion. Being dispassionate helps you discuss things rationally and ensures that the end result is not shortsighted by your emotions. This will ensure that your end result is optimal for your overall progress even in the long run. It will also help you to not take a non-favorable decision to your heart.
  3. Hear them out- A great communicator is an excellent listener. The entire negotiation talk can be futile if either party does not hear each other’s concerns or suggestions. When you make an attempt to listen to someone, you show respect. Respectful conversations are always better for conflict resolution as well. They ensure good rapport between the parties. This is why good negotiation skills are considered important for team bonding in the workplace
  4. Communicate- Another key aspect in a good negotiation is the ability to communicate. It also plays an important role to understand the other party’s goal or objective. As a good negotiator, you should be able to communicate your point of view and agenda as clearly as possible. At the same time, you must pay close attention to what the other party is saying (or not saying). This will help you to be persuasive and steer the conversation in your favor or achieve the end goal faster.
  5. Collaborate- The main agenda in any negotiation discussion is to find the best solution for the parties concerned or what is also called as a middle ground. This helps both the parties to collaborate towards a mutual decision which will be honored. The approach here is to ensure that after the negotiation, the parties concerned continue to have a “working relationship”. The trick here is to be firm, play fair but ensure an equitable agreement.
  6. Time management – Do not rush to draw conclusions or define an outcome that is not time sensitive. The amount of time invested in negotiations will first impact motivation levels followed by timely decision making of both the parties. Deadlines are sometime good as they help the parties to conclude discussions faster with an either this or that approach. Planning in advance helps especially in sales negotiations to ensure that deadlines do not pressure you into cuts or other damaging outcomes.

A bonus tip, these skills are not only required in the work place. Apply it to your everyday life- while bargaining with vendors, with your family or shopping. The idea is to inculcate the ability to get better at collaboration and practice better decision-making skills.

What other benefits does a good negotiator have? How do you apply negotiating skills at work? Drop a comment below.

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