Hi, today I will talk to you about Negotiation Skills. What is negotiation? How does it work? What is the need? I will try to answer all these and other related questions in a simple manner.
Whenever two or more parties sit together to resolve certain issues concerning them, negotiation come into play. Discussion could be about resolving some dispute, concluding a sale or even influencing some people or a group to get some ideas accepted.
Now, let’s see the possibility of success of negotiation. Success depends primarily on three aspects. These are:
- Issue should be negotiable. We can negotiate buying or selling a car, or a piece of land or house. But no negotiation is possible on for your example child, or for that matter any other object with which either party is emotionally attached.
- Second factor is the willingness of the parties to accommodate and compromise. Extremely rigid attitude cannot bring about any success is negotiation.
- Next, third factor for successful negotiation is that the parties must have some respect, some trust among them. This, acts like a bridge and negotiation can achieve some success. It can resolve some problems.
Having described the factors for success of negotiation, I should now talk about the basic ingredients. What are the requirements of negotiation? These are:
- Knowledge of human behavior. Negotiating parties need to conversant with normal human behavior. How do they react to the conflicting views?
- Secondly, the negotiators must prepare themselves for discussions. They must collect all the relevant information regarding the issues. Preparation is a must.
- Third requirement and lastly is that negotiators must understand the role of assumptions. We all harbor certain due to experience of life and society. The negotiators must reflect to clearly understand these assumptions. Undoubtedly, they play an important role during negotiation.
Then, we come to the next aspect of negotiation.
The techniques which are:
Strategy or the plan & techniques
- Strategy: the negotiating parties work out their strategy. It’s like an army general working out plan with his lieutenants. Each step is defined keeping in view the strategy of the opponents.
- Tactics: the negotiators must be adept in devising required tactics. Tactics are maneuvers, which the negotiators adopt during discussions. This is particularly important as at time the strategy may not work. Tactics require the negotiators to be adept, alert and creative in modifying the steps on the spot when needed.
Today I will speak to you about importance of listening skills. Title of my speech is: “Listen twice as much as you speak”. That itself speaks a lot about how important listening is.
What are listening skills? How you go about developing these? And what for? What is the difference between hearing and listening?
All these questions are simply answered with the definition of communication. We communicate to exchange ideas and views. We communicate to influence people, to negotiate deals. So, it’s necessary not just to hear but to listen, understand and assimilate information contained in the speech. Then only we can respond. But if we don’t listen but just hear, and if we are only anxious to say what we want to say, the objectives of communication is lost.
Listening becomes very easy with some modification of our habits. These are:
- We must focus on the speaker. All other thoughts should not be allowed to tax the mind or to divert it. Normally as many as 50,000 thoughts come to mind each day. But with efforts, we can reduce their number. When we focus on the speaker we can surely assimilate the information the speaker is trying to convey.
- While listening in one on one conversation, we must not interrupt. Even when we don’t agree with what the speaker’s opinion is. We must be patient enabling them to complete their statements.
- Your objective of communication will be served better if you make the speaker comfortable. How do you do that? By nodding your head, other body language, gestures, or just say yes, please go ahead etc. The speaker must be sure that you are listening. Your listening makes the speaker comfortable.
- Look at the views of the speaker from their perspective. Try to examine to issue while wearing speaker’s shoes.
- You must practice patience. You must never try to complete speaker’s sentences even if you are confirming or appreciating their thoughts.
- All speakers may not be very articulate. They may have some speech blemishes. Faults like using filler words, inaccurate pronunciation, breathing at wrong place in a sentence etc. You must ignore these and focus on the idea the speaker is presenting.
- Survey reveals that 60% of the communication happens with the body language. So closely watch the body language of the speaker to understand speaker’s intent.
- Last but not the least, identify the idea by putting together the pieces of information the speaker has vocalized. All speakers are not expurts in speaking skills. So help them. It also serves you.
An important action that everyone must take is to describe their Goals. What you may want to do in life. It is a kind of destination for your journey of life. And if you don’t specify goals, it is like not having any specific destination in mind. This in any case will not lead you anywhere. Besides, you may start wondering at the futility of life itself. You will never develop focus. Productivity of a person without focus is very low. And so is the self-esteem.
Goals must be SMART. What does it mean? S stands for specific. So goals must be specific and clear. Instead of saying you want to be rich, you might say that you must acquire wealth equal to Rs. 10 million. Since the goals are to be achieved in a certain period of time, it is necessary that these should be measurable. It means that one must fix certain milestones which need to be covered during a slice of the entire period. For example, in one month what must be achieved etc.
Further the goals must be achievable. If the goals are such that despite applying any kind of effort a person will not reach the goal, it is not achievable. It is a flawed goal.
Next letter on the acronym is R. This stands for realistic. What is the difference between the realistic goals and achievable goals needs to be clearly understood. And without exception the goals must be realistic.
Lastly we come to the letter T stands for time bound. If the goals’ do not define timeline, these have an inherent flaw. In fact, the time line should be carefully crafted. Just as we study with stop watch, how much time the goal is likely to take. At the time of planning it must be kept in view that in order to improve our productivity and to remain enthusiastic about our efforts, we do not need to stretch ourselves. If we don’t do that, productivity will come down.
Now that we have defined how goals need to be articulated, and how goals need to be articulated, and how these should be pursued.
Goals need to be written in the following aspects of life:
a. Health Goals
b. Career Goals
c. Financial Goals
d. Family Goals
e. Social Goals
f. Hobby Goals
g. Spiritual Goals
These are often interdependent. In any case these must be written down. And each of them must be SMART.
Just writing down is not enough. Daily in the morning go through them. It will renew your commitment to pursue these goals. Then, you must note down in your ‘to do list’ for the day, what specific actions need to be taken to forward the cause of each of the above goals. Then you must note down in your ‘to do list’ for the day what specific actions need to be taken to forward the cause of each of these goals. You may not be taking action in all these areas each and every day. Yet these must be contemplated.
Thanks for reading.