Our life consists of communication with people, and this isn’t possible without the ability to negotiate. These days, everyone is trying to master this art: from students and SEOs of large corporations to beginners who just want to upgrade this necessary skill.
Surely, there are some well-known rules of negotiations. Prepare well. Control your emotions. Study your opponent. But in reality, things are much different. Sometimes the opposite side sees the whole process as a zero-sum game. Or maybe they are in a foul mood because of personal problems. You never know, right? But here’s the bottom line: there’s always a way out of a deadlocked situation.
Negotiation in the real world is quite different from studying in school. At school, you have options to bring in outside resources, such as using term paper writers to help you meet a deadline when you are overloaded. When it comes to negotiating in the workforce, you will not have options like this and will need to think on your feet.
In this article, we talk about negotiation tips for students that will help you reach common goals.
Table of Contents
1. Be Curious
Many negotiation coaches advise: if your opponent constantly gets into an argument or is too demanding, think about why this is happening. Encourage them to open up by saying: “Tell me more about this,” or ask questions that will help you understand the other person better.
Sometimes people behave badly because of fears or inexperience. They just don’t want to be taken advantage of. If you feel that distrust is a reason for tension, try discussing common goals and making it clear that you are willing to compromise.
2. Tell A Joke To Break The Ice
Psychologists believe that humor is a defense mechanism of the psyche. It’s necessary to overcome anxiety and take reality less seriously. And this is exactly what we need! Jokes are the best way to clear the air and smoothly get into serious negotiations.
For example, a joke about the upcoming difficulties can warm the room and show the parties how much they have in common. Jokes, however, only work if you can deliver them well. If you aren’t comfortable telling a joke, then avoid it. It will not come across as natural and may hurt you.
The ability to laugh (especially at yourself) is a valuable talent. But remember that the main thing in a joke is the moment when it is said.
3. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Silence
We are used to not wasting time. Indeed, time management is more important than ever, but sometimes it’s good to stall.
It may sound surprising, but we should use silence to our advantage. Don’t rush to fill the gaps that arise in the discussion. Silence is often embarrassing, and we may be quick to agree to a concession or give out information that could be used by the other party. Instead, let the silence last. You may be shocked by what the other person has to say.
4. Forget About Aggression
It’s not easy to keep a cool head when someone is unfair. But still, don’t respond in the same way – this will only make matters worse. Plus, one should always keep business ethics in mind. Well, experts recommend fighting fire with water. What does it mean? Take a break or pause in the conversation, or offer to meet later. This will give you time to unwind and act in a smarter way.
5. Be Ready To Walk Away
Someone knowing that they can probably not get what they want will be in a stronger position. In fact, it prepares you for the risks and eliminates the need to make a deal with someone you don’t like. You will definitely feel more courageous knowing that you have an alternative solution.
6. Try to Perceive How You Come Across
Straightforwardness and honesty are wonderful qualities, and they are certainly important in our personal lives. But things are different when it comes to negotiations. The opponent may treat your frankness as pushy and rude behavior. But you don’t want to start a war, right? Therefore, be polite and careful in your expressions.
An excessively direct approach can be perceived as an attack. Better slow down. Smile and speak in a friendly and calm manner.
7. Don’t Dominate the Conversation
Many books on negotiations emphasize the importance of dominance. Bad idea. This will simply lead you nowhere. Instead, strive for cooperation. But if both sides fight for power, there will be no compromise. So, let them think they have everything under control.
Offer the opponent to be the first to start a conversation. Ask them “What?” and “How?” questions. By doing so, you will create a more favorable atmosphere allowing you to conclude a better deal.
8. Ask Questions
Sometimes it’s good to put on a naive face and ask the question, “How can I do this?” Most likely, the opponent will begin to solve your problem for you.
The opponent has to come up with a solution and imagine the difficulties that you may encounter when fulfilling their requirement. This way, you will learn more about the pitfalls and how the opponent sees the situation.
Perhaps at some point, they will simply tell you: “These are your problems. Figure it out yourself.” There is nothing wrong with that, as now it’s your turn to make a decision.
Let’s recap the main negotiation tips for students that are useful for influencing others’ decisions:
- Be Mindful of Being Direct. Too much can be perceived as being tough and stubborn, regardless of your intentions. Be polite and slow down;
- Don’t Dominate the Conversation. Ask questions so that both of you participate in reaching a conclusion;
- Good questions always work. Let opponents solve your problems.
We hope you will soon have the opportunity to try these recommendations in practice and succeed!