Negotiation Skills

Negotiation Skills:- what might affect a successful outcome?

24 July 2016

Wittingly or unwittingly, from a running a grocery shop in Al Satwa to a multi-million dollar business in Jebel Ali free zone, negotiation plays an integral part in our everyday lives. Negotiation is also the fine line that distinguishes the outcome between war and peace, deal or no deal, yes or no and most of life’s key decisions. So it is important for us to consider what personal skills might play a part in the successful outcome of a negotiation.

art of the deal
Trump co-writer may have backed out of this particular deal by regretting penning this popular book on negotiation>

Expert Negotiation skills bring the best outcome out of a business deal for both parties. The ability to influence another in a professional and ethical way which would open avenues for profitable mutual understanding, are the core elements of successful negotiations.

Body language and attitude clearly have a strong role to play so here are a few simple tips you may want to keep at the forefront of your mind the next time you enter a negotiation.




Listening genuinely and vigilantly is an important factor in effective negotiations as it helps to understand the problem, offer, or demand the negotiation needs to be applied to. Listening requires a lot of patience, sharpness and a clear mindset that would not cloud judgments.

According to Dianne Schilling, writing for Forbes Women’s Media in 2016, a negotiation that is based on effective listening can help in  resolving conflicts, understanding problems, and improving accuracy overall in an organization.

 Maintain Eye Contact

One of the basic components of effective communication is eye contact. It is always pleasant and comforting to the conversational partner when we have the courtesy to turn and face them, put aside pens, papers, mobile phones and books etc.  Even if the partner is feeling shy, guilty, ashamed, or demonstrates any other negative emotions that accompany cultural taboos, you need to excuse him/her but always maintain your complete focus as the negotiator.

Maintain attention with a relaxed composure

Once proper eye contact is achieved it is always important to maintain a relaxed composure and not stare at the conversation partner. This can lead to awkwardness in the conversation. The important thing to keep in mind is to give attention while paying attention. The negotiator should also refrain from getting lost and distracted in his/hers own thoughts and keep their negotiating partner at the forefront of all communication.

Keep an open mind

The negotiator should always maintain an open mind and listen without judging prematurely. Jumping to conclusions before grasping the true facts and contents of the situation could generate a seriously negative vibe and create discomfort in the dialogue. This could result in major setbacks in the negotiations. Many negotiations stall as a result of this.

Analyse and problem solve

It is very important for the negotiator to always be analytical. There is a difference between being judgmental and analytical. The negotiator should maintain his analytical stance at all times. When proper analysis is conducted, problems can be solved in an effective manner.

Be professional

From beginning to end of the negotiation process the negotiator should maintain superior professionalism. Controlling emotions is an important aspect in making rational decisions and comments. Irrational ideas and comments that result from not being able to maintain a professional fine line would affect a negotiation and cause it to stall immediately.

Another important aspect in maintaining professionalism in a negotiation is that the negotiator should not interrupt the communication partner. Negotiators tend to show off their knowledge and belittle the conversation which would lead to discomfort in the negotiation.


Having good communication skills is very important for a negotiation to be positive. When communication is considered, the negotiator does not necessarily need to have superior language and grammatical proficiency but rather clarity and concision. The language used should be as simple as possible and should not contain too much technical jargon which might confuse the communication partner.

 Present yourself well

The negotiator should have flair and personality to win negotiations. To begin with, a pleasing personality would draw attention towards the points put forward. A pleasing personality does not necessarily mean good looks, but for instance a smile when greeting, smart attire and general likeability would be the factors that build a good impression. The negotiator should be assertive in what he says and should be positive at all times.

Of course most negotiations are not quite as simple as following these tips but it is always good to revisit the basics. ISM Training runs an “Art of Negotiation “ course which will step it up a notch or 5 , so if you would like to improve your own negotiation skills beyond measure please get in touch to receive our full course brochure. Email [email protected] or call our friendly team on 04 457 3814.

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