Seven Qualities of a Win-Win Negotiator

Most business people approach a negotiation hoping for a win-win agreement. But even with the best of intentions, they usually fall into the same win-lose patterns that characterize most negotiations.

What qualities do win-win negotiators possess? How are they able to consistently achieve win-win outcomes? Cultivating these seven qualities will improve your chances of negotiating win-win agreements.

Engage in joint problem solving

Most of us are conditioned to see a negotiation as a chance to win or lose. As such, we do what we can to win as much as we can, and the other side does the same. This competitive mindset leads to win-lose or partial win results.

Win-win negotiators, however, approach a negotiation as an opportunity for joint problem solving. Instead of seeing two parties each trying for their own win, they look at a negotiation as a single problem they must solve together for mutual benefit. They believe two heads are better than one.

Understand your interests and prioritize them so you stay focused on what is important to you. Know what you must have and what you would like to get from the negotiation before you begin. Have a list of other items you are willing to exchange.

Try to anticipate the other party’s interests as well. Explore ways to help him get what he needs at little or no cost to you. Adopt a collaborative mindset. Strive to optimize the overall outcome, rather than trying to maximize your gains on each of a series of items.

Share information

Most people play their cards close to the chest during a negotiation. They refuse to tell the other party anything of substance for fear the other party will use it to their advantage.

Of course, there may be some things you don’t want the other party to know. For example, you may not want to share your alternatives or your “bottom line.” However, it does not hurt to let your counterpart know what your interests are. They will often reciprocate, and you are then in a better position to satisfy both party’s interests.

But what if you share your interests and the other party keeps his to himself? Would that place you at a disadvantage? No, it would not! Recent studies suggest that even when only one party lays his interests on the table, a win-win outcome is still more likely. The mere fact that some interests are disclosed improves the chances that both sides will benefit.

Ask questions

Asking questions is one way to get information. But the benefits of asking questions go beyond mere information. Asking nonthreatening questions allows you to build rapport and put the other party at ease. It allows you to manage the discussion and gives you time to think. Questions also allow you to check your assumptions and confirm your understanding of key points.

Be careful how you ask questions. Do not ask questions with a sarcastic tone or that otherwise sound threatening. Ask questions that seek fair information and show a genuine concern for the other party and the negotiation process.

Listen empathetically

You learn more by listening than by talking, so encourage the other party to speak by listening attentively. Make eye contact. Do not interrupt. Do not form conclusions until your counterpart has finished speaking.

A good listener shows concern and respect for the other party. Try to really understand the other party’s point of view, even if you do not agree. Recognize that his arguments and needs have merit. Likeable and agreeable negotiators accomplish more than self-centered ones.

Explain before disagreeing

Do not be quick to disagree with your counterpart. An immediate rejection suggests you do not really care about the other person and are not open to his ideas.

Consider what he is saying. Look for common ground and try to build on it with your counterproposal. Offer your counterproposal as a suggestion rather than a demand, and be prepared to discuss it.

Persuade

Use data, evidence, and logic to support your proposals. Focus on the most compelling one or two arguments rather than trying to build support with a smattering of less convincing arguments. Quality is more important than quantity here.

Use fair and objective standards to support your proposal. Offer facts and reasons that make intrinsic good sense, such as market prices and historical trends. Do not offer arbitrary arguments such as “that’s all we are willing to pay.” Unsupportable rationales are not persuasive and will make your counterpart more resistant.

Think laterally

A win-win solution is not always obvious. The ability to develop creative options is a key to crafting win-win agreements. Learn to think out of the box.

By modeling these characteristics of win-win negotiators, you too will become a better negotiator.

Presentation Skills Training: Making an Energetic Presentation With Body Movement and Speaking Pace

Energy is a critical element for any motivational speech, whether to a rally of thousands or to one potential customer or employee. So how do we express that energy and translate it to our audience?

Two elements express energy: the movement of your body and the pace of your words.

Let’s first check out movement. Movement is very important to any presentation, both to combat your public speaking nerves and as a way of keeping audience attention. Your body movement is a way of setting a mood, either good or bad. So let’s use that movement to create an atmosphere of energy and excitement.

The Magic of Movement:

Be a moving target.

Move with energy and purpose. Take long steps and use large arm movements. This conveys to the audience that you are telling them an important and exciting idea or fact.

Make use of your entire space.

If you have a full stage, travel to one end to discuss one point and look directly at the people in that part of the audience. Then go to the other end, then the center, etc. If, on the other hand, you are locked behind a podium or table, or even seated in front of a client, make good use of all the dimensions of movement, even if you can’t go very far with your feet. Lean ahead, step back. Deeply bend your knees, reach up while on tiptoe. Reach around the podium to your left, lean on the podium with your right elbow. If you are seated, use your tailbone as a pivot and cover all the dimensions.

Pick Up Your Speaking Pace:

Ralph Nichols, one of the first people to study effective listening, discovered a surprising fact: listeners stayed more attentive and gained more information and understanding from fast-paced speakers than they did from their slower or moderately paced colleagues. His studies showed that the reason for this is that people can listen about three times faster than the average person speaks. What happens then is that about two-thirds of the listening time is available for thinking about something else… and pretty soon, the ‘something else’ becomes more interesting than the speaker.

So, to keep your audience’s attention, the answer is this: speak faster than you do in day-to-day conversation. This pace has the added advantage that it makes the audience feel they might miss something if they get distracted. When they are that focused, your energy becomes their energy and they buy into your message.

Both your movement and your speaking pace are critical to creating energy in the audience, yet there is another factor which is perhaps most critical of all:

The most significant way to transmit energy to your audience is to truly care about your subject.

In our presentation skills coaching, we often tell the story of safety advocate Ralph Nader, who is definitely not a flamboyant presenter, but who has such concern for his subject that his emotional energy immediately draws you in.

Unleashed energy can be extremely powerful.

Leashed or unleashed, energy is a significant key to motivating an audience, selling a product or project, raising funds or presenting a new policy. It also establishes you as a ‘want-to-hear’ presenter

Unique Presents For Bridesmaids

Your wedding is fast approaching, you have faced major challenges and now is the time to manage the minor ones. Being a meticulous bride, you want everything to fall into places, even to the tiniest detail of your wedding. Aside from the wedding favors that you will most likely handling after the major ones are through, the bridesmaids gifts are perhaps at the bottom of your check list as well. Although they are not mandatory, but these little details can make a huge effect in your entire wedding.

It has been a tradition to give bridesmaids gifts. It is a way to show appreciation for the hard work of the bridesmaids, as well as acknowledging their presence at your wedding. Finding and purchasing bridesmaids gifts can be both fun and challenging. Since they are your closest friends, you will surely enjoy shopping gifts for them, but not just mere gifts of course. Be creative and thoughtful so that your gifts will never be forgotten by your friends.

Opting for unique presents for bridesmaids is a genuine idea. However, make sure that you are choosing the right kind that fits their personalities. If you think it is challenging, well you are wrong. There are several ways, tips and ideas on how to come up unique presents for bridesmaids. Read the following ideas below and consider them as your options.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates can make unique presents for bridesmaids. If you have doubts or uncertain on what to give, gift certificates will never go wrong. This unique gift idea can send your bridesmaids to their favorite restaurant, bookstore, spa, movies, theater, sporting event or etc. This is also perfect as you can have them bonded with each other while enjoying your unique gift for them.

Handmade Gifts

One great way to come up with unique presents is to make your own. Handmade gifts for bridesmaids are becoming very popular these days, as many brides are into DIY’s. There are plenty of gift ideas that are actually pretty easy to make. All you need is to be creative and complete the materials to make your own bridesmaids gifts. Suggestions like handmade scented candles, soaps, bags of goodies, personalized Cd’s, scrapbooks and keepsake boxes are a few easy-to-make gift items you may consider making yourself. Handmade bridesmaids presents are also a way to get creative and letting your skills and talent to shine through.

Personalized Gifts

Personalized gifts can really make unique gifts for bridesmaids. Today, where almost everything can be personalized, you are sure that you can come up with unique bridesmaids gifts with your own personal touch. There are so many gift items these days that can be customized to meet the needs of consumers. For brides like you who wants to present something that can set their bridesmaids apart from the rest, engraved or embroidered gifts are the perfect option. A few personalized suggestions include embroidered handbags, engraved jewelry pieces, personalized picture frames, personalized keepsake boxes and other bridesmaids apparel that are available for personalization.