Probably you have heard about that 10,000 hours rule for mastering some craft or art. Although its exact implications about timeframe have long been overturned, the general principle is true: the more you practice and learn, the better you become at something. What about negotiation skills? Does it take 10,000 hours of learning to become a good negotiator, or can you take a shortcut and arrive there earlier?
Basically, you need significantly less time to acquire and apply the skills in practice. But there are other important considerations at play: what skills do you need to develop and where should you begin?
Skills for negotiations are the same skills that are regularly applied in daily communication and problem-solving. The crucial difference is that you learn to put them together into configurations that let you achieve your goals without turning others into your blood enemies.
If you have set up your mind to become a better negotiator and a teammate, here are five important steps to improving your skills.
- Finding a professional coach with experience in negotiations and education of adultsNegotiation is best learned through practice and interactions with weathered negotiators. Such coaches can set you on the right track from the start and show you the deficiencies of your style of negotiations. What is even more important, they will point you to solutions, that is, how you can avoid the mistakes and how you can turn drawbacks into advantages.
Not every training provider can guarantee this high quality of service and qualifications of coaches. But at https://cosmitto.com.au/ you will find only the best courses and trainers who will deliver on their promises. Besides, these people know how to interact with adult learners and make a teaching process really efficient. So book a place now, so that you could start honing your skills tomorrow.
- Preparation at the forefront
Good coaches will tell you the same: preparation for negotiations is an undervalued yet essential skill. Don’t underestimate your opponents and don’t trust your intuition too much. Very often, potentially successful negotiations fail because people at the table tend to overestimate their ‘gut feeling’ and neglect the basic intelligence gathering before showing up at the talks. Preparation means getting your own facts sorted, seeing where you stand, deciding whether you are a weak or a strong party, and researching the position of the other party. Thus, gathering and understanding the information in advance is the first big skill you need to acquire.
- Proactive thinking and learning from experiences
Learn from every negotiating experience you had. Look for repeated patterns of behavior, for signs of what is coming from the other party, for solutions that seem to work, and steps that can reduce to zero all previous efforts. Every time after the end of negotiations, evaluate how they fit into the theory you learned. Did they match it or was there anything surprising? What could you have done differently? What conclusions can you draw for the future?
- Lots of practice
Give yourself lots of practice, whether as ahead of the team or as an extra making your team look big. Apply what you know and improvise in the face of emergencies. Most probably, at first, you won’t make it into the team negotiating the deal of the century, so the cost of the flops you make will be rather low. But it will save you from failures in the future that may cost you a lot.
- Freedom to fail
Give yourself permission to fail. We all make mistakes, and you’ll make them regularly before you become a pro. Fear of failure can paralyze you completely, so you won’t even start the talks. So face that fear, allow yourself some space for mistakes and just do it.
There’s more to becoming a good negotiator than these five steps, but you have to begin somewhere. These steps will set you on the proper training path without much fuss.