10 Habits of Successful Negotiators

These 10 habits of successful negotiators can help you and your team step inside the winners’ circle as successful negotiators.


#1    Know what you want

The initial task in any negotiation is figuring out exactly what you want. Always identify your needs first.


#2 Be Aware

Awareness in a negotiation context means understanding the entire theatre within which you are playing. This most basic issue in negotiation is often overlooked or given inadequate consideration.


#3 Lose Your Ego – Bring Out the Best in the Other Party

A mature ego recognizes the existence of and manages the ego-centric challenges so it can focus on the issues, rise above personality clashes, and not just pursue its determination to win.


#4 Pay Attention to Body Language and Nonverbal Clues

Observe body language and listen to voice tones. These help you to sense feelings and ascertain what is important to the other side, pointing to opportunities where there are negotiation openings


#5 Become More Receptive

Being receptive in a negotiation context means that you accept that you may not get exactly what you want. However, you accept that and are willing to work through a process to discover what you can get. Receptivity is about the willingness to change.


#7 Be a Good Sport


To be engaged in a negotiation context means to be willing to “play the game” and to play it fairly. You are willing to exchange terms and engage in give and take. The give and take has to be fair also, or the deal won’t happen.


#8    Stay Engaged


Engaging with a fair exchange is the heart of negotiation. Think ahead about where you want to end up. Then imagine the back and forth that will get you there. That is what great negotiators do.


#9 Master the Art of Timing and Tempo


Tempo in the negotiation context means you will use pace as a tool to get to a resolution. If you arrive early, you are sending a message that you want to reach an agreement. If your counterparty arrives late, they may be sending the message that they don’t care if a deal happens or not the tempo of your actions and your communications play a role in getting deals done.


#10  Don’t Give Up


Persistence in the negotiation context means you are willing to see it through. Breakthroughs in a negotiation often happen just as people are getting “deal fatigue.”