What Makes Outstanding Negotiators Outstanding?

By Stephen Liccini

Negotiating is persuading the other party to accept your way ... and for them to feel satisfied with the outcome. Negotiating is a critical business (and personal) skill ... which can be learned and improved.

Why are some people consistently very successful in their negotiations, while other people achieve only average results? Outstanding negotiators have certain characteristics that differ from those of other negotiators. Two key factors are common to many outstanding negotiators: i) their planning for the negotiations and ii) their behavior during negotiations.

Outstanding and average negotiators spend about the same amount of time in planning, but planning time is used differently in four ways:

During negotiations, outstanding negotiators use words that may irritate the other party less frequently than other negotiators. They also listen and question the other party twice as frequently as average negotiators. Outstanding negotiators also test for understanding and summarize the dialogue much more frequently, both of which are also subtle techniques to control the discussions.

Surprisingly, outstanding negotiators offer about half the number of reasons to support their position ... they don’t dilute their rationale with weaker justifications. Outstanding negotiators are more patient and persistent in their deliberations with the other party compared to their less successful counterparts.

Carmagen’s Course 510, “Program On Negotiations,” (http://www.carmagen.com/services/training/technical/510.html) discusses the above characteristics in detail. Other elements of this two-day training course, which includes case studies, are:

Applying effective and proven negotiating skills will yield better and longer-lasting results.