Negotiations are tough, and it's rare to find a natural-born negotiator who not only functions well but flourishes under the pressure of these delicate interactions. Learning effective negotiation skills takes a certain finesse that can be learned, but not without concerted effort. Sometimes it seems that negotiations are predestined before the talks have even begun, but that's all a matter of attitude. While it's imperative to be properly equipped during the conversation in question, it's almost just as important to be prepared – mentally and emotionally – before entering into any negotiation setting.
Gather your focus
One of the most daunting aspects of a given negotiation is the fact that someone is entering into a conversation with a request and it could have the possibility of being denied. However, it's important to remember that this interaction is necessary and that it needs to happen correctly in order to be successful.
Even before you're face to face with the other party, Quality Digest reminded individuals to relax, breathe and establish the context with yourself. No good negotiation will be a one-sided conversation, but you do need to walk into that office or boardroom with a solid idea of how the conversation will go. As long as you don't try to trick the other party and you are clear on your position, the interaction will go smoothly.
Also, while it is best practice to think of all the outcomes of a given negotiation and plan the next moves based on possible outcomes, don't tie yourself to a set script. When the other party doesn't stick to the lines and goes "off book," you may find yourself distracted and unable to continue.
Don't deny your feelings
Any good businessperson will tell you that you must be aware of yourself in order to find success in the corporate world. Being self-aware not only leads people to make more sound decisions, but they are able to read others by recognizing changes in behavior and temperament. During a negotiation, no matter how intimidating the other party is, it's likely that there will be an element of anxiety. While the first thought may be to try to suppress the nerves, a study from Harvard Business School found that denying the anxiety makes people more anxious.
Instead, it works much better to use those anxious feelings as a tool to get through the negotiation or given situation. To push that emotion down is to deny yourself of your feelings. Truly emotionally intelligent individuals will work with the emotions that they feel rather than working against them.
Negotiations aren't easy, but they don't have to be hard on the psyche. To feel more confident in your own negotiation skills, look into training seminars that focus on the tactics such as the Positive Negotiation Program or Negotiation Strategy and Tactics.