How to Negotiate Like the Professional You Are

If you’re like most professionals, negotiation is a part of your daily life.

Whether you’re negotiating a raise, working out the details of a contract, or deciding how a project will be run, knowing how to sway others to your side is essential to professional success. However, negotiation isn’t just about getting what you want; the best negotiators are also experts at maintaining their professional relationships, making sure the other party feels heard and respected, and also walks away happy. How can you use effective communication to become a strong, effective negotiator?

1. Use Collaborative Language: Using “we” rather than “I” helps keep the tone positive and collaborative rather than demanding. Phrases like, “Help me understand…” or “What could we do…” are also be great for setting a cooperative tone.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions: Yes/no questions can often lead to a conversational dead end, while open-ended questions encourage further engagement. In addition, the information you gain from their answers puts you in a stronger position to negotiate from, rather than negotiating blindly.

3. Really Listen: If you are too busy preparing your next approach, you may miss an important piece of information from the other person. This information could be helpful to use to sway them to your side. People also tend to be more open to discussion if they feel like they’re being heard instead of closed off.

4. Watch Your Tone: Sounding authoritative and confident is essential in negotiation, and your tone of voice can significantly impact the impression you make. One particularly damaging pattern is “upspeak”, the habit of raising your tone at the end of a sentence as though you were asking a question. Pay attention to your tonal patterns to make sure you come across as professional and confident.

Related: 4 Tips to Achieve Interview Success

If you’re looking for more ways to craft a strong, confident image that will help you to achieve your professional goals, make sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. In this free resource, I break down the myriad factors that contribute to confident communication and guide you through how to use each aspect to your advantage.