Four tips for better negotiation

Every negotiation is different. A few simple tactics will improve your negotiating skills whatever the circumstances.

Do you find negotiation difficult? Believe it or not, you’re doing it every day. And you can learn the skills to make you better at it. Here are my key tips for getting great results from your negotiations.

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Dealing with irrational customers on the phone

Mina can feel her blood pressure rising. The customer on the end of the phone is getting angrier. Mina needs to make things right.

Here’s how we’d help Mina deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies when handling difficult phone calls from your own customers.

Verbalise nonverbals

The nonverbal ways Mina shows she’s listening when face-to face – body language, nodding, eye contact –aren’t much use on the phone. Mina must use her voice as a verbal equivalent of these visual signals. Saying things like ‘OK’, ‘I understand’, or ‘uh-huh’ regularly will tell her customer that she’s listening.

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5 steps to becoming a creative thinker

Creative thinkers use their minds fluently.  This means they generate large numbers of ideas.

You can learn to do this,too, by following five simple steps.

Step One: Silence your ‘inner critic’

Don’t discard any ideas until you reach the third stage of thinking. You need to spark creativity by allowing ideas to flow unchecked.

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Leading with empathy

Want to increase ‘followership’ in your team? Let people know you empathise with their needs and concerns.

Empathy is the ability to spot, understand and acknowledge someone else’s feelings. When you empathise with someone, you tune into their reality. Doing this helps you connect and build rapport – so people will listen to you.

Try these steps for showing empathy – even in response to irrational behaviour.

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Handling irrational people

Some people just aren’t rational. Here are four ways to stay sane around them

Do you work with someone whose reasoning defies logic? Does your boss go off the deep end at the slightest thing? Is a client driving you to distraction with unreasonable demands? You can learn to deal with people who are driven by emotions rather than logic. Here are four things to keep in mind.

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Case study: How to push back on difficult demands

Dean’s boss is driving him up the wall. Although Dean’s workload is already massive, Cass has handed him yet another ‘urgent’ report to do. How can Dean convince his boss that her demands are unreasonable?

There’s only one thing for it – Dean needs to be assertive. He needs tell his boss there’s an issue so she can understand his position. Here’s how we’d help Dean deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to negotiate priorities with your boss.

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Case study: How to handle gossip

Although Elaine likes her new job, her coworkers tend to gossip. Elaine frequently feels uncomfortable, but doesn’t know whether to speak up or keep quiet.

People talk about others. But when talk becomes negative or personal it moves from conversation to gossip. As Elaine’s uncomfortable with what’s being said, there’s a good chance the topic of conversation won’t like it either. Here’s how we’d help Elaine deal with this problem. You can use the same strategies to tackle gossip in your workplace.

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Case study: Overcoming stage fright

A team of volunteers is presenting training on parenting skills. The scripts they have been issued with for this training are dull and uninspiring. The volunteers are nervous about speaking in public. Hedley Galt inspires the group to spice up their performance and feel confident doing so.

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