Whether you’re negotiating your salary at a new job, asking for a pay raise or overseeing a business deal, negotiation is a skill that every professional needs – but it’s no easy feat.

It can take a long time to reach an agreement no matter what you’re negotiating for, and ultimately, you might not even get what you want. That’s why it’s important to make sure you do everything the right way. Even the smallest mistakes can cost you success.

Want to become a negotiating pro? Here are 5 tips, which can help you.

  • 1. Don’t make assumptions.

The key to a successful negotiation is being prepared, and that means a lot more than knowing numbers and facts.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”

Mike Murdock
  • 2. Don’t rush

Negotiations take time, especially if you want them to go smoothly. Take the time to establish a real relationship with the other party. Share a little piece of personal information that signals your openness and desire for connection. Doing so can shift a negotiation from an adversarial battle to a productive conversation. And don’t be afraid to build in pauses, as they can help everyone regain perspective and remove undue emotions

  • 3. Don’t take anything personally

It can be easy to let your emotions get the better of you during a negotiation, especially if it’s something that affects you. Challenge yourself to turn moments where you feel attacked and defensive into moments of curiosity where you can gain feedback. Emotion can easily be used against you in a negotiation.

  • 4. Don’t accept a bad deal

Negotiating is a long, tiring and stressful process, but agreeing to a deal just to get a deal isn’t good, no matter what side you’re on. It’s important to remember that a deal isn’t necessarily better than no deal.

  • 5. Don’t overnegotiate

If you’re lucky enough to have the upper hand during the negotiation, don’t take advantage of it too much. Think about the consequences of overnegotiating beforehand. Don’t put yourself in a position where you can’t go back to a relationship because you overleveraged

Though there’s no such thing as a foolproof negotiation method, some tactics are better than others. Generally, a negotiation results in a compromise where each party makes a concession for the benefit of everyone involved.