Whether you’re negotiating a salary in a new job, asking for a raise or negotiating a business deal, negotiating is a skill every professional needs – but it’s not as easy as it sounds.

It can take a long time to reach an agreement, no matter what you negotiate, and in the end you may not even get what you want. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you do everything the right way. Even the smallest mistakes can cost you success.

Do you want to become a leader in negotiations ? Here are 5 tips to help you do just that.

  • 1. Don’t make assumptions

The key to a successful negotiation is to be prepared. This means much more than knowing the numbers and the facts. This means that you need to know who the decision-maker is and what the other party’s needs, values, hopes and fears are. It also means not assuming that something is non-negotiable in advance.

“If you don’t prepare, you prepare to fail”

Mike Murdock
  • 2. Do not 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 piece of personal information that signals your openness and desire to connect. If you do, the negotiation can move from a hostile fight to a productive conversation. Don’t be afraid to incorporate pauses, as they can help everyone regain perspective and remove undue emotion.

  • 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 personally. But beware – too much emotion can hurt your productivity. Challenge yourself to turn moments where you feel challenged and defensive into moments of curiosity where you can get feedback. Emotions can easily be used against you in negotiations.

  • 4. Don’t accept a bad deal

Negotiation is a long, tedious and stressful process, but agreeing to a deal just to get a deal is not good, no matter which side you are on. It is important to remember that some agreement is not necessarily better than none.

  • 5. Do not negotiate

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

While there is no foolproof method of negotiation, some tactics are better than others. Negotiations usually result in a compromise in which each side makes a concession to the benefit of all concerned.