Using Negotiation Skills Outside of the Business Environment

By Mark Jankowski

Many have wondered if the negotiation skills we teach can work outside of the business environment. The answer is a resounding, Yes!

For instance, take listening – the heart of the Probe phase.  We believe the best negotiators are the best listeners.  Too often, in negotiation, we get off track by not really listening to the other side.  This is especially true in personal relationships where we think we already know what the other person is going to say.  Rather than listening, we are planning what we’re going to say next.  If one person senses that the other person isn’t listening, suddenly the original subject (or negotiation) becomes secondary and a disagreement develops over whether the other person is listening or not.

We emphasize engaging in active listening, that is, making it clear through questions, responses, eye contact, and note-taking, that you are truly listening, and understanding what the other person is saying.  It isn’t who out-talks the other in relationships or negotiations, it’s who out-listens.

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