How can you find exactly the right words that will close a deal? What kind of words and phrases are key for negotiating? The art of negotiation is 50% confidence and 50% in how you frame your opinions, assertions, and complaints. The following key phrases and words can help you become an efficient negotiator and get everything you want out of the deals you make.
Would you even bother wasting your time with someone who doesn’t even care enough to listen to your own views? Probably not.
The first and most critical step for getting on the right foot with your fellow negotiator is to actively listen. Reassuring phrases such as “I see what you mean,” “You’re right,” and “That’s a good point actually,” tells the other person that you respect them enough to actively engage with them during their interpretation of a situation.
You can win the other person over simply by making them feel respected and listened to. Yes, it’s that easy – and sometimes that’s all it takes to conclude a successful negotiation. Extra Tip: Don’t assume you know what someone’s about to say. People find it annoying when someone else constantly jumps in to end their sentences for them. While occasionally this might show how much you empathize with and focus on what is being said, you might come across as a know-it-all, and nobody likes that sort of person.
It’s not you, it’s me: Offering the right perspective
Another important thing to consider when negotiating, whether it’s with your 3-year-old child or your manager, is adopting the right perspective. You don’t have to sacrifice your assertiveness and dynamism to achieve a good deal. What you need to do is not offend the other person, or make them feel uncomfortable or frustrated. That’s easy to say, but you might ask yourself how to achieve this. It’s actually easy to do, as well: simply say what you believe, feel, or think rather than talking about what the other person has said or done. By shifting the focus to your perspective, you are essentially making it easier from them to accept your assertions, because you remove any implication of blame. Therefore, the statement “I feel this is not what we had in mind” is much more effective and less offending than “You don’t understand what we are after, I’m afraid.”
The first introduces disagreement in a mild and indirect manner, with the sense that you feel it might have been your own explanations and descriptions that led to the misunderstanding. On the other hand, the second is full-on negative and slightly harsh, essentially telling the other person that they’re just not smart enough to figure it out.
Don’t ever assume you know what the person in front of you is thinking. To make assumptions is to risk losing that person’s attention and respect. Focus on “I” statements and steer away from speaking about what you think they think, want, or have.
You have better chances at winning a negotiation if you show empathy. People are naturally defensive during a negotiation so managing to make them feel less threatened will win you some ground. Find something you have in common. This could be anything: you’re both young women, you’re both parents, you work in the same field, you like the same style of art, you just read the same best-seller … pointing out the similarities between you makes it easier for you to mold the other person’s opinion towards a direction that benefits you. Show your empathy with phrases such as these:
“I understand (where you’re coming from).”
“I feel the same way about (the situation, the problem, that point).”
“I would be (happy, upset, curious, disbelieving) in that case too, you know.”
Using these key phrases and being willing to listen attentively will increase your chances of achieving the deal you’re after.