Category Archives: Negotiation Skills

Better Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a skill that everyone uses in their lives.  It is used in the workplace as well as in our personal lives.  Whether we are aware of it or not, most of us spend a significant amount of time negotiating various issues.  That’s why it is so important to have strong negotiation skills.  Being a good negotiator allows you to build, maintain, and improve relationships in your personal life and in the workplace.  People with strong negotiation skills are oftentimes more efficient, more organized, and more successful.  The following examples display times when good negotiation skills are a must.  Let’s take a look at a few places where the ability to negotiate can help you succeed.


During an Interview

While it is certainly impressive to have a resume packed with experience, it is more about what you say in an interview that will determine whether or not you get the job.  Statistics show that many hiring decisions are actually made in the first 2 minutes of an interview.  For this reason, it is important that candidates be able to come in with strong negotiation skills.  Before leaving an interview you should negotiate a follow-up call or stopping by in the near future to check in.  Utilizing these negotiation skills will show confidence and help you avoid getting lost in the paperwork.


In the Workplace

Most people think that the essential skills needed to get ahead in the workplace are hard work, good communication, and good luck.  While these are obviously very important, another component that is often overlooked is the ability to negotiate.  Negotiation involves the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities.  When you are capable of closing the deal for your company, you are opening the door to bigger opportunities for yourself. Strengthening your negotiation skills makes you an asset to your company and helps you accomplish your personal goals.


In a Performance Review

Most professionals are given an annual performance review.  This is the perfect opportunity to use your negotiation skills to get what you want: a higher salary, more benefits, a promotion.  An employee who can negotiate well knows how to showcase their talents in order to further their career.  Aside from salary and benefits, a good negotiator would also negotiate for the tools needed to grow and thrive in their position.  These tools could include a strong support staff, special training, or a new job title.  Knowing how and when to negotiate can help you advance your career and professional growth.


Being a good negotiator is an important part of being successful both personally and professionally.  Good negotiation skills help you to achieve important goals for yourself and your organization.  While these were just a few examples of places where negotiation is important, it is an invaluable skill that will help you in nearly every aspect of your life. Take a look at our training programs at or visit our site to learn more.

Redirecting Your Negotiations – Part 3 in a 3 Part Series on Improving Negotiation Skills

Redirecting The Negotiations is an important skill set.

 Now that you’ve learned about tactics and how to determine their use, it’s helpful to learn how to redirect the negotiations back to positive ground.  This is part 3 in a 3 part series on How To Improve Your Negotiation Skills.

When you learn that the other party in your negotiation has been using a tactic against you need to tell the other party what the consequences are for dealing negatively.  Stay objective during this phase of negotiations if you can.  Judging the other party to be “wrong” may feel natural but all it will do is get their defenses up.   Just call it for what it is from an objective place. Take the lead in returning the negotiations to a mutuality-based, win-win process. Be the enlightened negotiator; be the model. That goes a long way in appearing powerful in a very positive way during any negotiation process.

Remember, test and probe with questions when you think someone is using tactics. Be the leader. Go for win-win! Visit us at

Or look to our free resources at to take your negotiations skills to the next level of success!

Improve Your Negotiation Skills By Discerning Tactics – Part 2 in a 3 Part Series

Uncovering a Tactic


If you suspect that a tactic is being used against you, the best strategy is to ask questions. It’s usually that simple in negotiations. You probe. You discuss. Let’s say the other party in your negotiation sets a deadline.  How can you determine if it’s a tactic or not? Test the deadline. Ask questions about it. Who set it? Why that time and date? What happens if the deadline is not met? In any negotiation it’s important to get conversational. Use objective criteria – the facts.  Alternatively if they say this is the last item for sale, ask about replacement items, possible shipping dates for new inventory.  Bottom line – determine if they were using scarcity as a tactic to pressure you during the negotiation.  Find out more at


To Learn More About Uncovering Tactics

To learn more about uncovering tactics you can click here to go to   where you will find more information about negotiations plus a free report on How to Improve Your Negotiations.  Download the free report and improve your negotiation skills on the spot.  To learn about hosting an onsite negotiation skills training course please contact us at or again visit



About The Author Jim Hornickel

Jim Hornickel is the Director of Training at Negotiations Training Institute and CEO of Bold New Directions, ,  a transformational learning organization that offers corporate  learning programs including negotiations training, communications training, and presentation training.   Bold New Directions faculty work with Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized firms and educational institutions to grow people and performance. Find out more about Jim Hornickel and Bold New Directions at or visit our specialized negotiations training site via




How To Improve Negotiation Skills by Uncovering Tactics – Part 1 in a 3 Part Series

There are lots of areas of importance in a negotiation. This article will focus on uncovering tactics and redirecting the negotiations back to a mutuality-based, win-win process.

A Tactic, by definition here, differs from a strategy. A tactic is intentional and, it is meant to get you to give up a concession without the other party giving anything in return.

This article is not written to encourage you to use tactics but instead to know when tactics are used against you. We want you to be able to neutralize tactics to preserve a win-win negotiating relationship.

There are three  areas to consider for uncovering and neutralizing tactics – This series will explore the topic of uncovering tactics in three short articles. 


Is it a Tactic?

 A “strategy” used by the other party may be a tactic or it may simply be the way they do business. Let’s use “Higher Authority” as the tactic example. You move through a negotiations process with someone, thinking that person will make the deal with you. Then, when you have wrapped up the trading, they tell you that they do not have the authority to make the deal; they need to pass the information up through channels. Is this a tactic? It may be an attempt to put pressure on you and get you to change your offer.

But, it may not be a tactic. I know of a large energy company who runs negotiations this way; they have a two-step process by design. The negotiators who initially go out tell the company they are negotiating with about the process. They are the first line but do not have budgetary authority to make the size deals done at this level. They then bring all of the information to the next level of management for approval. Not a tactic; just the way they do business.


To Learn More

To learn more about uncovering tactics please visit us at   where you can download a free report with more tips on how to Improve Your Negotiations.  Or if you have an interest in organizing an onsite negotiation skills training course please contact us at


About The Author

Jim Hornickel is Director of Training at Negotiations Training Institute and the co-founder of Bold New Directions, ,  a transformational learning organization that offers corporate  learning programs including Leadership Training, Communications Training, and Resilience Training Solutions.  Bold New Directions faculty work with Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized firms and educational institutions to grow people and performance. Find out more about Jim Hornickel and Bold New Directions at or visit our specialized negotiations training site  via

Part 5 – The Power of the WATNA in Negotiation Skills

Many people think that negotiating is difficult and full of underhanded tactics. In our experience, negotiations can be positive, productive and fun. This five part series uncovers the value of key elements in the negotiations process – specifically the negotiations range. You may ask “what is the range?” Many business professionals who negotiate in their jobs focus only on the monetary aspect when thinking about their range. However, there are many other elements that can be included such as service hours, warranties, extras, delivery times, percentages… Be creative! And, always think mutuality-based, win-win as these will deepen relationships so people want to work with you again.

There are five interactive areas that make up the range: the Wish, the Aspiration, the Bottom Line, the BATNA, and the WATNA. Earlier articles in the series focused on the power of the Wish, the Aspiration, the Bottom Line, and the BATNA. Read on to learn about the WATNA as it relates to the sale of a house.

Power of the WATNA:

WATNA stands for the Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. In the preparation phase of your negotiation, you need to consider what is the worst that will happen if you do not sell in a particular negotiation. Going to the worst case scenario in your negotiation preparation has a particular benefit: you might reconsider your bottom line. In negotiation skills, it is good to know what you would reconsider and the rationale. In this example of selling a home, you may need to sell your home by a certain deadline to relocate for a new job. Well, that limits your options in the particular negotiation. In this case, you might restructure your bottom line back to $350,000 or even lower to sell faster. WATNA is a very helpful tool to consider prior to entering into any negotiation as it helps you have more clarity and negotiation success.

How to Learn More:

Now that you have read all 5 parts of this series you are well on your way to negotiating success. Speaking of Negotiating Success, you can learn more about how to apply all five of these tools in our training session entitled Negotiating Success™. Or look for our soon-to-be published text book with the same name of Negotiating Success. You’ll be glad you did when you come out of your next negotiation more satisfied and financially ahead. For more information about negotiations skills or negotiations training courses please visit or today.


About The Author:

Jim Hornickel is co-founder of Bold New Directions, a transformational learning company that works with companies to transform people and performance through training solutions including seminars, webinars, coaching and keynote events. Bold New Directions specializes in training solutions that build leadership skills, communication skills and resilience at work. Jim leads dynamic workshops that help professionals grow their negotiation skills. You can learn more about Jim Hornickel and the topic of Negotiations Training at Bold New Directions by visiting the company web site at or at our negotiations training site