“KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) help leadership design, implement, and reach successful negotiation outcomes. Without them, leaders only guess about success.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
7 Key KPIs to Boost Your Negotiation Skills”
People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.
What do you consider in leadership regarding your negotiation KPIs (key performance indicators)? KPIs are quantifiable ways to measure your negotiation goals against your efforts. They can help you make better negotiation decisions in your current and future talks. And, as someone in a leadership role, the better you negotiate, the greater will be your success with peers, subordinates, and those to whom you report.
So, what key factors might you consider to boost your negotiation skills and perceived leadership abilities? And what should you seek in determining what KPIs to use? This article offers guidance as it answers those questions. Having this information before negotiating will boost your skills and make you more formidable as a negotiator.
Identifying Your Negotiation KPIs
The first step I suggest leaders undertake is identifying the types of KPIs they will use to measure progress and success. Doing that before a negotiation becomes a leader’s entry point to boost their negotiation skills.
To that end, I offer the following seven examples of how you can assemble your KPI negotiation matrix. You may consider combining them or creating new ones based on your needs to implement and measure your negotiation outcomes.
1. The Planning Stage
In every negotiation, there is a planning stage. It is the roadmap leadership creates to plot the strategies and tactics to accomplish their goals. Anyone in leadership who discards this aspect of negotiation is derelict in their duties of service.
I suggest leadership measure this KPI by comparing the outcome of a negotiation against its plans. That can be done on a scale from 1 to 10, partly by using input from past negotiation sessions and how well you identified the key aspects that moved the negotiation.
2. Relationship Building And Enhancement
The degree to which negotiators have a good or bad relationship before and during negotiations sways how they engage. To establish KPI factors for this realm of their negotiation, consider negotiators’ likability, positive or negative engagement, and to what degree one versus the other might become, or became, unruly during the talks. Lessons from this assessment will help identify traits that build better relationships, leading to increased negotiation skills.
3. The Integrity KPI
The degree to which a negotiator displays integrity is one of the most salient KPIs that leadership should observe. It predicts how well negotiators might interact and the likelihood of them abiding by a deal. It is also a predictor of how enhancements might occur in the relationship aspect of the parties.
Gather data on the opposition’s past negotiations to form insights about this KPI. That can stem from those who report to this person and those that the individual reports to; feel free to gather input from outside sources, too.
Note differences of opinions between those from whom you gather input. If either states that your opposition lacks integrity, that will give the leadership of a negotiation input about how to position their efforts best.
4. The Confidence And Compassion KPI
You might question why leadership should include confidence and compassion as a KPI to measure successful negotiations. If so, it is because those two factors can sway the mental perspective of the opposition and cause them to make concessions more readily than if the components were absent.
To measure confidence and compassion, consider the level at which you felt the other negotiator swayed your perspective via the confidence they exhibited, your reactions, and the concessions you made based on that. Make the same assessment from the opposition’s viewpoint, weighing those factors through their eyes about you.
By tracking those factors, leadership can amass a map of how to use confidence and compassion to boost negotiation skills while gaining insight into traits negotiators use during their negotiations.
5. Adaptability KPI
An adaptability KPI should measure the maneuverability a negotiator displays during negotiation. Leadership would measure how well negotiators adapted to unexpected occurrences during bargaining. That would allow leadership to assess someone’s adaptability in future talks.
6. Problem-Solving KPI
Another KPI tied closely to adaptability is problem-solving. Very few negotiations occur according to how leadership planned them. Thus, the better negotiators solve problems that arise during their talks, the more likely they will get discussions headed for derailment back on track. That is what makes this KPI such a valuable component to include in your negotiation effort evaluation.
7. Negotiation Outcome KPI
What good are your efforts to negotiate more proficiently if you do not measure the outcome? The negotiation outcome KPI does that.
To assess this KPI’s value, compare the outcome of the talks to what you sought and the degree to which you received a good, fair, or bad deal. As someone in leadership, I suggest you continuously improve on this KPI. It will become one of your most prominent indicators of negotiation success.
There are many more KPIs that leadership should consider regarding negotiations. While leadership may view the measurements of the KPIs mentioned as subjective, once leaders create yardsticks, they will become better positioned to assess their negotiation efforts. Thus, it behooves them to do so.
Yes, KPIs are excellent ways for leadership to measure and predict the effectiveness of a negotiation – those upcoming and those that have occurred. Accordingly, to be more effective at measuring KPIs’ effectiveness, leadership might consider creating a consistent scale against which to evaluate negotiation success; that can be on a scale of 1 to 10, or however they assess negotiation outcomes. And everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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