“Play The Long Game – How To Increase Negotiation Skills Quickly” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Never dispense the opposition before they feel valued. You’ll sharpen your negotiation skills in the process while seeding future opportunities.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

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Do you believe you can, or should, increase your negotiation skills? The answer depends on how you see yourself, your level of negotiation experience, and how serious you are about improving this vital skill that will lead you to more significant success. Since you are always negotiating, doing it better should be a priority if you seek to enhance your interactions with others. That is where playing the long game, constantly increasing your skills, becomes the value-add to your life.

In this article, I delve into the importance of playing the long game in negotiations and highlight strategies to help you increase your negotiation skills. That will help you enhance your negotiation powers.

The Long Game Mindset:

The long game in negotiation entails implementing strategies and adopting a patient mindset to achieve your objectives over time. Instead of emphasizing immediate wins, consider prioritizing the building of relationships. That will help you cultivate trust in future negotiations. That also ties into the fact that you are always negotiating, even if it is not with the same parties. Focusing on the long game improves your negotiation skills because you become a long-time thinker.  

Long Game Strategies:

In any gaming effort, you need to develop strategies. You can use the following tactics to enhance your long-game plans and increase your negotiation skills.

1. The Value In Negotiation Relationships:

The people you negotiate with determine the degree to which you become a better negotiator. Thus, having good relationships with such individuals also determines how they and you will negotiate at any given time.

To increase your relationship with people, attempt to treat them fairly during negotiations. That will endow you with trust, serve as your silent ally in future sessions, and allow you to have more successful outcomes to enhance your long game negotiation efforts.

2. Create Mutual Benefits

When most people negotiate, they do not like the feeling of losing, whatever that equates to, in their mind. Negotiators who feel they lose may attempt to even the score by not abiding by agreements or becoming overly difficult should they deal with you again. Creating, at minimum, the perception of mutual benefits is a way to offset that dilemma.

To enhance the perception of mutual benefits, understand what motivates the other negotiator per their needs. Distinguish that from their wants. Between those points will lie the middle ground you can nurture throughout your negotiation to create mutual benefits – while creating reciprocity for them to do the same.      

3. Learn While And After Doing:

To perfect the long game of negotiation, as you negotiate, observe what is going right and when an occurrence shifts the advantage to the opposition. Perfecting this skill will allow you to become more aware of when shifts occur in negotiations and what causes them. That will also give you more lead time to alter your strategy.

In addition, question what went right, wrong, as expected, and what you might have improved. Seek to learn lessons based on more profound, not just cursory, thinking. The more proficient you become at recognizing when negotiations may turn, the more you will improve your negotiation skills as you negotiate from one session to the next.

Since becoming a better negotiator is an evolving field, you must continue to learn new skills to enhance your expertise. Acquiring new knowledge and skills ensures you are well-equipped to handle the complexities of modern negotiations. Attend workshops, read books, and stay informed about how such matters as AI will alter how people negotiate.

4. Be Persistent And Patient:

Any long-game strategy should involve persistence and patience. Those components are two of the most vital ingredients for long-term negotiation gains.

Avoid making rash decisions in haste. They can lead to irrational outcomes. And rash choices usually lead to unfavorable consequences.

To enrich your negotiation efforts, become patient with your decision-making process. Thank thoroughly. Feel comfortable in the space of being patient. Making better decisions will be your reward. And your beneficiary will be the enhancement of your negotiation skills.  


In the complex world of negotiation, playing the long game is a strategic choice, leading to continuing success and improving your negotiation skills. To do that, build strong relationships, focus on beneficial gains, and become adaptive to a landscape that always sprouts new environments.

So, in your next negotiation, let the long game negotiation process begin. Use that mindset to ignite your approach to your future talks. And everything will be right with the world.

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://megaphone.link/CSN6318246585

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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