“The Truth About How To Increase Your Negotiation Skills” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“You will increase your negotiation skills when unfulfilled outcomes no longer comfort you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“The Truth About How To

Increase Your Negotiation Skills”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

“I never had good negotiation skills. And I know negotiation skills impact one’s life.” So stated a woman with whom I was speaking. “Then why would you not want to become a better negotiator,” was my response. Her retort was, “well, I am not sure where to start.”

The following are a few negotiation tips that you can use to increase your negotiation skills.

Know What You Want From The Negotiation

One of your primary goals should be knowing what you want in a negotiation. It is easy to get wrapped up trying to win a negotiation. But if you are unaware of what you want in a particular situation, how can you aim for success?

If you are unclear about your objectives, it can be challenging to come out ahead. What is it that truly matters most? Are there things that are simply non-negotiable? Those are questions you should ask yourself. And, also know where there may be room for compromise – make sure you understand where and why lines exist.

Understanding yourself as a negotiator is essential to understanding what you are negotiating and why you are doing so. Look at situations you may perceive as unfavorable as opportunities to learn about yourself and adjust accordingly in future negotiations.

While the best negotiators always think about themselves first, they also seek to understand their counterpart’s perspective. To that point, sometimes, the other negotiator will have needs that will not align with yours. So, use good judgment when choosing which battles to fight. Sometimes less is more! Because some negotiators negotiate their way out of gains by not knowing when to stop. Do not allow that to happen to you.

Ask For What You Want

Many people, in negotiations, fail to ask for what they want. That is a huge mistake! Stop wasting your time wondering why you’re not getting the outcome you seek when you do not ask for what you want.

If you start asking for more of what you want, your negotiation success and negotiation skills will skyrocket! Be clear about what you want and make sure that it aligns with your goals. Make your requests part of your negotiation strategy.

Getting everything you request will not happen in every negotiation. But developing a reputation as someone who asks for what you want is a crucial component of long-term success in negotiations.

Thus, when asking for what you want, what matters is how much you value yourself and are willing to fight. Your self-value will be essential to you building your negotiation skills.

Observe Gains and Losses

During negotiations, observe what occurs. I do not mean just paying attention to what is happening; go deeper. Examine the thought process behind what occurred and why it happened. By getting into the mental aspects behind your counterpart’s actions, you get into their head. And being inside of their head will allow you to think moves ahead before they make them.

One of my favorite ways to get inside a negotiator’s head, and improve negotiation skills, is to observe gains and losses. Observe what others are doing, and then negotiate with yourself in your head. You can do it almost anywhere.

Are you ordering at a restaurant? Do you feel comfortable speaking up when prices aren’t listed? Or does embarrassment guilt you into silence? Are you okay with trying to negotiate if it doesn’t work out?

No matter where you are, there is room for improvement in your negotiation skills. If you want to increase your negotiation skills, practice makes perfect! And guess what? It can be fun, too!

Play Hardball When Needed

Playing hardball can help you get more of what you want without investing more time than may be required. When I say playing hardball, I mean pursuing one’s goals forcefully but not to one’s detriment. It is akin to knowing when to be a little hard and when to be soft. In this mindset, think of negotiating as a game with winners and those that do not win as much.

You may have to employ tactics that appear counterintuitive or contrary to your everyday behavior. But to the degree that you want what you seek badly enough, you will alter your character to meet the situation’s demands. And if you cannot do that, that is alright. You did not want the outcome you stated as your goal. You just tried to convince yourself without applying the actions to achieve it.

As with everything in life, if there were a magic strategy for winning every negotiation, everyone would use it. So instead of chasing unicorns, focus on strengthening your negotiation skills by understanding what you will and will not do to reach higher negotiation outcomes.


I am always amazed at the number of people in some societies that do not recognize the value of being better negotiators. They are the ones that never attempt to increase their negotiation skills.

We negotiate multiple times a day for what we want. Being better at negotiations increases the probability that you will reach your goals.

By following the suggestions mentioned, you will increase your negotiation skills and be on your way to achieving more of your goals. You will also make more tremendous strides in life. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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

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