The standard answer is practice, practice, practice. Repetition; however, is the mother of skill, but what you are practicing is just as important. If you want to be better at basketball, you aren't doing yourself many favors on the golf course. If you want to be better at negotiation, you aren't doing yourself much good reverting to bad communication habits like "tell me more" and trying to convince the other side by exposing them to your logic.
Traditionally speaking negotiation is seen as a focused comparison of ideas/results, in some circles, this can easily be construed into an argument over points.
Typically a negotiation begins with one side stating what their issues are and what they want. Next, the other side does the same thing. In the end, if a deal is made both sides feel like they could have gotten more or they stuck it to the other side. Here are 3 guidelines for negotiating better outcomes.
However you get into an interaction, whether you have had ample time to prepare or you have been thrown into the fires of Mount Doom, it is always good to have basic guidelines to abide by. Here are three we tend to lean on because of their influence on human nature reaction.
There comes a time in almost every negotiation where we may get a counterpart that is trying to influence our decisions by making an ultimatum type offer (take X or this bad thing is going to happen to you). Sometimes it may be something they say out of desperation, other times they were going to hit you with it one way or another. At the end of the day, everyone we meet in a negotiation has a plan of attack. Even if you're only information going into an interaction is a cold read, you can start to draw lines between what they may want and why. Usually the reasons for coming to the table that are more than what appears on the surface. If you go into an interaction thinking the other side has only one reason for being there than you are sorely mistaken. There are always things going on in the other side's position, the way they operate as a team or company that has brought them to the table. If we take a real honest look at the reasons they would take a certain position, we can start to form a statement summary that defines their approach, consequently removing all the reasoning for cementing themselves over a certain point.
One of the biggest problems we see in negotiation begins during the process of preparation. Of course we all know preparation is important but “how you prepare” and “what for” are equally, if not even more important.