Do you feel like you are constantly on the losing end of negotiations? Negotiating isn’t for the faint of heart. Recent research on objective and subjective outcomes of negotiations suggests that how we feel about the outcome can be influenced by our confidence going in.

In most negotiations, you don't really know for sure how well you did. Some confident people express how well they do at negotiating, but when they actually start finding out how well they could have done, it's not so great. First, it’s important to understand how well you could do versus yourself and versus people on the other side. Typically, the better prepared one is to negotiate, the easier they can handle the negotiation process, then the more confident they feel and the better they perform on objective criteria.

two people meeting at a desk

Start With Every Day Interactions

A lot of people think that negotiation is only what you do at the negotiating table, or people buying and selling – but it is actually about everyday interactions between people. Any interaction with your kids, your friends or your significant others, co-workers, bosses, and suppliers form the basis for building your negotiating skillset.

Every time you hear a “no” or a constraint to a request, it is an opportunity to reframe the request and to conduct some form of negotiation.   Every time you hear a “no” you already have a negotiation. Every time there is something that was a constraint or full NO, that's when you start.

Ask Yourself These Questions

There is a saying that in negotiation, 90% of success, is preparation. The time you spend preparing for a negotiation is key to your success. It is also important to be able to recognize what specific information you need to prepare, not just general information. This is particular to the type of negotiation you will be engaged in, whether you are buying or selling, on a sales team or in purchasing, trying to get a pay raise or a promotion. Preparation will inform you how to you structure your approach and help you to perform better (and feel more confident) during negotiations.

Proper preparation is the major element in gaining advantage because it enhances your ability to persuade the other side to agree to what you are asking for. Thinking through in advance of the negotiation what you want to achieve. Are there other acceptable options? Do my positions benefit both parties? Am I in a position of strength? Are there other considerations that strengthen my position? Perfecting your skills will seal your confidence as a negotiator, which will help you to achieve more successful outcomes in the long run.

Do You Want to Excel at Negotiations?

Vistex Institute for Executive Learning and Research

This online program, Essentials of Negotiation: Optimizing Outcomes and Maximizing Value, is highly interactive and applied. The program will run online April 26, 28 & 30 from 12:30 – 2:30 ET for $695. Participants engage in a series of role plays on which they receive objective and subjective feedback, using gaming software in real time to mimic face-to-face interactions and immediately see the results. 

The content provides all of the ingredients needed for successful negotiations.

  • Preparing effectively for negotiations
  • Recognizing and leveraging your negotiation strengths, while learning how to overcome weaknesses
  • Communicating persuasively in the face of resistance
  • Knowing whether you have reached a good outcome in a negotiation
  • Identifying opportunities for “win-win” solutions
  • Building and strengthening vital business relationships

Liuba Belkin, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Management with Lehigh College of Business. She has taught negotiations to executives, undergraduate and graduate students for over 15 years, at Rutgers Business school and then at Lehigh University. She won numerous teaching and research awards and in 2020 she was recognized as one of the top 50 business school professors in the world by Poets&Quants. She has consulted and conducted negotiation workshops with employees in a number of national and international companies, and has been an active member of the International Association of Conflict Management since 2004.

For more information on the course please complete the form below.

Tags: negotiation
Liuba Belkin

Liuba Belkin

Liuba Belkin, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Management at Lehigh Business.