Strategic Negotiations: Essential Skills and Knowledge

Not all negotiation tactics achieve optimal results, so your team needs to understand the difference between these tactics to conduct the most successful negotiations. Compared to reactive negotiation, based on instinctively responding to others’ behavior, strategic negotiation forms a proactive approach in which the negotiator develops a strategy set in advance. Establishing a strong negotiation skill set is fundamental to strategic negotiations. Essential skills to promote include preparedness, communication, and the four primary elements of emotional intelligence, followed by practicing these skills to hone them before meeting with prospective clients.

Essential Skills for Strategic Negotiations

Consider these strategic negotiations, then contact Shapiro Negotiations to schedule negotiation training for your team.

1. Preparedness

Negotiation begins long before both parties meet. Proper preparation significantly impacts the outcome of any negotiation. Greater investments require greater preparation to be successful. Developing preparedness as a strategic negotiation skill involves conducting thorough research on the other party and learning everything you can about the deals they have completed, the terms of these deals, and their commitment to following through with these terms. This allows you to effectively predict how they will respond to your proposal and prepare for the most likely outcome. You should know specifically what you hope to achieve in the negotiation so you can determine your priorities and define your objectives. Gather the appropriate data required to manage the deal and keep everything organized so you can access the information when you need it.

2. Communication

Communication serves as the foundation for any successful strategic negotiation. Proficiency in communication is one of the most crucial components required to become a masterful negotiator. Communication skills include:

  • Clearly, effectively communicating your ideas
  • Fully devoting your attention to the negotiation at hand
  • Keeping your objectives in mind when sharing information
  • Asking relevant open-ended questions to gain further information, verify your awareness of core concepts, or resolve any misunderstandings
  • Requesting elaboration when presented with unclear information
  • Actively listening to the other party to demonstrate you recognize their needs, understand their reasoning, value their point of view, and are willing to address any concerns they may have
  • Restating their ideas in your own words to prove you are actively listening
  • Fostering sincere collaboration throughout the entire process by approaching the situation as a team rather than as competitors
  • Analyzing the details of the situation to determine the best course of action
3. Self-Awareness

Self-awareness consists of recognizing and understanding your emotions, appreciating how they impact others around you, and considering the role they play in your decision making. Know your value and project confidence in your skills and experience to illustrate the advantages you hold and gain more leverage in the strategic negotiation. Consider the scope of your influence and enhance this influence by grounding your negotiations on hard data, sound logic, and convincing arguments.

4. Self-Management

Based on adequate self-awareness, self-management comprises the ability to control your emotions and adjust your behavior to best accommodate dynamic circumstances. The only way to ensure your negotiating partner truly comprehends the information you share is by remaining calm and courteous while expressing yourself. Handling negotiations with diplomacy and tact benefits you in the current deal. It also establishes your reputation as a professional and encourages the growth of the relationship.

5. Social Awareness

Social awareness is the ability to discern, interpret, and appropriately respond to the emotions of others. You must read your negotiating partner by considering not only the words they speak, but examining other verbal and non-verbal cues, such as tone of voice, eye contact, and body language. With more than 50% of successful communication relying on body language, it is imperative to analyze the other party’s body language and carefully manage your own body language to express openness and present yourself as professional, authoritative, and cooperative.

6. Relationship Management

Relationship management utilizes all of the above skills to influence your negotiating partner. Throughout the negotiation, you can learn more about the other party’s personality and find common ground by asking them about their interests, goals, and motivations for agreeing. The more you understand your negotiation partner, the better your position for leading the strategic negotiation to a mutually beneficial outcome. Finally, and most importantly, demonstrate empathy while dealing with the other party. By being empathetic, you cultivate trust, improve your persuasion’s efficacy, and develop a more amicable, sustainable relationship.

7. Practice

Similar to strengthening any other professional skill, the negotiation skills above require regular, comprehensive practice. The more familiar you become with the strategic negotiation process before meeting clients, the more confident and successful you will be when sitting down at the negotiating table. An objective perspective on your negotiation skills allows you to discover your weaknesses and overcome them, making you better prepared for the future.


Learn These Skills With Negotiation Training From Shapiro Negotiations

Established with science and backed by experience, the Shapiro Negotiations training program demonstrates an impressive record of proven success in helping clients secure more long-term business opportunities, increase their employees’ productivity, and navigate conflict. We assess each business’s individual needs and design comprehensive, personalized, and dynamic solutions to effectively meet those needs.

Contact us today to learn how we can prepare your business team for the market of the future. Call (410) 662-4764, email us at or submit the form on our website.



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