Negotiation Skills in the Pandemic: Everything You Need to Know

The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of hardships for individuals and businesses. Workplaces have changed to working from home environments. The working policies and procedures of businesses have changed from those relating to a physical presence to those of an online presence. Everyone and everything is now accessible online. In the same manner, businesses are catering to the needs of their clients online.

Effective negotiation is an important skill set that can help businesses grow by leaps and bounds. It is high time for negotiators to refresh their skills in order to secure the very best deals in the challenging and uncertain times created by the pandemic. These skills include:

  • Planning negotiation activity
  • Considering the wider picture and creating options for mutual gain
  • Body language and communication skills
  • Taking into account cultural considerations
  • Problem-solving skills and maintaining a good relationship with the client

Planning negotiation activity

Planning is always the first and most crucial step. Negotiation activity should be planned so that the negotiator can focus on the interests that can help both parties move to a winning position, and so that they can prepare the best tradeoffs. Planning also reduces the stress level of the negotiator and assists them in putting forward the right proposals to secure efficient, wide agreements.

Considering the wider picture and creating options for mutual gain

As the pandemic has reshaped the model for doing business, negotiators should study all scenarios using a broader framework. They should use this macro vision to create more options for mutual gain while considering the current scenario of the pandemic. Negotiators should also hone their skills in pre-planning concessions.

Body language and communication skills

Effective communication is synonymous with effective negotiation. The two are inextricably interlinked. It can be done with verbal skills, nonverbal cues, or positive (otherwise known as “open”) body language. The negotiator should clarify and clearly communicate their ideas, preferences, and perspectives to their counterparty. Individuals who can persuade others without manipulating them can maintain a positive environment during any negotiation.

Taking into account cultural considerations

Most businesses are negotiating virtually on an international basis. It is important to know about the culture and language of the party you are seeking to make a deal with. The more you know about your counterparty, the more likely you will be to secure a successful deal. Therefore, a negotiator must consider all the cultural aspects of their clients. This will help the negotiator to portray a positive image and will build an environment of mutual trust.

Problem-solving skills and maintaining a good relationship with the client

It is necessary for the negotiator to have effective problem-solving skills in order to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with their clients. They should avoid “one size fits all” thinking, and possess the ability to seek and recognize a variety of different solutions to a problem in order to forge common ground with their counterparties. Effective negotiators invariably utilize strong interpersonal skills to maintain good working relationships with their counterparties.

The Final Verdict

Since the pandemic has reshaped the world of business relationships it is necessary for even the most skilled of negotiators to polish, refresh and recalibrate their negotiation skills. After all, the art of negotiation is a crucial skill set that can help to resolve any type of problem at home, in society, or for that matter, in the workplace.

In its highest form, negotiation activity invariably involves meticulous planning, the consideration of cultural aspects, as well as working to achieve mutual gains with good interpersonal and communication skills. In addition, using impressive problem-solving skills will undoubtedly help us to maintain good strong working relationships with our clients which will inevitably endure the tide of the pandemic.