Business Negotiation January 16, 2013

What Makes a Good Negotiator

Top executives in sales and purchasing ask, “What is the most important trait we should look for in selecting a good negotiator?”

If I were to restrict my answer to a single trait, it would be the ability of negotiators to deal with people in their own organization.

Good negotiators should be good networkers.

Only in that way can they understand the needs of those around them and balance their expectations and priorities.

A diplomat’s success in dealing with other world leaders in trade negotiations will, in the last analysis, be dependent on his or her ability to deal with the President, the Cabinet, the Congress, the press, the people, and the CEO’s of the major corporations involved.

Here are some other traits that good negotiators share:

  1. An ability to work with the other party in searching for creative win-win ideas to bring the parties together.
  2. A logical mind. The ability to present his or her position in terms of principles that can be easily communicated. Abraham Lincoln once said of another politician, “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I’ve ever met.” That man, I’m sure, was not a good negotiator.
  3. A dedication to painstaking preparation and detail.
  4. A willingness to tolerate disagreement and confrontation.
  5. The ability to live with ambiguity for long periods of time. Things are rarely black or white in negotiation.
  6. Good judgment. As the old farmer who was known for his wisdom said when asked why he was so wise, “I’ve got good judgment. Good judgment comes from experience; and a lot of experience comes from bad judgment.”
  7. Patience and willingness to let the situation evolve. Remember, rushing to complete a negotiation can harm you.
  8. Persistence and a refusal to give up in the face of opposition. You might hear "No" many times before you get to "Yes".
  9. Hard work and stamina. Lazy people make poor negotiators. Negotiations take work and effort to be successful.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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