How Students Can Improve Their Negotiation Skills

Feb 03, 2022 8 Min Read
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Photo by Medienstürmer @ unsplash

Possessing negotiation skills can open many doors for you!

Negotiation is an important skill that every student needs to have. Although it may seem like they can get by without strong skills, they actually need them. And it's not just for college or in the workplace. A negotiation can come up any time and anywhere.

Nobody likes having to negotiate with a boss, but students need negotiation skills more than anyone. They spend their time learning everything they can about the subject of their degree or career path. Why shouldn't they teach themselves as much as possible about negotiating as well? Negotiating is not just for adults; it works for everyone.

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What is the Purpose of Negotiation Skills?

The purpose of negotiation skills is to be able to get what you want from your opponent while giving them what they want in return. It's a way of communicating with another party and reaching an agreement that benefits both parties involved.

A strong negotiator knows how to ask for what they need and offer up something that will benefit their opponent too without being taken advantage of. They also know when to walk away from the situation if no agreement can be reached at all. These rules apply whether it's in person over email or phone since there are always emotions involved in a conversation.

What are Some Tips for Improving Negotiation Skills that will be Useful in the Future?

For students, their future is wide open, and they can do whatever they choose. That means they have a lot of freedom—including that of choosing professional resume writers of their choice, but they also have a lot of options that they need to consider before making a decision. When it comes time to negotiate the job or career path that's right for them, students will need practice if they want to get anywhere in life.

Before going into a negotiation, though, students need to know what their goals are going into the conversation. Whether it's negotiating fees with a professional resume writing service or trying to convince an admissions representative to let them go part-time while maintaining full-time enrolment status, every student knows what they want from the situation before it even begins, which helps focus on what's important.

Every successful negotiator has done their homework and knows everything about their opponent before walking into the conversation. They know who they are negotiating with, what they may want in return and what needs they will want met in the equation. By doing extensive research, students can get a head start on knowing what it takes to win their argument and get the desired outcome.

Supplementary reading: 3 Highly Effective Negotiation Tactics Anyone Can Use

However, doing their homework also means knowing what to expect from their opponent as well. A smart negotiator also knows how to keep their cool and remain collected during the conversation. The last thing they want to do is get flustered or upset when their opponent does something unexpected, like negotiating back or asking for something in return.

There are no rules that say every negotiation must be between two parties either. A student can improve their negotiating skills by doing hard work and staying in control of the conversation. Here are five more tips for students who want to improve their negotiating skills:

Know When to Walk Away from the Situation if no Agreement is Possible

It's the nature of a negotiation to reach an agreement with your opponent. However, if no agreement can be reached at all, it's not worth staying in the conversation any longer or discussing things further.

Some believe in walking away while others stay so long as there is still hope for an agreement; keep talking until you are forced to walk away. The choice is up to the negotiator; however, being able to know when they have come too far and knowing when they need to stop trying will benefit them in any situation that comes their way.

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Be Willing To Compromise but Resist Temptation

A good negotiator knows how much they should compromise during a given discussion and what compromises may make them lose everything instead of gaining anything back in return. A smart negotiator has to be able to compromise in the right places, even if it's something they are not comfortable with, but also keep their wits about them, so they don't lose sight of their main goals.

Avoid Arguments at All Costs

Even though negotiations can get intense and heated, students should know that arguments have no place during a conversation if they want to improve their negotiating skills. When things heat up too quickly, both parties will feel more inclined to dig into their past histories or favourite arguments just for the sake of arguing. No matter how much you may enjoy it, avoid arguments during the conflict because nothing good will come from it except for wasted time and wasted effort on both ends.

This may interest you: A Simple Step to Argue Well

Practice Beforehand by Role Playing

A lot of negotiation is based on face-to-face communication, but a lot of it is also based on body language and other cues that may be missed if you aren't confident with your skills. To make sure their negotiating skills are up to par, students should practice them by role-playing conversations ahead of time instead of just winging the conversation as it comes. This way, they can learn what works and what doesn't work during a given situation and adjust afterwards.

Be Courteous and Respectful Even When You Don't Feel That Way

Students will need to know how to keep their emotions in check when they enter into a negotiation because it's easy to get carried away even during something as simple as asking for an extracurricular activity. Being rude or disrespectful to an opponent will only make the situation worse, so be patient even when it gets tough to stay courteous and respectful about your requests. This way, you can come out on top in a given situation without the risk of ruining it due to emotions that may have gotten in the way.

Don't Allow Information to fall through the Groove

When you are trying to negotiate with somebody, it's important that both parties do their part. If one party doesn't fulfil the agreement or that person starts neglecting tasks or responsibilities, then they are essentially watering down the entire agreement. With this comes the need for students to keep track of what is covered during the negotiation and who is responsible for certain parts of an agreement so nothing falls through the cracks or gets forgotten, which could lead to future problems.

Read more: 7 Benefits Of Good Negotiation Skills In Business

Final Thoughts

Negotiation is an art that takes time to perfect, especially when it comes to the classroom. If students want to be successful in their future negotiations, then they need to know what they can and cannot do as well as understand what both parties are after before entering into a conversation.

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