How To Become A Better Negotiator

Born and raised in Rochester, New York, I grew up reading everything from Magic Treehouse to Sarah Dessen to Jane Austen, and writing in every form possible. These days, you’ll find me in Michigan writing blogs, social media posts, and designing digital identities. I graduated with a degree in Professional Writing with a focus on Digital and Technical Writing from Michigan State University. I also earned a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

When it comes to working with people, one of the best to have is the ability to negotiate. Being a great negotiator will help you reach goals you did not think were possible. Especially for some positions, like Careers In Government jobs for instance, where you may interview for positions with high stakes and responsibilities. Being able to negotiate will help put your best foot forward in business, negotiate contract terms and promotions.

4 Tips To Improve Your Skills

Your goal is to put yourself in the best position so that you can get that job, raise or promotion that you deserve. In order to do this, you will need to have great awareness of both yourself and those around you. If you are looking to improve your negotiation tactics try practicing these tips.

Be More Self-Aware

The first step to becoming a well-versed negotiator is to be more self-aware. This just means to pay closer attention to yourself and what is happening around you. Your actions and work will follow you wherever you go, so it is important to be aware of how past situations might play into your future career.

Being aware of when you go above and beyond is crucial to your future success as well. You should have the ability to recognize when you have done things well so that you can talk on those points and build on them. 

The same goes for when you may have made mistakes. We all make mistakes, but it is all about how you recognize those and correct them. An employer will be just as impressed with your accomplishments as to how you handle adversity.

Great negotiators share some common qualities that are key to achieving your goals.


Research And Prepare Well

Another part of being a great negotiator is putting in the work to be able to be successful. As a potential employee, someone who is researched, confident, and well-spoken on a subject will appear more trustworthy. Being prepared and walking into an interview with stats and reliable information can be a deciding factor for a hiring manager. Employers want to hire those who are prepared and knowledgeable before even walking in their doors. This gives them more confidence that you know what you are talking about and that you can back it up.

The same goes for those on the employer side. Focus your time on applicants who go above and beyond in the interview process. The interview is a great precursor to understanding how much work an employee will put in once hired. Hire people who show that they are willing to work hard without having to be asked. 

Concede Swiftly And Adequately

Being able to admit your faults is an important factor in negotiating because it shows your ability to recognize when you are wrong. Being confident in yourself is great, but not at the expense of your reputation. When you do concede, do not do it to a point that will jeopardize your negotiation, but show your ability to be humble and quickly correct yourself.

Improve Your Personal Relations

Being personable and someone that others feel comfortable communicating with is vital for negotiating. It can prove to be difficult convincing someone who does not feel a genuine connection with you and what you are presenting.

Be sure that when you communicate with those around you and in your workplace. If you can give someone your time of day and make a connection it makes working much more enjoyable for both parties.

Qualities Of A Successful Negotiator

We all know someone who is great with people and more often than not, gets what they desire. Great negotiators share some common qualities that are key to achieving your goals.


One of these key qualities is having big goals and the willingness to achieve them. There is nothing wrong with being a little ambitious. It shows that you are passionate about the goals you have set and you are eager to make those a reality. 

Nonetheless, it is important to know the extent of your capabilities. Ambitious negotiators can go into a meeting looking to come out with the most. However, they also know when to pull back, keeping their best interests in mind.


When you negotiate it is important to be honest to both yourself and to those around you. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Odds are you are going to be much more willing to trust someone if you feel they have been straightforward and upfront with you. 

An honest negotiator can go into an interview and get exactly what they want because they don’t have to twist any numbers or misconstrue any information. There is no better way to prove yourself to someone than to tell them exactly what you did and how you did it. The truth about an outcome will always be easier to manage than a trail of lies.


It is important to know that your time will come. Trying to negotiate too soon or too often, might make those around you feel uneasy. People may begin to view you as a negotiator, and that is not what you want. Your goal is to learn the skill of negotiating, not make it who you are.

In the end, being patient will give you time to work on yourself and to continue building your case for that promotion you have been waiting for.


Everyone will have their own take on you, the things you do, and what you are involved in. Even if you feel like you have the perfect pitch and talking points, you must be aware that everyone goes into a situation with their own ideas.

In order to set yourself up for success, you should be doing the same, but also researching those who you plan on speaking with. You will find much more success negotiating when you know how the person across from you might be feeling.


Being a reasonable person is something that people around you will respect. It is good to always know your place and when it is appropriate to ask for that raise or extension on a project. Being reasonable is also useful when things are not going your way. It is a great quality to be able to meet in the middle with someone so that you both have a reasonable takeaway from a meeting.

Being a successful negotiator takes practice and a great awareness of yourself. You cannot negotiate with someone if you do not understand your own goals and the goals of those who you negotiate with. Once you have practiced the skills and qualities to negotiate you will be ready to land your dream job. Below see an annotated version of the negotiation tips we covered above (courtesy of ForSaleByOwner).


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