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Here’s how your voice is an instrument for negotiation


Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!

In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.

Over the next few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.

(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)

83 Pace and tone

Verbal communications have a pace and rhythm of their own. A great negotiator measures the pace of speech and modulates his or her tone accordingly when making a presentation and interacting with the other party.

When you describe your product or service or explain your ideas and objectives, let the pace of your speech and your tone of voice be professional, articulate, and energetic. When you listen, nod your head and interject sounds of comprehension and agreement (“aha,” “hmm,” “I see”) where appropriate to create rapport with the other party.

Where pace is concerned, apply the “Goldilocks principle” of finding the happy medium. Don’t talk too fast or too slow; don’t be too enthusiastic or too calm; don’t be too friendly or too detached. Maintain visual contact with the other party while you are speaking, noting their facial expressions, to make sure they are understanding and keeping up with you, or that they are not distracted or bored. Pace can vary at different points, speeding up to express excitement or slowing down to emphasise importance. But continually observe the other party to make sure any adaptation of your pace serves the negotiation, knowing that changing the pace of your speech changes the pace of the negotiation.

Remember, your voice, its tone and pace of speech are important negotiating instruments to be used consciously for influence and effect. So practice and master your instrument.


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