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What all people really want


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)

87 People skills

People are people. Regardless of their social or economic status, they share the same basic needs for positive attention, kindness, courtesy, and respect. And they respond to these things similarly, almost predictably. Understanding this commonality of basic human needs is the basis of people skills.

A negotiation is about finding a way for two or more parties to meet their various interconnected needs so that an agreement or deal can be reached. But, regardless of the particular needs of various parties involved in any negotiation, the basic human needs mentioned above must be met first. If they are not, the negotiation is likely to break down. If they are, the negotiation will often proceed smoothly.

A great negotiator understands these basic needs and knows how to meet them. It’s really quite simple: Treat everyone with whom you negotiate with kindness, courtesy, and respect. Give them your full attention and positive regard. Be an appreciative and interested listener. Encourage, agree with, and sincerely praise the other party whenever and however appropriate. In all these simple ways, you will make him or her feel like the most important person in the room.

Just remember that everyone, including the other party in a negotiation, wants to feel important, appreciated, listened to, and respected. Everyone, secretly or openly, wants to feel like the most important person in the room. And they often want to connect at a deeper level than the usual superficialities of meeting and greeting – even in a negotiation.

When you understand and know how to meet these basic needs in social circumstances, you have the basic people skills you need to negotiate with anyone. You don’t have to be concerned about the other people’s social or economic status, their job titles or accomplishments. You don’t need to be intimidated by anyone’s resumé, or try to impress anyone with yours. You will see and treat the corporate CEO, the movie star, the Nobel laureate, the waiter, the hotel maid, or the anonymous passenger sitting beside you on the train as human beings like yourself, deserving of simple respect, kindness, and courtesy. And if you give them this, you will win them over.

When you do this in a negotiation, you establish essential rapport that allows everything to unfold as it should.

The “why” and the “what” of a negotiation can vary from person to person. But we all share these basic human needs. And by developing our skill in meeting these needs in the manner described above, we hone our sensitivity and perceptiveness, enhancing our ability to read people and respond intuitively and effectively in the moment. And this makes us much better negotiators.


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