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Why you should use (sincere) praise in a negotiation

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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)

94 Praise

Do you know what costs nothing and is one of man’s greatest delights? Sincere praise! Your genuine heart-felt praise of another human being, and genuinely earned self-praise, or self-esteem, are food for the soul. They’re also useful in a negotiation.

Esteem, praise, and acknowledgment are not to be confused with mere flattery. Francine Ward, an author and self-esteem coach, writes that “Self-esteem comes from doing ‘esteemable’ acts.” So self-esteem stems from a worthy character, and a history of worthy actions. It is primarily something we give ourselves, having earned it. But it is also nourished by the praise or esteem of others.

Self-esteem makes you feel safe, secure, confident, strong, and optimistic. It enables you to handle success and failure, praise and criticism. It allows you to admit your mistakes, see them as learning experiences, and actually learn and grow from them, which then increases your self-esteem.

Esteem is also something we can give to others through our acknowledgement of their character qualities and our praise of their “esteemable” or estimable actions. It costs virtually nothing to give, and yet it gives so much. Our deepest esteem for others is our natural response to their estimable acts. But we can show esteem for others we don’t know well by finding things to acknowledge or praise them for, even in the process of a negotiation.

Great negotiators understand the importance of praise and acknowledgment, the power of esteem. They are good at discerning qualities of character in others.  And they find simple, sincere ways to acknowledge or praise those with whom they negotiate. Sincere acknowledgment and praise create a positive bond and uplifting atmosphere that support fruitful business relations and win/win negotiations. People like – and want to work or do business with – people who genuinely praise and acknowledge their efforts and contributions.

They also boost the self-esteem of others on their team by praising their work and contributions in the team’s efforts. Part of being a leader is building up the self-esteem and confidence of those you are leading, which improves their attitude, morale, and performance.


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