basic mistake people make in negotiations is not listening," said Steven P. Cohen,
author of Negotiating Skills for Managers in a
Forbes article The ABC's of Negotiating. "Information is the most important commodity
that changes hands during negotiations," Cohen added.
a past post Negotiate What You Deserve, we blogged about how negotiating is a fact of life,
be it at work or home: everything from vacation calendars to raises to what to
order in for dinner can be subject to the push-and-pull of negotiation and
compromise. At the heart of any successful negotiation is skillful listening.
So how to listen effectively?
Let's take a moment to suss out what constitutes listening. Broadly speaking
"listening" incorporates two functions: receiving spoken information and
interpreting that information.
Interpreting the spoken word is
where things get tricky. A famous Russian composer once said "to listen is an
effort, and just to hear has no merit. A duck hears also." The key to effective
listening is not merely to hear but
to understand what the speaker is
So how to move from
hearing to understanding? Take time to be an active, engaged listener, not a
passive recipient of information; ask questions and study nonverbal cues. Stay
engaged and connected; make an effort to keep your mind from wandering. Take
time to check in and engage in reflexive listening, repeating what the person has said in order to help
determine meaning, such as "you believe you need more time to complete the
project? Is that correct?"
For more advice on
your improving listening and negotiating skills we've assembled the following
Are you an active
listener? Do you see a link between effective listening and negotiating? Share
your thoughts here and on the Beyond Folders Community's Facebook and Twitter
by Candie Harris
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Beyond FoldersTM is written by a team of Pendaflex associates
passionate about time management, communications, productivity and workplace organization. Believing in "continuous improvement" on both a personal and professional level, they share their unique perspectives on subjects of common interest to our readers.