How To Use Influencing Skills In A Negotiation
- Effective listening skills – e.g. when listening to customers, colleagues or other stakeholders to demonstrate understanding – if we can first understand exactly what the other person is communicating we have a better opportunity to understand how we might need to influence them.
- Effective questioning skills – e.g. use a mix of open, closed and probing types of question to gain an understanding of the other person’s needs and position – using different kinds of questions with listening will further help us to understand the other person’s viewpoint. Again, that might provide a better picture of how influence might be applied.
- Effective rapport skills – e.g. use mirroring and matching skills to create rapport and understanding between people – we like people who are like us, so when we do communicate with others we like we naturally move, use postures, use gestures, tone of voice, speed of voice, words etc. that are not just similar but the same – becoming aware of how the other person does this means we can gently match and mirror them and enter ‘their world’ to build rapport.
- Pacing and leading – e.g. once we have gained rapport through mirroring and matching we can then maintain the pace of the communications so that the rapport and connection builds – we can then ‘lead’ by changing our pace (again subtly) so that the other person now follows our newly introduced pace – this can be really valuable when helping people to calm down, or when we want to help people get into a more resourceful state.
- Effective speaking skills – e.g. when making presentations or delivering briefings to team members; when serving customers or wanting to make a sale we might remember that research shows that the words we say are not so important as the way we say them. Therefore when speaking to others and wanting to influence them are we using the most appropriate words for the situation and are we saying them in a way that makes them meaningful? Some situations might require us to use highly technical language, others much less so and some a bit of both.
- Use effective body language – e.g. to reinforce verbal messages in meetings, interviews and presentations – the same research about words and how we say them also suggests that body language plays a highly significant role in effective communication. To that end our posture, how we sit, stand, use gestures and so on will play a part in our ability to influence others.
- Effective writing skills – e.g. using correct grammar, spelling and techniques when writing emails, reports, letters, sales or publicity materials – following the same principles outlined under effective speaking above, how we use words provides an opportunity to influence.
- Use emotional intelligence – e.g. using our ability to see the situation from the customer’s point of view and being able to manage our emotions in negotiations – if we can understand what is going on emotionally with others when we are trying to influence them we can better understand their position and how we can help them.
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