4 Ways Law Students Can Improve Negotiation Skills
Law students need to be whip smart and quick on their feet. They need to be able to articulate arguments and do hours of research on any given case or subject. Lawyers and law students also need outstanding negotiation skills. Negotiation skills come easily to some, and not so easily to others. There are definitely ways to improve negotiation skills, and especially fine tune them so students will be able to stand out from the crowd and rise above the average person when it comes to negotiation tactics.
1. Brush up on your people skills
People love "people-people." Understanding people, their behavior, and how they communicate and want to be treated will be a huge asset when negotiating. Just knowing how to talk to people and know what pushes their buttons and what they want will help with any negotiation tactic. Pay attention to the very best sales people-they have these skills. Taking a class in interpersonal effectiveness can also be a big helper when learning to get into the mind of the other person.
2. Become an excellent listener
Become engaged in what the other is saying. When negotiating, the other person always wants to be heard. Feeling validated, listened to and understood will make any person feel valued and as if their opinion really does matter. By hearing someone out you will also build a relationship and win their trust. In negotiating, it's important to hear what the other person wants so you can "seal the deal" or come to an agreement that makes them satisfied.
3. Have a plan of action
When negotiating, people will usually have a rebuttal or a counter-negotiation. It's good to come to your negotiation prepared with a plan a, plan b, and even a plan c. Arm yourself with different tactics and skills to renegotiate and compromise in different ways. The person you are working with will not always want the first or second options, so have a list of different things you can try. Being prepared will help you feel more confident and you will look like you really know your "stuff."
4. Know what you want out of the negotiation
Knowing what you want will not only help you be prepared, but will also help you come to the most desirable outcome for you in the end. You can even write it down or make an outline of what it is you hope to gain from the negotiation so you can keep on track with what you want-that way. By knowing what you want, even if you don't get exactly what you want you can still come very close making all parties involved happy.