If someone who knows you very well, ranked your negotiating skills, out of one to 10, what score would you get? The World Economic Forum outlined the top 10 employability skills you need for 2020. And negotiation is among the 10 skills. Instead of writing a well-researched article on negotiation, instead, I’ll review a series of books on the topic to offer negotiation skills tips.
I’m not taking this route because I don’t think you’re worth it. YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY WORTH IT. But there are organizations such as Harvard Business School and Wharton School that would do a better job. And they have more credibility.
What I’ve discovered over the years, is that some of my greatest mentors have been the books I read. And there are books where the author uses experience to teach a skill. Remember SHOW don’t Tell?
How to Sweet-Talk a Shark by Gov. Bill Richardson does an excellent job teaching and offering negotiation skills tips. The book is based on his experience negotiating in many of the high profile jobs he held.
Below, you’ll find some of my thoughts on How to Sweet-Talk a Shark.
UPDATE: First Published October 2016
Have you read?
Negotiation in Relation to Top 10 Employability Skills
- Complex Problem Solving
- Critical Thinking
- People Management
- Coordinating with Others
- Emotional Intelligence
- Judgment and Decision Making
- Service Orientation
- Cognitive Flexibility
As you can see from the employability skills list above, negotiation is number nine. Negotiation is an important skill because it is one that you use every day. You negotiate with friends about where to go for supper, and what movie to see. You negotiate with your boss for a salary increase, or to get a stretch assignment. You negotiate with your kids to set a curfew, or regarding which places thy can visit.
Parts of this post first appeared on Birds on the Blog as Negotiating Skills Tips: How to Sweet-Talk a Shark
Negotiation Skills Tips: What is How to Sweet-Talk a Shark About?
There are several negotiating skills tips in How to Sweet-Talk a Shark by Governor Bill Richardson. This book appears on several must-read lists, and that’s how I learned about it. I read How to Sweet-Talk a Shark as the option to read a book that teaches negotiation techniques in Month 10 of the Read the World Extreme Reading Challenge. In the updated Read the World Challenge, you read a book on negotiating strategies in Month One.
“It goes without saying that in any negotiation—with a warlord or a wife – the more reconnaissance you can get, the better off you’ll be. You always want to be the best-informed person in the room. whether it be the conference room, the board room, or (let’s be honest) the bedroom.”
In How to Sweet-Talk a Shark by Governor Bill Richardson, he uses case studies to demonstrate negotiation skills. What I like about the book, is that the author includes both case studies where he succeeds and fails. You can learn from both successes and failures.
In the political positions that Bill Richardson held, he was able to negotiate with Saddam Hussein, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and much more. He traveled to war torn regions. And although there were times when he was terrified, despite his fear, he went to the regions anyway. He let his belief in what he thinks is right guide his actions.
Conflict Resolution Skills Tips/Negotiation Skills Tips
- Stalling is a legitimate negotiating tactic, use it when needed. Recognize when your negotiating partner is using that tactic on you.
- Before the negotiation begins, determine the language of diplomacy as much as possible, including how you will enumerate your successes.
- Build your support network before you start the negotiation.
- Embrace the silence. Don’t rush to fill it with chatter. Remember the adage, “Silence is golden.”
- What’s valuable in your world, may not be valuable in your negotiating partner’s world. Before the negotiation begins, try to find out what the other party values.
- Emphasize similarities – even with despots. This increases the chance of getting the outcome you’d like.
- It doesn’t hurt to take a gift for your negotiating partner. Remember that Bill Richardson was negotiating with world leaders such as Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and so on. And in some cultures, it’s expected.
- Even if you despise the actions of your negotiating partner, be diplomatic all the time. Others will take note.
- Have a secondary negotiating goal you can ask for if you do not get your primary one. It’s your Plan B.
- During negotiations, never asks questions you do not know the answers to. The last thing you want are surprises. Lawyers are very good at this, take a page from their book.
- Gauge where your negotiating partner is in the thought process.
- When you have no cards to play, invent some. But be prepared to play your hand.
- Never be cocky about getting your negotiating partner to buckle.
- When you negotiate successfully, make sure you give credit where it’s due. You never know when you will need the help of any of the players again. People remember how you treat them.
- Never insult your opponent after a victory. There will always be another negotiation. Stay humble!
- Deal only with people who have the power to negotiate.
- Get the victory and leave before your negotiating partner has the time to change his or her mind.
- When the meeting place stymies negotiations, move to another location. It’s about the outcome and not location.
Should You Buy a Copy of How to Sweet-Talk a Shark to Learn Negotiation Skills Tips?
I recommend that you read How to Sweet-Talk a Shark because it has some great negotiation skills tips. But more importantly, you will pick up some negotiating tips to use for intercultural negotiation. This is extremely important now that the workplace is becoming increasingly more global.
Online Negotiation Course to Start Getting Top 10 Employability Skills
I decided to provide a link to an online negotiation course, in case you’re someone who prefers taking a course to reading a book. I haven’t taken the course myself. But a friend, who develops online courses – and who has done so for several universities – recommends Saylor.org, an institution that offers MOOCS (Massively Open Online Courses).
The course is free, but if you’d like accreditation, then you have to pay for that. Reading through the online negotiation course description on Saylor.org, you’ll learn the meaning of negotiating; negotiation strategies; processes and phases of negotiation; managing different types of business negotiations; conflict resolution; and international and intercultural negotiations. By taking this online course, you’ll get negotiation skills tips that you can immediately apply on the job.
Have you read?
10 Key Skills to Succeed
- If You Read One Article About Complex Problem Solving Skills Read This One
- Why Critical Thinking Skills are the Secret Ingredients for Success
- The Beginner’s Playbook to Creativity Skills
- Why Our World Would End If People Management Skills Disappeared
- Complete Beginner’s Guide to Collaboration Skills
- Ultimate Guide to Emotional Intelligence Skills
- Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Service Orientation
- How Decision Making Skills Can Get You Your Heart’s Desire
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Negotiation Skills
- Bite-Sized Guide to Cognitive Flexibility Skills
Negotiation Skills Books
It’s important to read mainstream books, as well as those off the beaten path, when trying to learn a new skill. The top negotiation skills books, are not necessarily the most popular ones. Years ago, I wanted to offer a course about great leaders and reading books. At the time, I conducted a lot of research, talked to folks at the Great Books Foundation, and I identified a few good books on negotiating strategies and techniques. Some of the books may be unfamiliar to you. But some of them are considered “bibles”.
Some of the negotiation skills books to read include:
How to Sweet-Talk a Shark by Bill Richardson
The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
Getting More by Stuart Diamond
Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler; and
Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton.
I recently read How to Sweet-Talk a Shark, and read Crucial Conversations years ago. I have to read it again. I plan to read the other three books.
What’s Next? Getting the Top 10 Employability Skills to Thrive
I am featuring a series on the Top 10 Employability Skills, with a focus on each of the 10 skills. I’ve started off with negotiation, focusing on negotiation skills tips. As I read more of the top negotiation skills books, I will review them, sharing my thoughts with you. And I will do that for all of the books I read that will help you to get the skills you need to succeed in 2020.
If you have been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that I have several blog posts on problem solving, creativity, and decision making. I will do a curated blog post on problem solving, creativity and decision. And I will also tag the individual posts using top 10 skills needed for future jobs, so that readers can easily find them.
Participate in the Strategic Reading Challenge to Learn Key Skills Facebook Group!