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6 Key Strategies Used by Every Shrewd Negotiator

by Antonia Zivcic
6 Key Strategies Used by Every Shrewd Negotiator

Negotiation skills are essential in various aspects of life, from business transactions to personal relationships. Shrewd negotiators possess a set of strategies that enable them to achieve favorable outcomes while maintaining strong relationships with counterparts. In this article, we will explore six key strategies used by every shrewd negotiator that can help you enhance your negotiation skills and achieve successful results.


Preparation and Information Gathering

1. Preparation and Information Gathering

A shrewd negotiator understands the importance of thorough preparation. Before entering any negotiation, it is crucial to gather as much information as possible about the subject matter, the other party, and the desired outcome. This includes researching market trends, understanding the needs and motivations of the other party, and identifying potential areas of compromise. By being well-prepared, you can confidently navigate the negotiation process and make informed decisions.


2. Setting Clear Objectives and Priorities

Successful negotiators establish clear objectives and priorities before engaging in discussions. They define their goals, both short-term and long-term, and identify the non-negotiable elements. By setting specific and measurable objectives, negotiators can focus their efforts and gauge their progress throughout the negotiation. Prioritizing these objectives helps in making strategic concessions and understanding which aspects are crucial for achieving a favorable outcome.


3. Active Listening and Effective Communication

One of the most vital skills of a shrewd negotiator is the ability to actively listen and effectively communicate. Active listening involves paying full attention to the other party, understanding their perspective, and asking relevant questions to clarify any ambiguities. Effective communication, on the other hand, involves articulating your thoughts clearly, being concise, and using persuasive language to convey your points. By fostering open and respectful communication, negotiators can build trust and understanding, leading to more productive negotiations.


4. Creating Win-Win Solutions

A shrewd negotiator focuses on creating win-win solutions that satisfy the interests of both parties. They understand that a successful negotiation should aim for mutual benefit rather than a one-sided victory. By exploring creative options and seeking areas of common ground, negotiators can find innovative solutions that address the needs and concerns of all parties involved. This collaborative approach promotes long-term relationships and paves the way for future cooperation.


5. Maintaining Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence plays a critical role in negotiation. Shrewd negotiators are aware of their emotions and strive to understand the emotions of others. They manage their own emotions effectively, remaining calm and composed even in challenging situations. By recognizing and empathizing with the emotions of the other party, negotiators can build rapport, diffuse tensions, and find common ground for resolution. Emotional intelligence helps in fostering a positive negotiation environment and enables negotiators to think clearly and make rational decisions.


6. Flexibility and Adaptability

Negotiations often require flexibility and adaptability to respond to changing circumstances. Shrewd negotiators understand the importance of being open to alternative solutions and adjusting their approach as needed. They remain flexible in their demands and are willing to explore different options to reach an agreement. Being adaptable allows negotiators to seize opportunities, address unforeseen challenges, and navigate through complex negotiation dynamics successfully.


The art of negotiation is a valuable skill that can be honed with practice and experience. Shrewd negotiators employ various strategies to achieve favorable outcomes while maintaining positive relationships with counterparts. By preparing diligently, setting clear objectives, actively listening, creating win-win solutions, exhibiting emotional intelligence, and being flexible, negotiators can enhance their negotiation prowess. These strategies empower negotiators to navigate complex situations, resolve conflicts, and foster mutually beneficial agreements. Whether in business or personal interactions, incorporating these key strategies can significantly contribute to your success as a negotiator.

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