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11 key competences of a negotiator

11 key competences of a negotiator
In this article, you can familiarize yourself with the key competencies necessary for successful negotiation.
If you click on the name of the competence, you will be able to get acquainted with a collection of materials for its development.
Good luck!


The modern world is full of a huge amount of information pollution, while people are in information hunger. Why? Perhaps because people mostly love themselves and talking. Celeste Headlee talks in more detail about this “phenomenon” in her TED talk. From the point of view of interpersonal communication, it is critically important for a negotiator to know the motives of the other side. Understanding this can be compared to playing poker when you know your opponent’s cards.


Negotiation is a complex process. At times, many people and resources are involved in negotiations. Negotiations can change processes in organizations. Therefore, it is critically important to be able to plan possible scenarios and consequences of concluded transactions before entering into negotiation. In addition, planning helps a lot at the stage of implementing agreements in life.

Ability to guide others

As a rule, complex negotiations are conducted by a team. Moreover, dozens of people may be involved in preparing for negotiations. In order to avoid disagreements in the team and provide the maximum use of team’s potential, it is necessary to be able to involve, motivate and guide employees in the right direction. The same competence will help in implementing the agreements reached at the negotiating table into life. Experts in the field of behavioural economics and psychology of influence, Mariano Sigman and Dan Ariely, talk about how to look for solutions in a group in their TED video.

Problem solving

Negotiations are the process of solving problems and disagreements between the parties. However, it is also a creative process that requires the team to be able to work in uncertain situations, to go “beyond”, to look for opportunities to solve a particular problem. Often, businesslike people – that’s what we call people who proactively solve complex problems, are also good negotiators.


In English, the word “negotiation” has  the root “neg” in Latin “nec” means – to give a negative answer, to refuse something.

Refusals are a common thing in negotiations. Naturally, when we are refused, it causes stress and discomfort. The ability to maintain composure in this situation allows us to control the progress of negotiations. Self-control helps us to refuse deals that manipulators impose on us, or to make an informed decision at a time when the other side is putting pressure on you.

Presentation skills

For a good seller, negotiations are additional costs. If the buyer starts demanding discounts or other concessions, there are two explanations for this: a) he did not fully understand your offer; b) he wants to use negotiations to get better conditions. In the second case, only the same negotiation skill will help you. Well, in the first case – a well-prepared presentation of the product and service. In other words, the ability to present rousingly saves time, money and nerves of sellers.

Timely decision-making

“A spoon is dear when lunchtime is near” – says the Russian proverb. Similarly, in negotiations, a timely decision can protect you from subsequent regrets that in an effort to get better conditions or vice versa, in a desire to complete negotiations as quickly as possible, you will miss a good deal.

Interpersonal interaction skills

The ability to find a common language with your interlocutor is the key to solving many negotiation tasks. Emotional intelligence is especially useful in this competence – the ability to adapt your behaviour, be optimistic, and control your emotions.

Integrity and trust

Trust is the key to solving most problems in interpersonal communication. Nevertheless, unfortunately, people don’t trust each other. You can learn more about this social phenomenon from the game “Why people don’t trust each other”.

Ethics and moral values

This is what represents you as a person in society. This is your social face. When you negotiate, save face and let your opponent save face. This way, you will be able to gain the trust of a stranger and jointly develop solutions that will lead to an increase in the overall benefits of the parties.


The ability to develop oneself through a qualitative awareness of one’s strengths and opportunities for improvement significantly increases efficiency. Good negotiators constantly improve their knowledge and skills through the study of theory, observation of others and constant practice.

Author: Maxim Levchuk, max@nego.club


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