OMNIA Partners Blog

Are You a Negotiation Leader?

Posted by Dan Grant on December 01, 2017

negotiation-leaderAt the recent Prime Advantage Fall Conference, negotiation expert, Julie Kowalski of Spizzerinctum Group, held a professional development session that presented the tools for becoming a great negotiator. She outlined the factors affecting successful negotiations, shifts in strategies, vocabulary to use, debunked assumptions, and a bundle of top techniques. Here are some of the tactics that were discussed that you can employ today to become a leader in your negotiations:


  • Define what is most important to you.
  • List your needs and your wants.
  • Outline your assumptions.
  • Determine what viable options and alternatives are available.
  • Decipher where you have leverage and where the person on the other end of the negotiation has it too.
  • Figure out what concessions you are prepared to make, as well as which ones you are going to ask for.
  • Decide your walk away position.

Define Process Before Substance

  • Share assumptions and expectations.
  • Determine who needs to be involved and in what capacity.
  • Decide how progress will be reported outside of meetings.
  • Decipher how deadlocks will be managed.
  • Figure out if deadlines are binding or not.
  • Reach a common understanding of possible paths to the finish line.

Understand the Needs of the Other Party

  • Figure out what the most important aspects of the negotiation would be if you were in the other person’s shoes.
  • Ask the person you are negotiating with if they agree with those priorities.

Assess WIIFM

  • List all the reasons that your proposal will aid them and provide them with value.
  • Show them your leverage.

Ask Questions

  • “What are your key concerns?”
  • “What do you like or dislike about the current situation?”
  • “What do you want to improve or change?”
  • “What is this worth to you?”
  • “What is holding you back?”
  • “Who will be affected by this?”
  • “How would you like to see the problem solved?”
  • “What would the solution look like?”
  • “What is the best way to resolve this?”
  • “Are there issues that I’m not aware of?”
  • “Where is the win for you?”

Give and Get

  • When you give something, get something in return.
  • Always ask for action on the other person’s part.
  • We are more committed when we have to “invest” (time, money, resources, referral).

Other Great Tactics

  • Consider your tone of voice, it will immediately begin to impact the other person’s mood and how their brain functions.
  • Be flexible.
  • Maintain your emotional balance.
  • Never view the “pie” as fixed.
  • Treat the other person as a partner, not an opponent.
  • Be confident, courteous, calm, and curious.
  • Watch for non-verbal communication.
  • Be prepared for objections and have an appropriate response ready.
  • Highlight their potential losses.

Negotiations can be arduous, but if what you stand to gain is worth it to you, these techniques will transform you from just being part of the negotiation, into becoming a negotiation leader.

Topics: Leadership

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