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SOFT SKILLS
“It is hard to fail, But it is worse never to have tried to
succeed.”
Soft skills is a sociological term relat...
O P Dahiya
2
Table of Contents
i. Interpersonal skills 3
ii. Team spirit 5
Why many groups aren't teams 6
Team ground rule...
O P Dahiya
3
Soft Skills
i. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are the skills that a person uses to interact with o...
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Soft skills

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Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities.

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Soft skills

  1. 1. SOFT SKILLS “It is hard to fail, But it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people.[1] Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the occupational requirements of a job and many other activities. 3/11/2011
  2. 2. O P Dahiya 2 Table of Contents i. Interpersonal skills 3 ii. Team spirit 5 Why many groups aren't teams 6 Team ground rules 8 iii. Social grace - iv. Business etiquette 9 Business etiquette for Swiss 10 v. Negotiation skills 11 Types of Negotiation in Organizations 12 Process of Negotiation 14 Steps for improving your negotiation skills 14 HANDLING DIFFICULT NEGOTIATORS 17 TACTICS 17 vi. Behavioural traits such as attitude, motivation and time management 20 Positive attitude 20 v. Influence and influencing skills 22 So what can you do to develop your influencing skills? 22 So what can you do right now to be more influential? Here are our ten top tips.... 22
  3. 3. O P Dahiya 3 Soft Skills i. Interpersonal skills Interpersonal skills are the skills that a person uses to interact with other people. Interpersonal skills are sometimes also referred to as people skills or communication skills. Interpersonal skills involve using skills such as active listening and tone of voice, they include delegation and leadership. It is how well you communicate with someone and how well you behave or carry yourself. Also they help people further their careers. Interpersonal skills refers to mental and communicative algorithms applied during social communications and interaction to reach certain effects or results. The term "interpersonal skills" is used often in business contexts to refer to the measure of a person's ability to operate within business organizations through social communication and interactions. Interpersonal skills are how people relate to one another. As an illustration, it is generally understood that communicating respect for other people or professionals within will enable one to reduce conflict and increase participation or assistance in obtaining information or completing tasks. For instance, to interrupt someone who is currently preoccupied with the task of obtaining information needed immediately, it is recommended that a professional use a deferential approach with language such as, "Excuse me, are you busy? I have an urgent matter to discuss with you if you have the time at the moment." This allows the receiving professional to make their own judgment regarding the importance of their current task versus entering into a discussion with their colleague. While it is generally understood that interrupting someone with an "urgent" request will often take priority, allowing the receiver of the message to judge independently the request and agree to further interaction will likely result in a higher quality interaction. Following these kinds of heuristics to achieve better professional results generally results in a professional being ranked as one with 'good interpersonal skills.' Often these evaluations occur in formal and informal settings. Having positive interpersonal skills increases the productivity in the organization since the number of conflicts is reduced. In informal situations, it allows communication to be easy and comfortable. People with good interpersonal skills can generally control the feelings that emerge in difficult situations and respond appropriately, instead of being overwhelmed by emotion. Some ways to improve interpersonal skills are to: • Think positively, and enter the mindset to work well with others and maintain good relationships. • Do not criticise others or yourself. • Be patient. • Learn to listen, experts recommend listening 80% of the time and only talking 20%. • Be sensitive to others, this includes not gossiping.
  4. 4. O P Dahiya 4 • Have a sense of humor appropriate to your situation. Many people benefit from a good joke. • Treat others and their experience with respect. • Praise and compliment people when they deserve it. • When someone is telling a story, don’t interrupt or try to upstage them with a story of your own. • Smile – even when you don’t feel like smiling. • Be cheerful and try to make others smile. • Look for solutions. • When someone compliments you, don’t disagree or boast about it – simply say thank-you with a smile and move on. • Don’t complain. • When you’re unhappy, try your best to act happy anyway. You will end up feeling better and so will the people around you, your mood is contagious. • Fake it ‘till you make it. If you’re not naturally confident or happy, fake it until you generally possess the desired characteristics. • Learn to appreciate, be helpful and not de-motivate your team members. Work as a team, not as an individual. This will achieve better results. • Treat your team members and colleagues as friends and not as strangers or subordinates. Behavior psychology: Deal with people as though they are your client or boss and convey the message you want in a proper manner. (This includes rhythm of voice to make them comfortable with you.) Beatrice Vincent once said, “The people with whom you work reflect your own attitude. If you are suspicious, unfriendly and condescending, you will find these unlovely traits echoed all about you. But if you are on your best behavior, you will bring out the best in the persons with whom you are going to spend most of your working hours.” Try these 10 helpful tips for improving your interpersonal skills: 1. Smile. Few people want to be around someone who is always down in the dumps. Do your best to be friendly and upbeat with your coworkers. Maintain a positive, cheerful attitude about work and about life. Smile often. The positive energy you radiate will draw others to you. 2. Be appreciative. Find one positive thing about everyone you work with and let them hear it. Be generous with praise and kind words of encouragement. Say thank you when someone helps you. Make colleagues feel welcome when they call or stop by your office. If you let others know that they are appreciated, they’ll want to give you their best. 3. Pay attention to others. Observe what’s going on in other people’s lives. Acknowledge their happy milestones, and express concern and sympathy for difficult situations such as an illness or death. Make eye contact and address people by their first names. Ask others for their opinions. 4. Practice active listening. To actively listen is to demonstrate that you intend to hear and understand another’s point of view. It means restating, in your own words, what the other
  5. 5. O P Dahiya 5 person has said. In this way, you know that you understood their meaning and they know that your responses are more than lip service. Your coworkers will appreciate knowing that you really do listen to what they have to say. 5. Bring people together. Create an environment that encourages others to work together. Treat everyone equally, and don't play favorites. Avoid talking about others behind their backs. Follow up on other people's suggestions or requests. When you make a statement or announcement, check to see that you have been understood. If folks see you as someone solid and fair, they will grow to trust you. 6. Resolve conflicts. Take a step beyond simply bringing people together, and become someone who resolves conflicts when they arise. Learn how to be an effective mediator. If coworkers bicker over personal or professional disagreements, arrange to sit down with both parties and help sort out their differences. By taking on such a leadership role, you will garner respect and admiration from those around you. 7. Communicate clearly. Pay close attention to both what you say and how you say it. A clear and effective communicator avoids misunderstandings with coworkers, collegues, and associates. Verbal eloquence projects an image of intelligence and maturity, no matter what your age. If you tend to blurt out anything that comes to mind, people won’t put much weight on your words or opinions. 8. Humor them. Don’t be afraid to be funny or clever. Most people are drawn to a person that can make them laugh. Use your sense of humor as an effective tool to lower barriers and gain people’s affection. 9. See it from their side. Empathy means being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand how they feel. Try to view situations and responses from another person’s perspective. This can be accomplished through staying in touch with your own emotions; those who are cut off from their own feelings are often unable to empathize with others. 10. Don't complain. There is nothing worse than a chronic complainer or whiner. If you simply have to vent about something, save it for your diary. If you must verbalize your grievances, vent to your personal friends and family, and keep it short. Spare those around you, or else you’ll get a bad reputation. ii. Team spirit We cheer for our favorite teams in sports, communities, schools and even families. So why don't we see workplace teams in the same rah-rah way? For all the big talk, matching T-shirts and off-site strategy sessions, calling a group of people a team doesn't make it one. These groups are usually just a collection of individuals from the same department who meet periodically. Few of us have been lucky enough to participate in a strong, united team. These groups rise to ever higher levels of performance and make all of us better than any one of us. Laying ground rules, setting goals and dealing with naysayers are just a few of the guidelines that can help your team reach its goals, whether they be improvements in productivity, customer
  6. 6. O P Dahiya 6 service, quality, process management, innovation, cost effectiveness, job satisfaction, morale or financial performance. Why many groups aren't teams Here are some of the reasons that many groups aren't effective teams: Lack of focus: If members don't have a shared picture of what success would look like, they will pull against each other. They also should have an emotional commitment to what they're doing. Confusion between team building and team development: Giving everyone a T-shirt may produce short term warm and fuzzy feelings but it rarely leads to a powerful, united team unless root issues are addressed. An example of a root issue might be chronic animosity between managers working with the team. Too much attention on the team itself: Some teams are so busy sailing the ship they have gone off course. They confuse their frantic activity for progress. Lack of priority setting: If everything is urgent, group members will feel overwhelmed. Poor processes: Typical team members often have little training in such basic skills as meetings, conflict resolution, planning, follow up and problem solving. They may not even be aware of them. Misuse of e-mail: It's a great way to share information but a poor way to communicate. Weak groups spend more time interacting with their computer screens than with each other. Victim mentality: Less effective groups that feel powerless will point fingers at senior management, customers, shareholders, suppliers, governments or other departments. Instead of re-setting their sails and navigating through their problems they curse the wind and wait to be dashed upon the rocks. Forming effective teams What does it take to create a high-performing team? Here are a few suggestions: Run meetings well: Meetings are more important than ever in our increasingly complex and interconnected workplaces. Research shows that when meetings are run effectively, teams make better decisions than individuals. Among the basics are establishing an agenda that outlines the meeting's purpose. Are you solving a problem, seeking input or distributing information? Meeting leaders should choose decision- making processes -- among them are command, consultative and consensus -- and time allocated for each agenda item.
  7. 7. O P Dahiya 7 Later, they should summarize and document actions to be taken, and ensure follow-through. High performing teams also should frequently review and improve their meeting processes. Agree on ground rules: Rules for debating issues, making decisions and resolving conflicts should be clear about unacceptable behavior. Anyone who violates a ground rule is called to account by team members. Focus on the big picture: The old adage says that "it's hard to see the picture when you're inside the frame." Team members build more excitement about the work they are doing if they can see how it plays an important part in a bigger effort. For example, a team working to improve processes in a health-care organization would benefit from learning how their work would benefit patients and caregivers. Ask each team member to imagine the team's ideal future state in a few years from now. Listen to each person's vision, then summarize the key themes that have emerged. Some groups also use drawings, cutouts of pictures, symbols, metaphors or success stories to paint a picture of what everyone sees in the future. Another variation on this exercise is to imagine that each of you is being interviewed by a prestigious trade publication or major newspaper about your accomplishments. What have you done that is noteworthy? What principles guided your success? Where do most people feel your team has made the biggest difference? Set priorities and review them frequently: Effective teams navigate their way through setbacks, misdirection and negativity that cloud most organizations in mediocrity or low morale. They refuse to be victims of weak senior leadership, cynical colleagues, flawed organizational processes, demanding customers or poor suppliers. One way to counteract naysayers, for instance, is to challenge them with deeper involvement or problem-solving. Don't allow the cynics to set the team's emotional tone. Brainstorm a list of the biggest issues to be addressed by asking for ideas on the "dumbest things we do around here," "biggest barriers to reaching our goals," "major implementation issues we need to address," "pet peeves," "dumb rules and forms" and "things that drive you crazy." Cluster the similar points until there are five to seven major groups. Then divide them into things the team directly controls, can influence, and can't control at all. Prioritize the things you control and make plans to address them. Do the same for things you can influence. Agree on ways to stop fixating on the issues that the team can do nothing about. If senior management does a poor job of setting priorities, the better the team must be at doing this. Team leaders should establish a process to reset goals and priorities as conditions and demands change.
  8. 8. O P Dahiya 8 Keep highly visible scoreboards, big thermometers (for a fundraising campaign), bulletin boards, Intranet sites, voice mail messages and newsletters to update everyone on the team's progress. Build around strong members, and balance the team for strengths: Strong teams add people because of their strengths, not for their absence of weakness. To balance a team for strengths, the leader of a well-balanced team might assign a person with strong technical abilities and weak people skills to work alongside another member with weak analytical skills and strong communications abilities. Celebrate and laugh: Strong teams have fun. They care deeply about their work but don't take themselves too seriously. Use humor to diffuse tension or keep things light. You could appoint a Director of Fun, take joke breaks, show humorous video clips or schedule dress-up theme days. Learn to improve: The final component that continues to strengthen a team and take it to higher levels is a strong feedback and learning loop. Effective teams eagerly look at their processes and behaviors to streamline and improve them. Team members should regularly reflect on what they should keep doing, stop doing, and start doing for continuous improvement. ------------ Team ground rules Every team should have ground rules. Here are a few: Start meetings on time, with all the right participants present. Focus on the problem, issue or behavior -- not people. No one should make personal put-downs and judgmental statements about others. If you have an issue with another team member, talk to him or her privately and resolve it. When discussions involve some but not all participants, encourage them to discuss the issue at another time. Don't cut each other off, finish another person's sentence or engage in side conversations. Practice "cabinet solidarity" by keeping disagreements and debates inside the meeting room. Don't continue them elsewhere. Don't discuss sensitive or emotional issues by e-mail. Talk to each other instead. Look for opportunities to celebrate the team's successes. Encourage team members to vent frustrations but avoid blaming, whining and wishing for the past. Focus discussions on the present and future.
  9. 9. O P Dahiya 9 iii. Social grace - iv. Business etiquette Social graces are skills used to interact politely in social situations. They include manners, etiquette (the specific accepted rules within a culture for the application of universal manners), deportment and fashion. The focus of social graces has changed over the last century, recently with an emphasis on business etiquette and international protocol. Making a good impression in business is paramount to succeeding in business. When you are about to meet new people or do some business networking, how you present yourself will often equate to how good you are at what you do in the eyes of both colleagues and bosses. Just like you learned as a youngster, there are certain "golden rules" to follow both in everyday life and business life. Here are the top 10 rules of business etiquette that you will want to keep in mind. 1. First and foremost, having good manners is a must. Please and thank you never go out of style. Common courtesy towards others should be second nature. 2. Be on time, or better yet be a little bit early. Be certain that you have allotted enough time for the meeting so you won't be concerned about another place that you have to be. 3. Dress appropriately. If you are uncertain of what to wear, it is always better to err on the conservative side. Business casual is generally the rule of thumb to follow. 4. Prepare yourself ahead of time for both things that you may want to contribute to the meeting, and any information that was given to you ahead of time to read or make notes on. Come prepared to participate in discussions and activities. 5. Upon entering the meeting, glance around the room and acknowledge other attendees. Familiarize yourself with colleagues and managers and make a note of the person who is chairing the meeting. Try to put names to faces if you've met previously and try to remember names of people who have been newly introduced to you. 6. Although it's hard to live without text messages, cell calls and emails, you can do it for the duration of a meeting. It is good etiquette to present the attitude that this meeting is the most important thing on your agenda right now. Leave word ahead of time with the necessary contacts that you will be in a meeting and then switch everything off when you arrive. 7. Don't interrupt the chair when the meeting is in progress. Take notes so you will be prepared to speak up when the time is right. 8. When you do speak out, be clear, concise, and stay on topic. Don't be afraid to present your point of view, but always be respectful of the point of view of others. 9. Information exchanged in a meeting is generally considered confidential among those attending the meeting. Unless you are certain that the subject matter is common knowledge, it is best not to discuss issues with those that were not in attendance.
  10. 10. O P Dahiya 10 10. Bring your positive attitude. You'll accomplish a lot more and gain a lot more respect than you will if you are negative and critical. Business etiquette for Swiss For the international business person doing business in a foreign country offers certain intercultural challenges. Differences in culture mean differences in etiquette and protocol. Understanding a country's business culture, protocol and etiquette is important in achieving success abroad. This guide to doing business in Switzerland offers some introductory points to some of the above mentioned areas such as business culture and etiquette. It is not intended to summarise all 'doing business tips' nor meant to stereotype the Spanish people. Rather, it highlights some important key areas for consideration when doing business in Switzerland. We have focused on three areas: how to meet and greet, communicate and conduct business meetings. Meeting & Greeting: When meeting people, shake hands with all present. Swiss society is rather formal and people tend to address each other, whether colleague, neighbour or acquaintance, by their surname. This is not only a sign and respect but one of the manifestations of the Swiss propensity for privacy. However, in some of the multinationals in Switzerland this is changing and first names are a little more common. At first always address someone first by his or her professional title and family name. Only when invited to should one use first names. Switzerland has four official languages - German, French, Italian and Romansch. Romansch is spoken by 1 percent of the population in the eastern part of the country. Swiss-German is a dialect spoken in all the German-speaking cantons. In German-speaking Switzerland, use the courtesy titles "Herr" to address a man and "Frau" to address a woman; in French-speaking areas, use "Monsieur" and "Madame"; in Italian- speaking areas, use "Signore" and "Signora". Communication: The Swiss are a private people, so try to avoid asking personal questions until a good relationship has been established. What constitutes personal are areas such as occupation, age, marital status, religion, etc. The communication style can come across as quite sober; initially it is advisable to avoid jokes and engaging in any banter as this may be misconstrued. Meetings & Negotiations:
  11. 11. O P Dahiya 11 The Swiss are known for getting the best possible deal in negotiations without ever appearing aggressive or demanding. Through quiet self-confidence and a no-nonsense approach to business they sidestep 'hard-sell' and other high- pressure tactics. In addition they will refuse to rush a decision until they have properly examined all the facts and information and reported these to the decision maker(s). v. Negotiation skills Negotiating is the process of communicating back and forth, for the purpose of reaching a joint agreement about differing needs or ideas. It is a collection of behaviors that involves communication, sales, marketing, psychology, sociology, assertiveness and conflict resolution. A negotiator may be a buyer or seller, a customer or supplier, a boss or employee, a business partner, a diplomat or a civil servant. On a more personal level negotiation takes place between spouse’s friends, parents or children. It is a process of interaction by which two or more parties who consider that they need to be jointly involved in an outcome, but who initially have different objectives, seek by the use of argument and persuasion to resolve their difference in order to achieve a mutually acceptable solution. Another important consideration is that negotiation implies acceptance by both parties that agreement between them is required before a decision can be implemented. The art of negotiation is based on attempting to reconcile what constitutes a good result for the other party. To achieve a situation where both sides win something for themselves, you need to be well prepared, alert and flexible. There are seven basic principles common to all forms of negotiation. • There are minimum two parties involved in the negotiation process. There exists some common interest, either in the subject matter of the negotiation or in the negotiating context, that puts or keeps the parties in contact. • Though the parties have the same degree of interest, they initially start with different opinions and objectives which hinders the outcome in general. • In the beginning, parties consider that negotiation is a better way of trying to solve their differences. • Each party is under an impression that there is a possibility of persuading the other party to modify their original position, as initially parties feel that they shall maintain their opening position and pursuade the other to change. • During the process, the ideal outcome proves unattainable but parties retain their hope of an acceptable final agreement. • Each party has some influence or power – real or assumed – over the other’s ability to act.
  12. 12. O P Dahiya 12 • The process of negotiation is that of interaction between people – usually this is direct and verbal interchange. Negotiation is a skill that anyone can learn and practice. The necessary skills required for successful negotiations can be listed as : • The ability to define a range of objectives, yet be flexible about some of them. • The ability to explore the possibilities of a wide range of options. • The ability to be well prepared. • The ability to listen to and question other parties. • The ability to set priorities. These are useful abilities, not only in negotiations but in daily life as well. It is useful to remember that the ability to influence and persuade is one of the most essential of all management skill – and influence and persuasion are very much the stuff of effective negotiation. Types of Negotiation in Organizations Depending upon the situation and time, the way the negotiations are to be conducted differs. The skills of negotiations depends and differs widely from one situation to the other. Basically the types can be divided into three broad categories. Types Parties Involved Examples Day-to-day/ Managerial Negotiations 1. Different levels of Management 2. In between colleagues 3. Trade unions 4. Legal advisers 1. Negotiation for pay, terms and working conditions. 2. Description of the job and fixation of responsibility. 3. Increasing productivity. Commercial Negotiations 1. Management 2. Suppliers 3. Government 4. Customers 5. Trade unions 6. Legal advisors 7. Public 1. Striking a contract with the customer. 2. Negotiations for the price and quality of goods to be purchased. 3. Negotiations with financial institutions as regarding the availability of capital. Legal Negotiations 1. Government 2. Management 3. Customers 1. Adhereing to the laws of the local and national government. 1. Day-to-day / Managerial Negotiations
  13. 13. O P Dahiya 13 Such types of negotiations are done within the organization and are related to the internal problems in the organization. It is in regards to the working relationship between the groups of employees. Usually, the manager needs to interact with the members at different levels in the organization structure. For conducting the day-to-day business, internally, the superior needs to allot job responsibilities, maintain a flow of information, direct the record keeping and many more activities for smooth functioning. All this requires entering into negotiations with the parties internal to the organization. 2. Commercial Negotiations Such types of negotiations are conducted with external parties. The driving forces behind such negotiations are usually financial gains. They are based on a give-and-take relationship. Commercial negotiations successfully end up into contracts. It relates to foregoing of one resource to get the other. 3. Legal Negotiations These negotiations are usually formal and legally binding. Disputes over precedents can become as significant as the main issue. They are also contractual in nature and relate to gaining legal ground. IS NEGOTIATION NECESSARY ? Negotiation, at times can be a lengthy and cumbersome process. By asking whether it is necessary, time may sometimes be saved and unnecessary compromise avoided. On occasions, a request to negotiate may best be met by pointing out that the party making the request has no standing in the matter. If a manager has the undoubted authority to act, making a decision rather than negotiating about it may be the best tactic. Alternatively, there are cases in which the best response to a request or a claim is to concede it without argument. Why waste time negotiating if the other party has a good case and there are no adverse consequences in conceding ? Unnecessary negotiation, followed, perhaps, by a grudging concession of the other party’s claim, will lose all the advantage that might be gained with a quick unexpected yes. An alternative to a simple yes or no when a difference of view occurs is to skip negotiation and proceed immediately to some form of third – party intervention. An alternative to a simple yes or no when a difference of view occurs, is to skip negotiation and proceed immediately to some form of third – party intervention. On the most formal basis, this might imply a decision to take a dispute to court : informally, two managers who quickly realize that they cannot reach agreement about a working problem may jointly agree to stop wasting time in argument and refer the matter to a senior manager for resolution. It is good to follow the general rule :
  14. 14. O P Dahiya 14 Do not negotiate unless you have to – or unless you can obtain some direct or indirect advantage by doing so. Process of Negotiation The whole process of negotiation can be broadly divided into 3 stages – 1. A preparation phase before the negotiation begins. 1. The actual process of negotiating. 1. The implementation and follow up of the agreement. Prior to the actual interaction that leads to an agreement between various parties, the preparation for a successful negotiation process is essential. The achievement of the target has to be systematic and strategic move. This asks for a detailed and minute analysis. A manager needs to be clear about his perspective. Steps for improving your negotiation skills 1) Evaluate relative strengths Before embarking on negotiation there is a need to assess the party’s relative strengths. This strength can be defined as the power to influence others so as to have an upper hand over the final outcome. Each side has certain bargaining power on the back of which the whole negotiating process can be carried. While weighing relative strengths, the judgment regarding four things is involved : • The amount of authority that each party possesses to conduct negotiations and the ability of the parties to make decisions. • The strength of each party to get sanctions or benefits that are unrelated to the matter under negotiation. • The logic or equity in the arguments. • The firm determination with which each party pursues its case. 2) Set the objectives While planning negotiations, an assessment of relative strength should be linked to the determination of objectives. Usually, the stronger one’s position is, the higher the level of objective achievement is there. The passing of the agreement takes place depending upon three different possible settlement levels. • The ideal or the best possible deal. • The expected settlement level. • The worst, though still just acceptable deal.
  15. 15. O P Dahiya 15 As a negotiator, one needs to identify the top line objectives, the best achievable outcome and the outcome that can be acceptable at the lowest level. It is vital to consider the other party’s viewpoint as well as one’s own. One objective of negotiations is to help the other party feel satisfied with the outcome and not to be too aggressive in the process. 3) Keep an eye on the other side For conducting successful negotiation, an eye on the other party’s plans, strengths and weaknesses helps in deciding a winning strategy. What are the objectives of the other party ? The facts and arguments they are likely to put forward and their overall winning strategy, all this knowledge is useful for preparing on the underlying and unstated issues. Besides, exchanging factual data before negotiations helps in overcoming delays or confusions. Checking of the issue, detailed facts and arguments, exchanging details are all preparatory assessments. 4) Decision regarding the style and the scene This is planning of more actual negotiation. The negotiations can be conducted in number of different styles. They can be discursive or brisk, formal or informal, assertive or persuasive. Depending upon the role and responsibility of the individual the expression of these styles differ. Besides, whom to involve in the discussion process and whom not to involve, is a crucial task. Minutest details like the location of the negotiation site, the seating arrangements, refreshments to be provided, documentation aspects all need special attention. Negotiations are surely affected by the style, pace and composition of the negotiating teams but equally important are the seating plans, breaks and conducting of the session itself. It is also useful to keep some record of the outcome of negotiations to ensure a common understanding. 5) Setting of the Agenda It is important to chalk out a plan of action in advance to avoid misunderstandings and common errors. If a clear cut guideline regarding what is to be done is provided, a lot of time and effort can be saved. The agenda may be formal or informal. If the subject, scope and purpose are fixed in advance, confusion can be avoided. It is useful to remember that the progress of negotiation is influenced significantly by the first speaker. One way of securing a strong opening position is to volunteer a brief rehearsal of the background before full negotiations begin. 6) Pleading your case To win the maximum favor in negotiation, tactics have to be used to strengthen one’s position during the bargaining process. Prior to introducing a new issue, its acceptability by the opposite parties need to be rated. Compromise and concession are the essential aspects of negotiation. Equally necessary is the attachment of conditions to the concessions. The use of emotion in negotiating should be avoided. At times during discussions, people start getting emotionally attached. It is professionally dangerous to rise to the bait of personal attack. There are occasions, when a controlled display of emotion may be beneficial. For this, the two conditions are, that the emotion must be sincere and its use should be a conscious decision, not an instant reaction.
  16. 16. O P Dahiya 16 It is advantageous for a good negotiator to be a good listner. The most common fault occurs in saying too much and listening too little. To keep the heaviness out, use of humor reduces the tension. Use of humor also avoids a confrontational mode. Experienced negotiators usually do not commit themselves to definite statements until they are confident that this will not prejudice their position. The art of reading between the lines help in avoiding perceptional errors. 7) Timing and Adjournments The maximum time for which an individual can maintain continuous attention and involvement, is somewhere around two hours. Henceforth, while planning negotiations, thought needs to be given to the time-scale. The longest period for effective continuous negotiation is about two hours. For this the time allotted for presentation can be 15 to 20 minutes and ideal time for individual contribution at the beginning of the discussion is two to three minutes. Breaks and adjournments are helpful revival from monotonus discussions. They provide time to consider progress or new proposals within the team and avoid rash decisions. It also helps in bringing an end to unconstructive and personalized arguments. Besides, during the adjournment sessions the parties can have an opportunity for informal and casual talks. 8) Arriving at an agreement. The closer the negotiation comes to end, the more sensitively the discussion needs to be handled. While weighing the benefits of the agreement, besides immediate returns the quality of long–term relationships also should be the crux. The final offer and agreement needs to be timed to coincide with the discussion which is positively constructive. Before finalizing, it is advisable to check that all the aspects in the deal have been taken care of, particularly dates for implementation, completion time and definition and meaning of each term. Ensure that both parties fully understand what has been agreed and get the confirmation in writing. Those issues that still remain unsolved can be carried forward for future negotiations. 9) Effective Implementation Arriving at an agreement is not an end in itself. The purpose with which negotiations are carried is to reach an outcome or action. An agreement is not successful until it has been effectively implemented. Adequate information and explanation should be supplied to those who are affected or apply the agreement. 10) Handling Breakdown It is not necessary that negotiations always prove successful. At times an agreement may not be achieved and this requires other arrangements. A contingency plan should be kept ready in case
  17. 17. O P Dahiya 17 of failure of the negotiations. The major options for handling breakdowns are either to go ahead on your own and take a decision that is best or seek third party intervention. HANDLING DIFFICULT NEGOTIATORS Every person that the manager negotiates with, may not necessarily be easy to deal with. Some negotiators turn aggressive to create an impression of their being tough. Instead of getting intimidated, winning is more important. To handle such outrageous behavior : • Speak more quietly than them. • Have more space in between your words than them. • If they interrupt, pause for a few seconds after they finish. • Be critical of foul language. • Do not rise to a bait if they attack or blame you. • Ignore all threats. TACTICS Tactics Making threats Counter tactics Certain threatful conditions need to be put in the negotiation deal. A warning of unwelcome repercussions, if one fails to agree to the terms of offer need to be emphasized. A fear of penalties avoids waste of effort and resources. It is advisable to state to the other party that negotiations are not possible under stress. A review of the other options available can be made only on the basis of the merit of the case. Offering insults Questions regarding the performance of the Company and professional competence of negotiators amount to insults. Another way of adding insults is to criticize the quality of the product or service. Stay calm. Do not lose your temper or offer insults in return. State your position firmly and lead the conversation towards constructive negotiations. Bluffing In bluffing, punitive action without being too specific are given. People, at times also make dubious assertions. Call off such bluffs. Refuse to agree to the other party’s terms and wait for a reaction. Question all statements, and ask for evidence to support any claims that appear dubious. Using Intimidation Keeping one waiting, making one sit in an uncomfortable or awkward place and receiving phone call or visitors during negotiations are all signs of Intimidation. This are plays to make one feel less confident. Recognize it. The original terms should not be dropped unless concessions have been gained. Divide and Rule It is trying to develop a line between the members of the opposite team by exploiting It is advisable to brief team members in advance and decide on a position that is
  18. 18. O P Dahiya 18 potential disagreements among them and appealing to the person most sympathetic to the case. acceptable to everyone. The meeting should be adjourned if a difference of opinion arises within the team members. Using Leading Questions Asking such questions which leads to declare a weakness in negotiating position which ultimately forces concessions. It is better to avoid answering questions, where the intention and meaning is unclear. It is advisable to attach concessions to such conditions. Making Emotional Appeals This done through accusing one of acting unfairly and not agreeing to the terms and conditions. At times there is also an offense created by lack of trust. Be fair on the commitment of achieving a fair settlement on business terms. Questions should be asked to test the validity of manipulative claims. Lead the conversation back to discussing the issues. Testing the Boundaries Gaining on additional concessions through minor infringements of the terms agreed, resulting in substantial gain over a long period. One should be clear on exactly what the agreement is about. Draw up a clearly worded statement of the terms agreed and hold the other party to these at all times. "What's your best price?" "That's too expensive." "Your competitor is selling the same thing for…."
  19. 19. O P Dahiya 19 Most salespeople and business owners hear statements like this every day. That means it is important to learn how to negotiate more effectively. Here are five strategies that will help you improve your negotiation skills and drive more dollars to your bottom line: 1) Learn to flinch. The flinch is one of the oldest negotiation tactics but one of the least used. A flinch is a visible reaction to an offer or price. The objective of this negotiation tactic is to make the other people feel uncomfortable about the offer they presented. Here is an example of how it works. A supplier quotes a price for a specific service. Flinching means you respond by exclaiming, "You want how much?!?!" You must appear shocked and surprised that they could be bold enough to request that figure. Unless the other person is a well seasoned negotiator, they will respond in one of two ways; a) they will become very uncomfortable and begin to try to rationalize their price, b) they will offer an immediate concession. 2) Recognize that people often ask for more than they expect to get. This means you need to resist the temptation to automatically reduce your price or offer a discount. I once asked for a hefty discount on a pair of shoes hoping to get half of what I asked for. I was pleasantly surprised when the shop owner agreed to my request. 3) The person with the most information usually does better. You need to learn as much about the other person's situation. This is a particularly important negotiation tactic for sales people. Ask your prospect more questions about their purchase. Learn what is important to them as well as their needs and wants. Develop the habit of asking questions such as; • "What prompted you to consider a purchase of this nature?" • "Who else have you been speaking to?" • "What was your experience with…?" • "What time frames are you working with?" • "What is most important to you about this?" It is also important to learn as much about your competitors as possible. This will help you defeat possible price objections and prevent someone from using your competitor as leverage. 4) Practice at every opportunity. Most people hesitate to negotiate because they lack the confidence. Develop this confidence by negotiating more frequently. Ask for discounts from your suppliers. As a consumer, develop the habit of asking for a price break when you buy from a retail store. Here are a few questions or statements you can use to practice your negotiation skills: • "You'll have to do better than that."
  20. 20. O P Dahiya 20 • "What kind of discount are you offering today?" • "That's too expensive." Wait for their response afterwards. • Learn to flinch. Be pleasant and persistent but not demanding. Condition yourself to negotiate at every opportunity will help you become more comfortable, confident and successful. 5) Maintain your walk away power. It is better to walk away from a sale rather than make too large a concession or give a deep discount your product or service. After attending my workshops, salespeople often tell that this negotiation strategy gives them the most leverage when dealing with customers. However, it is particularly challenging to do when you are in the midst of a sales slump or slow sales period. But, remember that there will always be someone to sell to. Negotiating is a way of life in some cultures. And most people negotiate in some way almost every day. Apply these negotiation strategies and you will notice a difference in your negotiation skills almost immediately. vi. Behavioural traits such as attitude, motivation and time management Positive attitude Positive attitude helps to cope more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life, and makes it easier to avoid worry and negative thinking. If you adopt it as a way of life, it will bring constructive changes into your life, and makes them happier, brighter and more successful. With a positive attitude you see the bright side of life, become optimistic and expect the best to happen. It is certainly a state of mind that is well worth developing and strengthening. Positive attitude manifests in the following ways: • Positive thinking. • Constructive thinking. • Creative thinking. • Expecting success. • Optimism. • Motivation to accomplish your goals. • Being inspired. • Choosing happiness. • Not giving up. • Looking at failure and problems as blessings in disguise. • Believing in yourself and in your abilities. • Displaying self-esteem and confidence.
  21. 21. O P Dahiya 21 • Looking for solutions. Seeing opportunities. A positive attitude leads to happiness and success and can change your whole life. If you look at the bright side of life, your whole life becomes filled with light. This light affects not only you and the way you look at the world, but also your whole environment and the people around you. If it is strong enough, it becomes contagious. The benefits of a positive attitude: • Helps achieving goals and attaining success. • Success achieved faster and more easily. • More happiness. • More energy. • Greater inner power and strength. • The ability to inspire and motivate yourself and others. • Fewer difficulties encountered along the way. • The ability to surmount any difficulty. • Life smiles at you. • People respect you. Negative attitude says: you cannot achieve success. Positive attitude says: You can achieve success. If you have been exhibiting a negative attitude and expecting failure and difficulties, it is now the time to change the way you think. It is time to get rid of negative thoughts and behavior and lead a happy and successful life. Why not start today? If you have tried and failed, it only means that you have not tried enough. Developing a positive attitude that will lead you to happiness and success: • Choose to be happy. • Look at the bright side of life. • Choose to be and stay optimistic. • Find reasons to smile more often. • Have faith in yourself and in the Power of the Universe. • Contemplate upon the futility of negative thinking and worries. • Associate yourself with happy people. • Read inspiring stories. • Read inspiring quotes. • Repeat affirmations that inspire and motivate you. • Visualize only what you want to happen. • Learn to master your thoughts. • Learn concentration and meditation.
  22. 22. O P Dahiya 22 v. Influence and influencing skills A characteristic of many good leaders is that they have a high level of influencing skills. For most of us in all aspects of our lives, influencing skills will help in our relationships, both in and out of work. Yet, for many people when they struggle with relationships their only strategy is to keep doing what they are familiar with and have developed as habitual behaviours. The trouble is: "if you do what you have always done, you will get the responses you have always got." So what can you do to develop your influencing skills? Improving your influencing skills requires these characteristics; • Developing flexibility of style appropriate to the situation and people • Being able to put yourself into other people's shoes and see things form their perspective • Having different ways of thinking through difficult situations when the "tried and tested" is not getting the results you need • Establishing ways of maintaining a position which is based on you and others getting a win/win i.e. everyone achieves some of what they want or need. • Being able to adjust and "think on your feet" to suit changing circumstances • Aligning all the elements of your approach so you are consistent and clear with others • Simplifying and using more precise and appropriate language So what can you do right now to be more influential? Here are our ten top tips.... 1. Seek rapport as soon as possible by really listening to others. Express yourself clearly. Simplify what you have to say. Most people cloak the important messages in a wordy ball of cotton wool 2. Ensure your non-verbal messages support what you want to say 3. Pick up on the language which others use. It will give you a clue to what you can say that will appeal to them and how to say it 4. Always have your goals for any meeting at the forefront of your thinking. Keep reminding yourself what you and others want as outcomes. If you get bored or things are not working - ask yourself, "what can I do to change things?" 5. "Understand others first then be understood" 6. Whatever you do, do it with empathy 7. Seek positive outcomes and be creative in reaching solutions 8. Be open to different ways of thinking about situations and issues. Value the diversity of others you have around you. Use their difference to add to what you can create or resolve 9. Plan your approach and tactical influence [i.e. what you will say and do], for any important influencing situation 10. When others are falling asleep as you speak or you hear your voice tailing off or dropping into a monotone, it's time to shut up!
  23. 23. O P Dahiya 23 Improving influencing skills is as much about personal development as it is about acquiring new skills. Changing mindset, building confidence and developing greater behavioural flexibility will mean that people are more likely to achieve success. We can then provide ongoing support and challenge as each situation evolves and the new found influencing skills need adjustment

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