How should we listen during negotiation process?

A good negotiator is a good “listener”. God gave us two ears but only one mouth so that we listen twice as much as we talk.

We should do it with interest. And actively. Negotiations tend to unfold in the following manner: A presents its position, B is so busy thinking what to say that it does not actually listen. B presents its position, A thinks B did not respond to what it said and wonders how to repeat it.

B also concludes that A did not listen as it should have and thus repeats its position, and so on, creating a dialogue between deaf people.

Listening is not the same as hearing. It implies the use of ears, eyes and heart to perceive the intention, the emotion and the feelings of the opponent.

Effective listening is not valued culturally. More frequently the speaker is valued more than the listener. There is the false notion that the one who speaks the most, knows the most… but it should not be forgotten that the one who speaks most also makes the most mistakes.

Listening is the most economic concession you can make to your opponent during negotiations. We all have a deep urge to be understood. When we satisfy this need, we create an opportunity to change the course of the negotiation. Listening allows opponents to air their thoughts, thus making them more willing to listen to you.

These are some recommendations:

  • To be able to listen properly, you should first admit the fact that the others also think that they are right.
  • The first thing that must be done is: be quiet.
  • Secondly, you should not prepare a response while listening; try to understand the opponent in the same manner the opponents see themselves. Do not interrupt.
  • Take notes. It is important. It helps gain time for thinking, it transmits your interest and avoids confusions, misunderstandings and important oversights.
  • Maintain visual contact, write the questions that need to be answered, use body language to show attentiveness. Do not be distracted.
  • Paraphrase. Show that you do understand.
  • Acknowledge the opponent’s point of view. This does not necessarily mean you agree with the other person, but that you accept that their point of view is equally as valid as others and it implies the following: “I understand how you see things”. Also acknowledge his/her emotions. Do not ignore them.
  • It is better to ask than to affirm. Affirmations tend to provoke resistance. Questions allow the other party to explain their needs and wishes. The moment you begin to share their feelings and impressions, you start closing in on the result. In the negotiation simulator ‘Merchants, the importance of communication is highlighted in order to locate the interest of the other party, that allows both parties to reach an agreement.

What other recommendations can you share?

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22 Comentarios

  1. Ranjeet Agrawal

    Ranjeet Agrawal

    1. Never make the first offer.
    2. Never make a quick-deal.
    3. Never disclose your bottomine.



    1. After listening, summarise your understanding by telling on points you agree (with condition or without) and not agree with your point of view.
    2. Post listening, if you covey other on his feeling which you also relate with , helps in big way to have quick settlement.
    3. Listen again on your view point on the disagreed views of other and try to convince with logical reasoning and if required backed by past real experience/example/story.

  3. Kalimuddin


    1. Recognize the value of relationship with your counterpart.
    2. Develop a reputation of reliability.
    3. Align your negotiation goal with your organization’s goals.

  4. Kanwaljit Singh

    Kanwaljit Singh

    We should come prepared for negotiation. We should have one benchmark below which we will not exceed. That must not be disclosed. Similarly opposite party also had one level below which he will not agree. Try ascertain that point..
    What alternatives if party does not agree?

  5. bibhu dhar pandey

    bibhu dhar pandey

    During negotiation on any matter, one should do his homework properly, i.e. he must be aware of technical aspect as well as market trends. He should also know the benchmark which will help him to put his last words.

  6. Rajesh K Verma

    Rajesh K Verma

    Asking Questions / Probing helps develop empathy which would lead to instant acceptance of each other point of view and negotiation is better leveled.
    May use LAPACT technique : Listen, Acknowledge,Probe, Accept, Confirm and Thank
    Do not forget that the non-verbal communication / behaviour during negotiation will determine the output.

  7. Sanjay Kaushik

    Sanjay Kaushik

    Always keep one good example/ references from your past experience ready which you can cite to bridge the gap and create confidence/trust with the buyer. Go prepared to face the worst outcome so that there are no surprises

  8. Mamta Ganatra

    Mamta Ganatra

    Negotiation is to understand what is offered and ends where both parties are at win win situation.



    The best negotiation is when it has a competitive environment. If there is no such possibility, try to take something that you can add as a business opportunity, thus demonstrating that it is Worth to the other party to be more flexible in the negotiation.

  10. pulipaka mallesh

    pulipaka mallesh

    Negotiation skill is very important not only in commercial dealing but also equally important in day to day working

  11. Iqbal I Ahmad

    Iqbal I Ahmad

    We should enter into a negotiation with all the required information about the other party and their expectations.
    Prepare our offer mix options to suit their expectations and taking care of their interests.
    Be clear on your most competitive offer point and know their best alternative
    Listen to their view point and try to build your offer mix by getting them to agree to your point of view.
    Highlight their interest and how we can take care of the same with our offerings/solutions.

  12. Samir M Mujavar

    Samir M Mujavar

    It is very much important how we start the negotiation and how we close the deal. Summarizing all aspects discussed and highlighting the points of objections.

  13. mohan patra

    mohan patra

    I think, good example’s/ references is always help you while the negotiation process. also present of mind is very important in this .

  14. Dhirendra Das

    Dhirendra Das

    Negotiation start with the understanding of the need of both and information on this in vital. Reference of past experience added in negotiation . The value addition need to be clear and understood .

  15. Eric M

    Eric M

    Being prepared is critical. It is important to know your facts but be open minded and aware that more than one point of view is possible. Also thinking thru options of possible mutliple preferable outcomes is helpful.

  16. Farrah


    In my experience authenticity is key in finding a win win and ultimately strengthening relationships, which helps in future negotiations.

  17. Nitin Mahajan

    Nitin Mahajan

    For Negotiation 3 important points are as under :
    A)First important aspect :
    i)Know thyself
    ii)Know other person in Negotiation
    iii)Know the situation
    B)Fall in love with the rule of 3
    C)Use BATNA /WATNA in the best way to one’s advantage

  18. T.Venkatachalam


    In a negotiation there is nothing called Win Win Situation. Ultimately one is a looser !!!
    Communication is very essential.

  19. Govind Khandade

    Govind Khandade

    Negotiations always require preparations and keen understanding of the preposition, hence we should listen more at the same time take pauses at right time while explaining, thus giving other person room to accomodate our requirements before responding.

  20. Mehul Patel

    Mehul Patel

    Every negotiation start with distinct expectation of consumer and marketer. Negotiation process help to bridge the gap between expectation of Marketer and supplier and reach to mutually agreed point.

  21. Krishnakumar


    Negotiation skills includes Listening, effective in verbal communication, reducing misunderstanding, may solve dealing with difficult situation

  22. Ashish Ladha

    Ashish Ladha

    A successful negotiation is all about reaching a common ground, where both parties feel that they have won. It is important to understand the key concerns / viewpoints of the other party. How to address those may vary from what the other party is asking for. As long as these concerns are addressed in fair and equitable way, consensus can be achieved. It is also important to have small wins, during a long negotiations, so that the commitment from each party increases. Lastly, it is important to understand what is your leverage / strength in the negotiation and play accordingly. e.g. if you are not time pressed, you may afford to delay the process. If you are more knowledgeable than another party, then use this to your advantage.

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