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How Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Your Business Negotiation Skills?

Taking time out to improve your business negotiation skills is important for your business. It is essential in your life no matter what role you have or what industry you work in. Successful negotiations often mean the difference between success and failure in a business landscape.


While emotional intelligence plays an important role in leadership success, they are equally important for successful negotiation. While traditional negotiation strategies revolve around logic and reasoning, they have not remained much effective in bringing the desired results.


Interpersonal dynamics and emotional intelligence have gained more prominence, and they significantly affect negotiation skills and outcomes.


This blog post will examine how emotional intelligence can benefit your business negotiation skills.


The Importance of Emotional Intelligence in Negotiation Skills

Negotiation triggers anxiety in most people, which is harmful to the outcomes. Research conducted by Harvard Business School proves that anxious negotiators always make lower first offers as they expect lower outcomes. They also respond more quickly to offers and exit the meetings earlier, thereby obtaining the worst results out of these negotiations.


This shows how big of a role emotions play during business negotiations. Therefore, high emotional intelligence is associated with successful negotiations. But what is emotional intelligence?


The ability to understand, manage, and use your emotions effectively in yourself and others, particularly during social interactions, is termed emotional intelligence. It has four key components you need to understand before studying the impact of emotional intelligence on negotiation skills.


  • Self-awareness: It is the ability to recognize one's emotions and understand their impact on one's behavior and decisions.
  • Social Skills: Being able to build constructive relationships and maintain them are social skills.
  • Empathy: It is the ability to understand other's emotions and be able to sense them.
  • Self-regulation: To maintain composure and to cater to challenging situations require controlling emotions, which is termed self-regulation.


Let us understand the impact of emotional intelligence on negotiation skills.


How Emotional Intelligence Impact Negotiation Skills

  1. 1. Building Trust
    Negotiators who excel at emotional intelligence also excel at building trust with their counterparts. You should listen actively and display empathy to create an environment that leads to open communication. Being able to understand the needs of the other party will help you reach a beneficial outcome that suits both your and your counterpart's needs. An emotionally intelligent person is not only able to understand and process his own emotions but also well able to understand the emotions of the other party. This helps build trust, which is the foundation for effective negotiation.
  2. 2. Help Adapt to Various Situations
    Not all the negotiation conditions will be the same for you. The negotiators you come across will have different needs and communication approaches. You should train yourself such that you will be able to accommodate diverse personalities. Having said that, you will understand each of your clients better and thus be better able to explain your perspective and grab theirs.
  3. 3. Identifying Unspoken Concerns
    A high emotional intelligence enables a person to understand hidden motivations and better judge unspoken concerns, which are common in business negotiation. With high EI, you will be able to attune to nonverbal cues and help your counterpart speak openly. Being in a position where you understand your counterpart’s hidden agendas give you an edge to craft better solutions.
  4. 4. Controlling Emotional Responses
    You will come across some situations during negotiation where things will be emotionally charged. However, emotionally intelligent individuals are good at recognizing such moments and controlling their responses A person should stay composed and emotionally balanced and avoid letting emotions take control of the situation. All this helps in thinking strategically and overall helps with your business negotiation skills.


Tips to Improve Negotiation Skills

The following section covers top tips to help you improve business negotiation skills so that you can win at the bargaining table.


  1. 1. Learn from Past Negotiations
    Nothing can prove to be your best guide other than your past negotiation experiences. You can start tracking them to be better able to learn from them. The most important thing to find out is the pattern. You need to see the pattern of your emotions and your behavior. This will help develop an effective negotiation strategy that suits your needs. This self-reflection allows you to evaluate your weaknesses and strengths and help identify areas of improvement in your communication skills.
  2. 2. Active Listening
    Listen to the concerns and statements of your counterpart and understand their needs, perspectives, and, most importantly, emotions. Active listening helps build trust with your client, which eventually results in better negotiation outcomes.
  3. 3. Stay Composed
    You need to stay calm and should have control over your emotions throughout the meeting with your potential client. You cannot afford to lose a client due to your lack of emotional intelligence. Avoid reacting impulsively to any of their statements. Stay calm so you will be able to think clearly and make decisions rationally.
  4. 4. Prepare for the Negotiation
    You will need to prepare for the negotiation for the first few times only. Then will you get used to handling the situations? Yes, it is important to research thoroughly and gather enough information to talk confidently on the negotiation subject. You can also consider doing some research about the other party and their interests. Make sure to have your objectives and priorities clear in your head. With all this, the chances of having your desired outcomes are higher.


Final Words

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Emotional intelligence has a very strong impact on your business negotiation skills. EI has become a very important skill for leaders and particularly for business negotiators. It helps maintain positive relationships with clients.


Once you get a grip on your emotional intelligence, it will have long-term benefits for you and serve as a driver in successful negotiations and, thus overall growth of your business.


Need help building your business or want to expand your business to new markets? The American Business Association can help you. We are a growing group of members consisting of consumers, entrepreneurs, and self-employed individuals.


So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us to take your business to new heights of success.