Understanding the feelings and viewpoints of others is nice -- but more selfishly, empathy is also a useful negotiation skill. Finance site Listen Money Matters explains why successful negotiators are empathic.
Photo by Daniel
When I think of a skilled negotiator, I think of someone slick, clever and intimidating. These aren't necessarily the ideal traits for negotiating successfully, though:
Negotiating isn't a form of strong arming since you can't really bully your way into a better deal (unless you're in the Mob or something)...you need to come to a consensus with your negotiation partner (the seller) or, in other words, a mutually beneficial deal. Someone won't just sell you a house they lived in for 15 years because you're clever, they need to feel like they are winning as much as you are...A skilled negotiator will focus on refining his empathy muscle because that's what will win him deals, not being clever.
If you want to win, the article says, you have to understand the other person's motivation. Once you have an understanding of this, and the other person senses your empathy, you can help them come to a concession. It will also help direct your focus on what matters to them, so you know what to address in your bargaining.
The article goes into detail a bit more and offers some additional insight. Check out the full post at the link below.
The Lost Art of Negotiation [Listen Money Matters]