Back to top

How Do You Negotiate?

The main purpose of being a negotiator is to get the best settlement possible for yourself or for the person or group that you are representing. To do this, a negotiator needs certain skills such as:

  • Finding out facts and information about the other side before you start negotiating
  • Knowing what questions to ask
  • How to create the right atmosphere for successful negotiation – if you are too aggressive too early in the negotiation this will create a very tense atmosphere.
  • Knowing how much to tell the other person or group – for example, you should not give too many details too early in the negotiation as this gives the other person or group an advantage over you.
  • Knowing when to put your proposals to the other person or group
  • Controlling your attitude towards the other side – all kinds of different emotions, prejudices, different values and cultures can affect your attitude towards the other side. This can make it harder for you to communicate properly with them.


A union official negotiates with the manager of a farm about the right of employees to join the union. The union official is very emotional because the manager is threatening to dismiss the employees. The union official also believes that the manager is not concerned about the employees and that he is cruel and immoral.

The manager is also very emotional. He believes that the union official is trying to take over the farm. He is worried about financial losses, and believes that as soon as employees join a union they will go on strike. He believes that all employees are lazy and only want money to spend on alcohol.

In this example there are many conflicting emotions, prejudices, and values between the two sides. This will affect negotiations between the two parties.