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In-person negotiations may be preferable but unfortunately, they are not always possible or practical. Many companies are investing in virtual negotiation training for their employees. As such virtual negotiations are common, especially now as many companies and organizations adapt to more remote setups.
The trend of negotiations going virtual is not just a product of the covid 19 pandemic, the digital tools at our disposal have been bringing dealmakers together in online spaces for quite a few years now.
Virtual negotiations don’t have the same ability to convey non-verbal cues and the human interaction is not to the same level as a face-to-face meeting. Because of this, it has a different set of skills that need to be fostered to become an effective virtual negotiator. As such we see offerings for virtual negotiation training courses online these days to try and impart the necessary skills and mindset for it.
Here are a few things to remember when engaging in virtual negotiations or even just enrolling in a virtual negotiation training course to give you a bit of an idea of what you should aim for.
Relationship building is a central part of the negotiating process. It can be easy to forget this in online interactions when the human element feels somewhat detached and distant. We need to remember to devote time to building rapport and getting to know our counterparts to foster a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
Keeping in Context
The context of your negotiations is important to keep in mind. This is doubly so in a virtual negotiation as you do not physically feel what your counterparts are feeling because you are not in the same room.
You have to remember that you may be in different time zones, as your schedule might not align with theirs and you have to make compromises with each other to have a comfortable negotiation. Also, be on the lookout for any non-verbal cues from them of any frustration or anxiety on their part.
The Online Process
Your process is vital to keeping organized and productive proceedings. There are quite a few things that you still have to take into account for virtual negotiations. These include things like how long will the meeting take, what topics will be covered in the meeting, what program will you be using to facilitate the meeting, and so on.
Clarity of Purpose
Clarity is necessary for every step of the negotiation process. It can be easy to be sidetracked from your goals and for information to be lost. So remember to keep track of what has been discussed, summarize regularly, and have clear transitions into new topics to be discussed.
Use Silence to Join Virtual Negotiation Training
It can be tempting to fill every second of the meeting with activity and discussion, because of the fear that you will lose people’s attention in an online meeting if you don’t. But silence can be a useful tool to provide some time to think and strategize. It also prevents you from giving away too much information to your counterparts, too quickly.
Joining virtual negotiation training courses can help you improve upon your people skills and represent your firm or business to the best of your capabilities. Negotiation is an art that takes time to perfect, however learning some of the best techniques of negotiation can expedite the learning process.