What Soft Skills Can Do For You In Negotiation

What can soft skills do for you in negotiation?  Open important things:  ears, minds, dialogues, resolution pathways, and more.

This is because soft skills have the ability to engender trust which, in turn, facilitates cooperation, collaboration and decision-making.  Negotiations with and without trust are simply very different.

Overall, soft skills imbue an interaction in such a way that creates an atmosphere that feels safe to emote, regroup, be challenged and then reason and advance.

Some examples of soft skills are:

  • Listening and acknowledging
  • Reading the room (be cognizant of the collective, as well as the individual, dynamics)
  • Using body language that conveys and fosters openness when talking and listening
  • Comfortably allowing emotive expression
  • Keeping patient
  • Encouraging manageability of the process;  inspiring confidence that the conflict is resolvable
  • Speaking mindfully (words, tone and inflection)
  • Approaching with an interest-based focus (makes one feel understood)
  • Incorporating challenges in tune with a personally important purpose
  • Directing attention to possibilities, and away from what cannot be changed (empowerment rather than powerlessness)

These techniques are not substitutes for hard skills – intellectual, experiential, knowledge-based, etc.  A negotiator or mediator whose style embodies both, however, can significantly enhance the process of deconstructing obstacles to negotiation and resolution, as well as client relations.

Parties’ satisfaction begets appreciation for their representatives’ choices. When parties feel they and their needs were well taken care of – from the point of mediator selection, to session experience, to the note on which the process ends, the experience fosters loyalty, future reliance and referrals.

As a matter of prudence and practice management, reinforce settlement efforts by involving a mediator with a combination of these qualities, rather than taking the risk of coming up short.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply