Understanding Key Challenges in Basic Negotiations
For many, the law is a calling, along with understanding key challenges in helping clients. Rising students may feel a need to see justice served, along with enjoying using their talents in argument and negotiation. And while you may have a natural propensity for taking control of a dispute with greater articulation than others, there is much that must be studied and learned to be a master negotiator.
Some negotiations may be fluid in nature—and even enjoyable to attend—while other experiences may remind you of playing a treacherous game of chess. Understanding a few key points as you delve into the world of negotiating will serve you well there during your career as an attorney, and in other instances too. Key challenges often include:
- Research time and preparation – the key to negotiation is knowing your opponent. You will be surprised over time to see how many times the other side is not fully prepared, flying by the seat of their pants. Do your homework! This will give you the information needed to answer questions—and prompt them as well.
- Understanding what each side really wants – this means ‘interviewing’ your client at length and asking many questions; in fact, they may not realize exactly what they are shooting for until you begin asking them what they are hoping for, and what they will settle for in the worst scenario. It can, of course, be much more difficult to understand what the other side wants if they are holding their cards close to the chest in negotiation proceedings.
- Listening – this will be the key to understand what everyone is hoping for. Although you may be tempted to dominate the proceedings, try listening more. You may gain a much better grasp on what brought both parties into such a dispute, as well as a possible impasse. Ask questions, take time to seek clarification when either party is vague, and acknowledge all the issues at hand.
- Choosing negotiation techniques – while you don’t want to be taken advantage of in any case, negotiations do not always call for an aggressive or super competitive demeanor; in fact, over the course of your career it will serve you well to be known as a firm and confident, but cooperative negotiator, who is able to use good communication skills to establish a win-win for both sides. You may be negotiating with the same organizations, opposing counsel, or individuals far more than once, and your credibility will precede you.
Are you interested in becoming a skilled negotiator? Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your 4-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.