Negotiation skills are extremely important in business. After all, negotiation is a method which people use to settle differences. Whether you are looking to compromise or reach an agreement, it’s a useful method to achieve win/win outcomes.

In order to achieve a desirable outcome, often following a structured approach helps. Take a look at our five tips to get you on your way to successful negotiating.

Plan your negotiation

Analyse the problem to determine the outcome you want - A detailed problem analysis is extremely useful.

Firstly, identify the issue, the parties involved and outcome of goals. Identifying each issue can help to find a compromise for all parties as it’s important to understand the interests and positions of the other side in relation to your own interests and positions.

Remember: Ensure you have considered all variables which may arise and be prepared.

Listen carefully

Active listening involves the ability to read body language and verbal communication. It’s important to listen to the opposing party and find areas for compromise. This may mean looking outside the box and taking a different viewpoint to the one you're used to.

Emotional Intelligence under control

It’s vital that you keep your emotions in check. This is where emotional intelligence comes in, allowing you to control your emotions during the negotiation process. It’s especially important to keep emotions in check, as if you don’t, this can lead to a communication breakdown which can have a significant impact on the time frame of settling a negotiation.

Questioning and listening

Communication skills are vital when negotiating. What outcomes do you want? Often misunderstanding can occur if you don’t specify your case clearly. Whether you are doing this written or verbally, it’s important to communicate a clear case and one which is easy to understand.

Put your skills to the test

Come along to one of our effective negotiation courses, where you will get the chance to practice your negotiation skills and gain expert knowledge and advice on how to improve your negotiation skills within the work environment.

Pattonair is a leading global Aerospace and Defence supply chain service provider – working with a wide range of customers across the world with over 40 years of experience in the industry. With its headquarter in Derby, the company employs around 1,000 people in the UK, USA, Singapore, France and Italy.

Having grown significantly over the past four years and invested heavily in the development of processes and procedures, Pattonair identified the need to develop leadership and management skills across the company.

Pattonair has a policy of promoting from within the company and recognised that a training programme was required to support senior managers whether they were recently in post or had been in that position for longer periods of time.

Although the company supports staff with practical training through apprenticeships and higher education support and whilst senior managers were promoted on the strength of their ability to do the job – there was widespread recognition that the softer skills of people management and team motivation often needed to be addressed.

The company also recognised that, in a competitive recruitment market, it was important to clearly demonstrate to applicants that Pattonair is a company that values and invests in its workforce.

Pattonair worked with us to develop the bespoke PILOT programme – focusing on the ‘softer skills’ linked to relationship building, such as communication, personality profiling, delegation and conflict resolution.

The objective was to support senior managers in their role and to give them the ability to better manage and disseminate skills across their teams to increase efficiency, raise standards and boost productivity.

The company therefore brought together 70 managers from across the company for a series of monthly training sessions over 12 months.

The programme is unique in a number of ways.

It is bespoke to the company with all theoretical training directly linked back to the company ethos and practice.

PILOT was developed in line with the company’s core values and behaviours which are at the heart of the company’s operations:

- Building with integrity, fairness and trust
- Challenge and innovate
- Always putting outstanding service first
- Making ambition work

PILOT was totally inclusive and open to all senior managers regardless of their previous qualifications and training with graduates working alongside vocationally-trained former shopfloor workers who had worked their way up into management roles.

Managers from across the business were divided into groups – enabling them to work with colleagues from different aspects of the business.

Training was classroom based our associates travelling to the USA and Singapore to deliver training there and then European managers travelling to Derby College for the majority of training.

The final sessions, focusing on Pattonair’s financial and achieving zero defects models, were held in- house.

The programme concludes with each team completing a community project which has so far included refurbishment work at a homeless charity’s premises, maintenance projects at an animal sanctuary and dry stone walling in the Derbyshire Dales.

Due to the positive feedback received so far, Pattonair has already returned to us to launch Co-Pilot, which is aimed at section leaders and is planning Auto Pilot as a follow up with the management teams to embed further learning into the workforce development programme.

Pattonair will also be working with Derby College to allocate its employer apprenticeship levy on the expansion of its apprenticeship programme (for young apprentices and for existing staff). This will continue the shopfloor training programmes including warehousing and business improvement techniques and expand into new customer service and administration apprenticeships.

So you want to increase your personal impact within the workplace but unsure of where to start? There’s no quick fix, however developing new habits will help create firm foundations. Why not take a look at our five top tips to help you get started!

Believe in yourself

It’s important to be confident, if you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else? Remember to get your point across clearly and confidently, to ensure your message is clear and concise.

A simple tip to help you communicate more effectively is the ‘Rule of Three’. This powerful tool, used by the likes of Julius Caesar, Abraham Lincoln and Steve Jobs in their speeches, breaks your message into three clear points, which are easy for listeners to understand and recall.

Remember to set very clear goals. Goals become the centre of your focus, in which you can concentrate your efforts on.

Do you know yourself? Confident people tend to have a very good understanding of their self-awareness. 360 degree feedback sessions are a fantastic way to find out about how you impact on the people you work with. 360 degree feedback is a process in which employees receive confidential, anonymous feedback from the people who work around them.


Do you have the ability to say ‘No’? If not, you may need to improve on your assertiveness skills. Greater workplace impact requires you to be assertive. Ensure you know the difference between assertive, aggressive, passive and passive aggressive behaviours.

Assertive people have no problem stating what they want and stating it very clearly. Being assertive enables you to provide good feedback to colleagues.

Influencing and persuading

The ability to influence people is a vital skill. It allows you to help people to do better and encourages them to see things from your point of view.

Make sure you demonstrate interest in others. In order to make a good impression, you need to show an active interest in the person you're talking to. Listen to what they are saying and just remember a good listener learns a lot from people.

Address people by name. People are more likely to respond when they hear their name as the use of their name makes a message more personal to them.

Stay relevant

Industries are foreverchanging, so it’s a good idea to keep learning. Stay up-to-date with the latest changes and trends, and don’t be shy to let people know you’re doing your research too.

It also pays to learn new things, develop new skills, and to expand your knowledge.

And remember...

You are your own brand. After all, you have certain values, things that you care about and the way that you work. Your personal brand is how you appear to the world so make it count.

For more helpful tips, please follow @RHThinking!