How to improve communication in a negotiation?

Cite this article as:"How to improve communication in a negotiation?," in The Business Professor, updated October 22, 2017, last accessed August 8, 2020,

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How to improve communication in negotiation?

• Ask Questions – Asking good questions enables negotiators to secure a great deal of information about the other party’s position, supporting arguments, and needs.

• Listening – Listening can be broken down into passive, active, and acknowledging. “Passive listening” involves receiving the message while providing no feedback to the sender about the accuracy or completeness of reception. “Acknowledging” is who the receiver acknowledges the message, such as occasionally nod their heads, maintain eye contact, or interject responses. “Active listening” occurs when receivers are actively listening, they restate or paraphrase the sender’s message in their own language. Successful reflective responding is a critical part of active listening.

• Role Reversal – This is putting one’s self in the position of the other party. It allows the parties to understand the interests and constraints of the counterparty. Role reversal is effective in producing cognitive and attitude changes. When the parties’ positions are fundamentally compatible with each other, role reversal is likely to produce acceptable results (cognitive and attitudinal change). When the parties’ positions are fundamentally incompatible, role reversal may sharpen the perceptions of incompatibility and inhibit positive attitude change. Role reversal does not necessarily lead to easy resolution of a conflict, particularly when accurate communication reveals a fundamental incompatibility in the positions of two sides.

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