Is a negotiator made or simply born that way? Am here to try and unravel this myth. Negotiation is a complex issue that requires one to use a lot of intelligence in approaching an issue. For example you can’t compare a negotiation for a dowry payment to that of ransom payment. The goal of both is to get something at the end, but how you approach each is a totally different.


Over the years and with so many interactions, I have learnt negotiation capability is honed by experience, fortitude and deployment of strategies and tactics applicable in each situation. There is a theory that “everything is negotiable” which I find misleading because the people you are dealing with while negotiating have principles, varied beliefs and values that they simply may not alter or negotiate. A point to note is that before you engage in any negotiation, it’s always good to do a thorough homework necessary to understand your adversary or the person on the other end of the table and formulate a plan of action to achieve a fair result. More importantly while on a negotiating table you should always have an open mind that can think quick. At times your preparation to a plan may not work out as planned and your thinking should be quick not to loose on unnecessary failures.


A result is only as fair as you need to.


In my opinion a negotiator is made. An orator can make a good negotiator, but the negotiation skills are honed over time. The orator attributes only aid in expressing oneself while negotiating. Many of us think we are good negotiators when you go to a second-hand clothes dealer and ask for some price reduction, that in itself is ‘negotiation’. Real negotiation is when you are cornered and need to be out of a situation. Think, you are arrested by cops in the middle of the night somewhere in town, you need to get home to get to work early the next morning and don’t want to spend a night in the cells. Am not saying you bribe, but just finding that smarter way of getting yourself freed. Think of it, others may look down upon the cops because of the ‘perceived’ lower education standards they got, but at that time they got power over you. How many of you will ask for forgiveness and get freed? Many mostly in their drunken stupor will try to fight it out, that they’ll definitely loose at the end. A good negotiator assesses the situation and quickly formulates how to deal with it. In this case, one will accept they are on the wrong, ask for pardon and they’ll probably be let free without much drama. That way your personality which you are born with won’t help much but the quick judgment of the situation will help a lot.


And that’s why I think a negotiator is made.