Active Listening: The Untapped Superpower in Your Negotiation Toolkit

Michael Glazer is a Tokyo-based Senior Consultant whose client work spans 15 countries across four continents. Learn more about Michael here.

The Common Oversight

In negotiation, the spotlight often falls on the pitch—what you're going to say and how you're going to say it. But what if the real game-changer is not in the speaking, but in the listening? In a recent episode of our podcast, Humans At Work, Simon Horton, a negotiation expert, turns this common belief on its head.

Listen to the full episode with Simon Horton for a deep dive into negotiation strategies.

The Quote That Says It All

As Simon Horton succinctly puts it:

"The best way to persuade is often to listen. By actively listening, you're gathering information, building rapport, and opening the door to solutions that satisfy both parties."

Why This Matters More Than You Think

Active listening isn't just a soft skill; it's a strategic tool. In a negotiation setting, it serves multiple purposes—from building rapport to gathering crucial information, thereby transforming a potentially adversarial situation into a collaborative one.

The Action Steps: How to Listen Actively

  • Tune In: Give the speaker your full attention. Put away distractions and focus on the conversation at hand.list
  • Probe Deeper: Use open-ended questions to encourage further discussion. You'd be surprised how much people are willing to share when they feel heard.
  • Reflect and Validate: Summarize what the other person has said to confirm mutual understanding. This simple act can be a powerful trust-builder.

Elevate Your Negotiation Game

Interested in honing your negotiation skills further? Our Negotiation Skills Program offers in-depth training to help you master the intricacies of effective negotiation.

By incorporating active listening into your negotiation strategy, you're not just skirting around a common pitfall—you're stepping up your entire game.