1 Crucial Behaviour that help skilled negotiators win

Author: Anders Christian Hjort 😄

When negotiating, and certainly if you want to achieve a WIN/win more likely, then you should behave in the appropriate ways.


Huthwaite research have uncovered 21 behaviours that correlate with successful outcomes in negotiations. The things that skilled negotiators say and do.


Now, today I read this interesting blog below on Forbes today, written by a danish colleague Keld Jensen – also an expert in the field of negotiation.

He is focussing on the importance and power of having clear goals, and by this achieving them more likely.

Research also shows that writing and voicing your goals in public, face to face with friends or colleagues – and I would add also in social media updates on Facebook or Twitter – will help you dramatically in achieving your objectives.

Most people in business now of setting SMART-goals:

S pecific
M easurable
A chievable
R elevant
T imebound

Our negotiation research show that preparing and planning and setting SMART-goals will help. Find a common vision or goal in which both parties can agree.

We call It Common Ground at Huthwaite. Skilled negotiators voice Common Ground more often to establish a good negotiation environment – So Common Ground is something all will agree to being the vision and overall objective in the negotiation to follow. Getting stuck in a deadlock you can reclaim Common Ground an find new ways to move on towards achieving the overall vision.

Now read and get inspired by Keld Jensen’s contribution in Forbes:

Goals! The Reason You’re Not Achieving Yours (And Its Easy Fix)

If you’re not reaching your goals, here’s an unusual piece of wisdom from the man who scored the most. Wayne Gretsky, the NHL’s all-time leading scorer, once said, “A good hockey player skates where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”

What exactly did he mean? He elaborated in another interview, “Some say I have a ‘sixth sense’ . . . Baloney. I’ve just learned to guess what’s going to happen next. It’s anticipation. It’s not God-given, it’s Wally-given.” His father, Walter, used to shoot the puck along the boards and go skating after it. Then he’d return to the same spot and say, “This is how the smart player does it.” He’d shoot it the same way again, only this time he would move much quicker by cutting across the ice and picking it up on the other side.


Despite not being the fastest or strongest skater on the ice, Gretsky was able to outmaneuver his competitors because he knew where he was going. While most hockey players reacted moment to moment, Gretsky always acted based upon where he thought the puck would be a few seconds later.

Regardless of what professional field you are in, Gretsky’s advice is your answer to achieving more success. Life moves fast. Are you thinking a few moves ahead or are you simply reacting to the market and to the actions of those around you? Your answer will dramatically impact your career path and possibly the entire industry or world around you.

While hockey goals are a result of spilt-second decision making, professional goals often take time and planning. That’s why, in addition to creativity and forward thinking, it helps to make your goals concrete. While there has been controversy about its effectiveness, writing down your goals does raise your chances of achieving them. Isn’t that amazing? Simply write your goals on paper and you’ll be more successful in life. This conclusion is backed by research. And it didn’t come from Harvard or some other Ivy League school; it came from the Dominican University of California.

In the study, they found that those individuals without written goals only accomplished 43% of their goals while those who simply wrote them on paper increased their success to 61%. They knew where they were skating to! The researchers also found that by taking additional steps, such as making a public commitment and sending weekly progress reports to a supportive friend, they were able to boost goal completion to an astonishing 76%. In other words, increasing success was not just a result of defining the objective; it was also about becoming more transparent and accountable.

Having taught, written about, and consulted on executive negotiations for over 20 years, these principles have helped me immeasurably throughout my career. Preparation and defining goals is always one of the first steps I take before entering into negotiations with my counterpart. Not only do I define the specific variables and results I am looking to achieve, but I also project the objectives of the counterpart. Many negotiators fail to think about the perspective of the person sitting on the other side of the table. But this is essential to create a spirit of teamwork.

Remember, Gretzky didn’t win four Stanly Cups on his own. By far the most successful group in the Dominican University study had the support of friends who held them accountable. And, in the thousands of negotiations I’ve been a part of, the ones conducted by people who were cooperative, open, and honest always ended up with far more valuable deals for everyone than anyone had originally anticipated.

So whether you are just beginning your professional career or are a top executive at a Fortune 500 organization, heed these lessons from the “Einstein of Hockey.” In a world that is constantly changing and increasing in complexity every day, you must have the fortitude and motivation to always think at least a few steps ahead. I challenge you to write down your goals for the next month, even the next ten days. Combined with your ability to be accountable and influence cooperation from others, research shows us that you will achieve far greater success.

About the author
Keld Jensen write about negotiation, behavioral economics and trust.


About Anders
Anders credentials you will find here on Huthwaite Internationals website and on LinkedIN you will find recommendations and endorsements from clients, colleagues and friends during his career:

80.000+ Follow Hutwaite International and Anders here

3000+ Follow Anders on LinkedIN

750+ Follow Anders on Twitter



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