When assembling a team to start a project or company, one of the traits that the chosen members should possess is good communication skills. In particular, they should be able to clearly communicate their message and create a positive environment where their ideas will be communicated without the other party feeling threatened. They should be able to pick up on non-verbal cues and be able to clarify and regularly summarize the various points being made (“Negotiating Skills,” 2010). These skills are important when conducting negotiations as these will enable the other party to obtain a clear understanding of the team’s position and interest.
Moreover, the ability to pick up on non-verbal cues will enable the negotiator to gauge the other party’s reactions, which can aid the negotiator in deciding on the next steps. As well, these communication skills should include active listening skills. This will allow the other party to talk more and reveal more, in turn allowing a negotiator to gain valuable information about the other party’s intentions and positions without giving away too much information of their own (“Strategic Negotiations,” n.d.). In addition, with good communication skills, it becomes possible to form a positive relationship with the other party and to create an image of being principled, trustworthy, reliable, and credible – an image that can be used to drive a negotiation on the merits of the case rather than on the negotiators’ stubbornness. In the same regard, asking questions, particularly open-ended questions, can help in building a relationship with the other party (“Effective Negotiation Skills,” 2013). As well, another communication skill that would be useful in negotiations is persuasiveness. In particular, a negotiator should have the ability to find a common ground with the other party and share information with them that will persuade them to agree to an outcome.
Another desirable trait of team members would be objectivity. This would allow the team members to focus on the goals of the negotiation and not to hurl personal attacks at the other party. This would also enable a negotiator to stay patient and calm during the negotiation process (Billikopf, 2007). These are important interpersonal skills because the negotiation process should not be hurried in order to avoid having to compromise or settle for less than the team’s original goal.
Still, other skills that will be desirable in the candidates for the team would be research and organization skills. These skills would be necessary particularly when preparing for a negotiation. More specifically, it will be important to learn about the other party and to discover what the other party knows (“Strategic Negotiations,” n.d.). It will be advantageous if the negotiating team can already learn about the other party’s position and strategy even before the negotiation starts as this will enable the negotiating team to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of the other party and prepare for any possible questions or oppositions that the other party may raise during the negotiation process. In the same regard, organization skills are necessary for the preparation of the information and documents that will be used during the negotiation process. Similarly, part of these organization skills is the ability to take notes, which would be necessary so that everything that transpires is properly documented. In turn, this would enable the negotiators to create an accurate report of the negotiation proceedings for their closers.
As well, it would be helpful to have team members who have some background in psychology or that have some expertise in human behavior as this will enable the negotiating team to further discern how the other party is taking the information being presented by the team. In turn, this can help the team determine what their response would be and how they should respond. For example, if the other party is merely bluffing or if they act surprised towards a piece of information that the team has revealed then human behavior experts can read these reactions, which the team can use as a leverage for convincing the other party to come to an agreement.
In addition, it will be good for the team members to be creative and flexible. These traits come in handy when brainstorming over possible options for the ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement) or the BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)> As well, their creativity and flexibility will also be useful as they try to come up with other solutions that will be favorable for both parties.
Finally, it would be necessary to get team members who are collaborative. Since negotiations are usually conducted as a team effort, the team members should be able to work together and come up with a consensus regarding the decisions that will be made. In addition, the entire negotiation process is a collaborative effort in itself, that is, it should not be seen as adversarial in nature; rather, the members of a negotiating team must be able to work with the other party towards the achievement of shared goals. By allowing for the entire negotiation process to be collaborative, it will be better ensured that a win-win situation is achieved.
Billikopf, G. (2007, April 26). Interpersonal negotiation skills. Retrieved from
Effective negotiation skills. (2013). Retrieved from
Negotiating skills. (2010, January). Retrieved from http://www.gp-training.net/training/
Strategic negotiations. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/ndu/strat-ldr-