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CAREER TIPS: What you need to know to become an effective negotiator

The art of negotiation is an important skill you must learn if you wish to become an effective professional capable of maintaining good relationships. You also need to master it in order to be able to close satisfactory deals.



how to become an effective negotiator

The art of negotiation is an important skill you must learn if you wish to become an effective professional capable of maintaining good relationships. You also need to master it in order to be able to close satisfactory deals.

What is negotiation?

People make decisions according to their self-interest. Negotiation is a way of appealing to people’s self-interest in order to get what you want. It involves reaching an agreement or making a compromise to avoid dispute.

How to negotiate successfully

  1. Be a good listener

Follow this rule: listen 70% of the time and use the remaining 30% to talk. Trying to outtalk the other party will always be counterproductive. Do not be preoccupied with making sure your point is heard that you forget to pay attention to what others have to say.

Instead, encourage them to talk. That’s the only way to figure out how to persuade them. Also, take care not to jump to conclusions.

[Read Also: The worst financial decision you can make  ]

To make people more receptive to your point of view, mostly talk about things that will benefit them.

You can resolve conflicts better and get what you want in the end if you master the art of listening.

  1. Make the first offer

By stating your offer first, the other person will be psychologically inclined to work around it. This is known as the anchor effect.

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  1. Mind your posture and body language

You must appear confident if you wish to be taken seriously. Findings have shown that communication is 93% non-verbal and only 7% verbal.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Sit or stand up straight and maintain eye contact.
  • Mirror the other person’s movements so as to create rapport.
  • Nod your head in agreement occasionally. This makes the person more open.
  • Do not fidget or clasp your hands tightly. You can place the tip your fingers together just below your chest while speaking to project confidence.
  • Maintain an open posture. It makes the person feel more comfortable and engaged.
  1. Be outspoken

Being outspoken does not mean hijacking the entire conversation. It means not being afraid to ask for what you want. Be assertive.

Don’t assume the person you are dealing with is a mind reader. If you are not satisfied with the terms, let it be known. Don’t keep it to yourself and feel bad about it later.

[Read Also: This is how much you lose each year you fail to save]

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  1. Give information freely

It is considered a smart approach not to reveal your cards. But sometimes, this may cause distrust. People tend to reciprocate how they are treated. If you are seem guarded and unwilling to put yourself out there, they will do the same.

Some findings have shown that revealing some information about yourself, no matter how unrelated to the conversation, helps encourage rapport and create opportunities for a better outcome.

But beware. During negotiations, don’t provide information that can be used against you.

  1. Know when to compromise

Sometimes, to win some, you have to lose some. Make compromises that can create a positive outcome without causing yourself much harm.

  1. Focus on the other person’s limitations

Never pay heed to any pressure you might be facing. Remove all thoughts you might have about why the deal is important to you. Doing otherwise will make you appear desperate and put the other person in control.

You become more powerful by recognizing the pressure the other party is facing; their worries and concerns. This way, you are better able to steer the negotiation in your favour.

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  1. Always be willing to walk away

This is easier when you know you have other options. But this is not always the case.

However, the fact remains that if you lean too much on the hope of reaching an agreement, you lose your ability to say no, and in the process, accept terms that are not favourable to you.

The other person will be willing to make concessions when they recognize you are not afraid to walk away.

[Read Also: Here’s how YouTube stars make money through studying alone ]


What to do when negotiations turn sour

Sometimes, things may not go the way we want them to. Negotiations can still fail despite making compromises.

The conversation could still go south even when it seems you are about to convince the other party to see reasons or agree to terms.

In such situations, here’s what you should do:

  1. Try not to lose your composure. It is often easy to lose patience, react emotionally, and say unfortunate things you will regret later on.
  2. Reschedule another meeting if possible. This will prevent counterproductive arguments that not only wastes your time but can ruin the relationship permanently.
  3. Make peace with the fact that the negation has failed.
  4. Consider other possible options.


Good negotiation skills make you confident, keep you from being intimidated, lend your competitive advantage, and most of all, enable you to maintain good relationships through conflict management.

The aim of negotiation is not for you to get everything you want. It’s about finding common ground. People tend to forget this, and that’s why they don’t succeed. At the same time, never agree to terms that don’t favour you, and always know when to walk away.

However, it’s still possible to get what you want by showing empathy. People tend to be more compliant when they feel understood. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to win them over.

[Read Also:Become a “rich salary” earner today by following these simple steps]

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    Career tips

    7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

    Juggling between work and family life has been one challenge faced by many women.



    7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

    According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, women make up 44.94% of labour force in Nigeria as at 2019. It can be estimated that more than half of this number of working women are wives and mothers. This is quite impressive and shows an appreciable increase in the number of working women and working mothers to compared to what was seen two decades ago.  However. The rise in the number of working women and mothers also increased some of the problems working wives/mothers faced both at home and at work. In fact, some of these problems remain largely unattended to in the Nigerian society.

    In our world today, especially in the corporate world, where competitive nature is prevalent, a lot of women have risen career-wise and have carved a niche for themselves. Some of the career choices they made has put so many of them in a state of dilemma. i.e. juggling between their work as well as their family life, thereby making it difficult for them to strike a balance.

    READ: 10 side businesses to sustain your professional career

    In addition, many husbands, especially in Nigeria where patriarchy is strong do not support the idea of their wives working. A few who buy the idea, do so grudgingly, thereby, not offering their full support and cooperation to their wives.  This, however, has made a lot of relationships suffer.

    Contrary to the above, many men give their wives full consent to work, pursue their dreams and professions. In Nigeria, there is an indication that most working mothers/wives are working not just for self-fulfilment but also to supplement their husband’s income in the face of persistent inflation and to assist their spouse financially.

    A lot of people find it difficult balancing the strike i.e. their career and family, leading to some having to quit their jobs. Nevertheless, there are some women who, over the years were able to balance their professional careers with that of their family, and these women have become source of inspiration to so many women finding it difficult to strike the balance. And they are the likes of Oby Ezekwesili, Folorunso Alakija, Aisha Ahmed, Ibukun Awosika, Toyin Sanni, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu and so many other women striving in their area of specialization.

    READ: President Buhari approves N13.3 billion for Community Policing in Nigeria

    According to Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu (MD/CEO, NSIA Insurance Company Limited) in an exclusive interview with the Amazons Watch Magazine editorial team, she said that “balancing work with family life is quiet challenging to achieve but is very achievable. I think women more than men need to realize that it is essential to start early to focus on a desired career and we need to stay the course when marriage and children come. We do not have time to play around or to waste, and we must stay motivated and not burn out. Women, by starting early would already have set a pace, before family life comes in. Even when you don’t start early; women must realize that many times, we need to do more. We must stay the course”

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    According to Ibukun Awosika (Chairman Firstbank Nigeria) “In life, you decide on those things that are important to you, because as a woman I have all my visions and dreams and I want to achieve them. I want to also be a successful mother to my children and I want to be a successful wife to my husband; once I am able to balance it up, it will make a successful home. All we need is understanding. And we need a balanced home to have the right atmosphere. I also apply wisdom most of the time because the day my children matter most to me, I create time for them. The day it is my husband that matters, I create the time. The same goes for my work. If not, everything will crumble and that is why I need to measure the percentage of attention I give to them and that is why I can’t advise another woman on how to run her family because it is your circumstances that determine your kind of action; my home is different from any other home. I am happy to be married to the best man.”

    READ: Women and unemployment in Nigeria: How government and stakeholders can bridge the gap

    Here are the 7 ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish:

    Having a supportive spouse is key to balance

    Having a supportive spouse is key to balancing your career and family because he will assist in the responsibilities of taking care of the family. Having a supportive spouse will enable you reach your career height. They go as far as being supportive of their pursuits to seek higher education thereby supporting them financially, morally, emotionally and otherwise.

    Though at times some when overwhelmed might grumble about a woman’s dedication to her job, however, as a woman the best way to resolve this concern is by being diplomatic. Nevertheless, when your spouse is being supportive, it is still imperative to give them top priority and also tend to their needs.

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    Planning and time management is crucial

    Good planning and time management are crucial to balancing career and family. A lot of people are faced with the challenges of taking care of their young children/ pursuing their careers. Some will plan it in a way that they will pursue postgraduate degrees or career advancement when their children are older.

    Also, when planning and managing time, figure out your family’s priorities. Have a calendar that includes dates when bills are due, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and more. It is always recommended to use a Google calendar, which can be easily shared and synced on smartphones. Set aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week. Also, have a time put in place to take care of yourself by going to a spa and exercising (like a yoga class). Remember to eat well and get enough rest. These are simple things a lot of working mothers/wives’ neglect.

    Be focus and work hard

    This is specifically true for women who want to compete for leadership positions and elevate higher in their careers. For you to get to that position you have to be focused and work so hard to avoid your gender being a hindrance to your success. There is often pressure from employers on women to convince them that their loyalties lie at work and not at home, since working mothers might not be able to afford to spend extra hours doing overtime or other work-related activities which can jeopardize their family. The best way to meet up with all the expectations is to be focused and work super hard. Multitasking will aid you to achieve your goals. Avoid time-wasting, casual internet browsing, gossiping, and long lunches. All these things cause distractions and make you less productive.

    Hire a good house help/nanny  

    When trying to balance a professional career with family, it is advisable to hire someone that will take care of your children. You may decide to employ a house help/nanny or even invite a family member, like your mother/mother-in-law to come around and take care of your kid(s).

    When hiring a help/nanny it is always imperative to do a background check of the person you are bringing inside your home so you wouldn’t end up creating a problem for yourself and for your family. Go for someone that has excellent experience and is adaptable to kids of various age range; caring for newborns and older children who need homework help.

    The house help could cover the necessary functions, such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, and taking care of the children while both parents are at work. It is imperative to show your house help love so they can reciprocate and take good care of your children when you are at work.

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    Find quality creche for you kids

    Using a Creche (for toddlers) is a good way of balancing your work and family for those that do not want to hire a nanny/house-help. There are some inexpensive schools you can enroll your kids, where they will receive proper care. Having them enroll in Creche will give you ample time to focus on your job and grow your career. You and your spouse can reshuffle on how you both can go for school runs. Choosing a Creche is not something you carelessly pick out and move on, the reason being that leaving your child in the care of others is a major act and needs your utmost attention. Before choosing a Creche it is important to take note of their services and leave room for evaluation to be sure they are in good hands.

    Go for online courses

    Getting an education is very important to a lot of women as it enables them to achieve higher leadership positions. Having a successful career has to do with furthering your education, whether through degrees or certifications.

    For this to be feasible, since you are trying to balance your career and that of your family, it is advisable to venture into online professional courses/online Master/PHD courses. Going into online courses will give you sufficient time to take care of your family and also aid in self-development which is a good ladder to enable you climb faster in your career.

    Create a family time

    Making time for your kids is crucial, both during the week and on the weekends, to nurture your family dynamic and allow everyone to bond. Always create family time, like having a family breakfast and family weekend. The family weekend covers going to the movies/amusement parks.  When you are having family time, avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Instead, focus on your kids’ interests by asking questions about their friends, classes, and hobbies. With older children, ask for their activity suggestions and try to meet their needs.


    Get relevant economic and financial data on Nairalytics

    In conclusion, being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to be focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood.

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    Career tips

    Great tips for landing a job during this lockdown

    The coronavirus pandemic has had its impact on job opportunities, but here are some tips for landing jobs.



    Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

    The economic lockdown and movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on job opportunities. Some of them could be in the form of job losses, getting new jobs, or even changing the way we work.

    Given the unemployment numbers especially in these challenging times, it might be hard not to be apprehensive.

    According to a report from Bloomberg, Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for personal finance website, said, “It’s important to remember that there is hiring happening. There’s always attrition and individuals leaving for other jobs.”

    Robin Ryan, a career counsellor, said that just a few unemployed people are job hunting at the moment. Most believe that there are no jobs, they can’t be hired, or that only lower-level jobs are available.

    Here are some tips for landing jobs during this lockdown.

    Beat the system: Make a list of your recent jobs and your top accomplishments at each of them. Those are the items that should be on your résumé. To get past automated applicant vetting systems, enter your work tasks—budgeting, project management, graphic design, team leadership, etc.—in the first bullet point under each job. Don’t include extraneous formatting, such as text boxes, tables, footers, or headers, because application software can’t recognize it.

    (READ MORE:Skills Africa needs for sustainable development)

    Assess your prospects: You have to find out if the opportunities in your industry are shrinking. According to Hamrick, “many people fail to see that their skills might apply to a variety of settings.” Consider some of the sectors that have stayed open in the lockdown—finance, real estate, food and other consumer goods, technology, and retail, plus suppliers and distributors for each. If that exercise doesn’t yield much, think about how your skills might help companies sharpen their online business. “There’s a need for people to help facilitate digital transformation,” Hamrick says.

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    Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

    Hit up recruiters (Recruiting agency firms): Let them help you with your resume and offer suggestions about things you might do to stand out.

    Use your resources: Companies are filling positions needed to support virtual workers as part of their pandemic strategies. Many company websites might not yet reflect these changes, so try popular online job search websites, type in a company and your city, and you’ll get a better sense of what kind of hiring is going on.

    Network: That friend-of-a-friend who previously ignored you. He’s home now and might be up for a quick Zoom coffee date. Connect with everyone you know in your field. (LinkedIn is good for this.). Those connections build on each other. You can ask mutual acquaintances to introduce you to people who can help and once that happens, you can fix a virtual coffee date. If that goes well, ask for an introduction to a hiring manager or supervisor. You’ve got nothing to lose.


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