By Hamza Waqar on November 14, 2023
2 minute read

The success of internal communication hinges on strong negotiation skills. It's a key component often overlooked in job descriptions for internal communicator roles. Today, we are not just pointing out the missing piece but understanding how mastering negotiation can really move the needle in our field.  

Interacting with colleagues and stakeholders, influencing decisions, creating trust, understanding audiences, strategizing difficult conversations and persuading people are all part of an internal communicator's day. Each of these tasks requires the ability to negotiate effectively. However, traditional negotiation methods may not always get the job done, primarily because they tend to overlook the undercurrent of successful negotiation - the psychology of communication. 

The Inner Workings of Negotiation 

Negotiation, in its simplest form, boils down to dialogue with the intent to reach an agreement. To comprehend this further, a peek into the playbooks of Chris Voss, a seasoned FBI hostage negotiator and bestselling author of "Never Split the Difference," is insightful. Voss propounds that the crux of effective negotiation hinges on a deep-seated understanding of human behavior and an acute ability to listen. His approach to negotiation is deeply rooted in "tactical empathy," a process that recognises and vocalises the perspectives of others to influence their decisions. Demonstrating this in your communication role will dramatically enhance your negotiations. 

Master of the Game: Tried and Tested Negotiation Techniques 

Voss’s book details three pivotal negotiation techniques that internal communicators can use in their day-to-day interactions. 

  • Mirroring: Reflect the last few words or thoughts shared by someone else. Doing so helps to keep the conversation flowing, fostering more sharing. In the process, you can create familiar grounds, building rapport and understanding of the person's thoughts and feelings. 
  • Labelling: Verbal observations, or labels, identify and validate emotions or concerns. They offer a route to defuse tense scenarios and to collaborate more effectively. Phrases that begin with "It seems like..." or "It appears that..." can make your colleagues feel heard and appreciated, fostering an environment of trust. 
  • The Accusation Audit: Defuse the negatives from the get-go. Address the potential criticisms the other person might have against you to prevent them from forming initial defense mechanisms. 

Employing Negotiation Skills in Your Internal Communication Role 

How can these techniques be beneficial in the role of an internal communicator? 

  • Negotiating Resources: The effective use of limited resources is a common challenge. Newly honed negotiation skills can assist you in securing much-needed resources for your initiatives. 
  • Building Relations: Prosperous internal communication relies heavily on trust. Using techniques like mirroring and labelling, you can nurture stronger relationships and foster a more productive, open environment. 
  • Conflict Resolution: Conflicts around messaging, content, or strategic direction haunt many internal communication leaders. With your new negotiation toolkit, you can better empathise with your stakeholders and align with their objectives, leading to a harmonized, productive work environment. 

At Sparrow Connected, we appreciate intricacies like negotiation skills that have a profound impact on internal communication. By integrating these tactics into your daily interactions, you can make a more significant impact, secure necessary resources for your initiatives, build trusting relationships and navigate through potential conflicts with ease. In the ever-evolving dynamics of corporate communication, such tools can be a game-changer. 

The book "Never Split the Difference" is an invaluable resource for anyone keen to delve deeper into the art of negotiation. We'd love to demonstrate how its principles relate to internal communication tools we have developed at Sparrow Connected. The novel strategies from this book, informed by real-life high-pressure negotiation scenarios, combined with Sparrow Connected's comprehensive communication tools, can give wings to your internal communication goals. 

Interested in exploring these techniques and distinguishing their impact on your internal communication framework? We encourage you to schedule a demo with us. Let's unfold this exciting journey together, demonstrating how Sparrow Connected's insight and strategies—augmented by market-leading negotiation techniques—can boost your internal communication prowess. 


What’s Next? 

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BLOG POST TAGS: Corporate Communications employee engagement Corporate Communication Negotiation Skills Conflict Resolution

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