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5 Ways to Develop Self-Confidence in Negotiations

By |March 13, 2023

The world’s best negotiators never buckle under pressure. Instead, they’re calm, cool, and collected when they sit down at the table—and that’s because they’re incredibly confident during every negotiation.

In high-stakes negotiations, it’s critical to project confidence because appearance and perception are everything. Unfortunately, in a world in which 85 percent of people suffer from low self-esteem, this is easier said than done for many of us.

If you want to develop self-confidence in negotiations, you’ve come to the right place. Master these five tactics and make it rain.

1. Learn the skills.

When a carpenter has all the tools they need to renovate a client’s kitchen, the job is easy. Take away saws, wrenches, hammers, and levels, and they can’t do their best work or anything resembling it.

The same holds true in the world of negotiation. If you sit down at the table with a full tool belt, it’s easier to project confidence and do your best work. By mastering The Black Swan Group’s core skills, you’ll be better prepared for any scenario you might encounter.

To start, study the Quick 2+1™, which is a simple exercise that involves Labels™, Mirrors™, and Dynamic Silence™. Once you’re confident with those skills, move over to No-Oriented Questions™ and the Accusation Audit®

2. Eat your C.A.V.I.AA.R™. 

Confidence during any negotiation starts with preparation. After all, none of us rise to the occasion; we all fall to our highest level of preparation. 

An easy way to be prepared is by familiarizing yourself with the C.A.V.I.AA.R™ framework, which involves:

  • Curiosity: Stay curious during the conversation! 
  • Acceptance: Accept that you will be attacked during the negotiation.
  • Venting: Vent beforehand to clear your mind.
  • Identifying: Identify the negotiator type you’re up against.
  • Accusation Audit: Use an Accusation Audit.
  • Remember: Remember that the other side is not your enemy.

When you commit this framework to memory, confidence comes naturally.

3. Listen at a higher level.

At the end of the day, everyone wants to feel understood. To understand your counterpart, you need to listen to not only the words they say but also what they’re not saying.

Unfortunately, most people are terrible listeners. By consciously practicing active listening and trying to understand where the other side is coming from, you can set yourself apart from other negotiators and connect with your counterpart on a deeper level. This should help you become more confident and achieve better outcomes.

Discover the easiest way to build self-confidence and close more deals.

4. Release positive endorphins.

If you look on the sidelines of any sporting event, you’ll see athletes pumping themselves up by jumping up and down and bumping into their teammates. These actions release positive endorphins, putting athletes in a positive mindset before the game starts.

Apply this same concept to your next negotiation to increase your confidence. Do stretches and deep breathing exercises to release endorphins and function more effectively.

5. Use skills without fear.

Some clients hesitate to use our skills because they’re afraid they will get something wrong and come across as uninformed or unprofessional.

But the first Law of Negotiation Gravity™ teaches us that the urge to correct is irresistible. If you Label something incorrectly, for example, the other side will let you know immediately—and you can still gather more information. 

Use the skills without fear next time you enter a negotiation, and great things will happen.

Learn more about developing self-confidence in negotiations.

Incorporating these five tactics into your repertoire should help you become more confident when you sit down at the table. However, there are endless ways you can increase your self-confidence and achieve better outcomes. 


eBook Cover for Negotiation Training: How to Build Self-Confidence