Human resources department is considered to be occupied with individuals that are expected to be people persons. They listen to employees’ problems, solve conflicts, and take strategically designed steps in the favor of their organisation.

Well, this sounds perfectly obvious and do not force us to raise an eyebrow. But, how do they do it? They must have studied the tactics in their MBA programme. True, but one skill that no school teaches is the art of negotiation.

I told the same introduction to one of my curious friends and below is the excerpt of his more curious reply.

Wait, what? HR professionals don't negotiate. Their work is strictly restricted to employee management and taking care of hiring talented candidates. In fact, people negotiate only in their daily lives. For example, negotiating with the shopkeeper over a dime or two, and teenagers do it for their night outs.

He then went ahead and showed me the graphical representation of his answer. The comic is quite interesting, though.

If you do see a point in my friend’s argument then you should specifically pay attention to this definition that gives an accurate explanation of what negotiation means in a corporate world.

Negotiation is a communication skill between two or more parties, which is used to reach to a particular understanding, resolves the point of differences, and to gain mutual benefits for an individual or groups.

As you can see it clearly from the definition that negotiation seems to be one of the most important facets of day to day business activities.

But, what kind of negotiations do they perform?

Don't search into your books. I've covered it here only.

Some examples are; solving labor disputes, negotiating salaries and raises, solving employee conflicts, hiring a talented workforce, dealing with litigious and bad employees, making outsourcing decision, efforts to bring in new management, etc.

These are just some of the examples where negotiation takes a prime role. Now, you can easily sense the importance of this very skill in human resources.

I think it is the right time to introduce the other aspect of the discussion which I specifically created for HR professionals - “What should the HR managers do to have a successful negotiation round?”

There are, in fact, many essential prerequisites for HR managers before they jump right into the field of negotiation.

Think clearly of success and outcome

This is one of the most important activities that an HR manager must perform before diving into the pool of negotiation. Define your success that you could achieve by talking the other party out from the conversation. A well-planned metrics and goals will surely help you out in the middle of the tough conversation.

Give an alternate direction to your thoughts

What would I do if I were on the other side of the conversation? You should definitely ask this questions to yourself. In fact, it is advisable to go in the introspect mode and you'll be surprised to know that the how much useful data you could gather to defend your own point. This is the brilliant tactic used by many skilled negotiators.

Atleast, this guy is in the deep thought.

Build a rapport and take away the surprise factor

A confident speaker always has a chance to stay in lead in a negotiation round. But, it comes with one condition. Your confidence shouldn't come as a surprise to the other party. If someone that you are about to negotiate with is well versed with your personality then make sure he thinks of you as a sturdy and a soul full of confidence. This way the other individual will treat you accordingly, and believe it or not, expect you to take the lead in a conversation.