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Emotional intelligence.

How do the best people negotiate?

The art of negotiation through emotional intelligence is, without a doubt, one of the most useful skills that exist.

And not only for lawyers, executives, or for any business professional; but for any citizen who, at one time or another, could be involved in any situation where it is necessary to close a deal (renting a house, granting a loan or buying a vehicle, etc.).

And it is curious that “negotiation techniques” is a totally forgotten field that is hardly taught in the Universities of our country.

In this article, we are going to approach in a simple and clear way, which are its keys, and which tools are used by the great negotiators and lawyers at the time of closing the best possible agreement in their own interest or in the interest of their clients.

Most important tools for negotiation.

Negotiating, like any other skill required of a good professional, requires intense preparation.


Fernando Aguilar Vijande

Fernando Aguilar Vijande
Abogado - Attorney

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 + 34 630849627

Court Law, litigation and arbitration. 
Transactions and private law
Investments and  financial markets
Banking and mortgage law

It is not just a “natural talent”. Although there are certain people who are born with this type of intrinsic skills more developed (we are talking about emotional psychology or the talent of knowing how to empathize with each interlocutor), we must know that, before entering into a negotiation (whatever it may be) it is essential that we prepare ourselves deeply. That we study our position and that of the other party, and that we pre-fabricate what the experts call: “the List”.

And what is “the List”? Emotional Intelligence.

The “List” is a simple tool that we have to complete and work on before (and during) the meeting or the negotiation process. It acknowledges, in order of importance, both our needs and the needs of the opposite party. As well as our (possible) concessions and the possible concessions of the opposite party.

Each lawyer has his own method of drawing up such a list. It can be more complete or simpler, but it is important that it is well prepared before sitting down to negotiate. In fact, during its preparation, we will realize aspects and connotations initially not contemplated that will enrich the transaction with benefits for both parties.

An example of this “List” could be the following:                       blog-lariostreslegal

Pincha el Link: [Ejemplo de Lista de negociación simple.]

How should we draw up our List?

Endless treatises could be written on this subject, so we are going to try to compile a summary of the most important keys to take into account when undertaking any type of negotiation in a synthetic and summarized manner for obvious reasons of space.

The most important keys to negotiate could be summarized in the following main points:Emotional Intelligence.

Active listening.

Listen, listen and listen. Give it your full attention. Concentrate on the counterpart. Let him/her talk and take careful notes. Find out what they need and what moves them. Try to put yourself in their situation. Are they in a hurry or urgent? Keep this in mind, you are going to use it to your advantage.Emotional Intelligence.

Study them carefully.

What does he/she really want? Put yourself in their shoes, what are their interests, what are their priorities, what are the things I don’t mind giving them that they are interested in? Update the list with each interaction he/she makes.

Include these conclusions in your list.

Use the list. Once you have seen their needs, exchange what the other person values the most, for what we value the least, in order to make progress in our favor. What is important to one may not be so important to the other. Let’s identify it and take advantage of those moments to compromise.

Set your bottom line before you start. And write it down.

Keep it in front of you and write it down in the negotiation. This way you will remember it when you get “bidding fever” and emotions make you give in to bidding more than he/she wanted/could. So that you will not regret later having closed the deal at that price.

Always make the first proposal.Emotional Intelligence.

This must always be higher than your acceptance limit.

So that there is room for negotiation and compromise on both sides.

Never accept their first price/proposal.

It doesn’t matter how good or attractive it looks. You can improve it further. But be careful not to break the balance. When you leave the agreement both of you must be satisfied, otherwise he will not want to negotiate with you again and you will turn a long-term relationship into a one-way street. You will generate a negative business reputation, and you will be labeled as an abusive profile. It’s about winning, not humiliating.

Demand to know the reason for their proposals and asnwers.

They set a price or position… Why? They ask you for a discount Why?

It is essential to know the reason for their proposal to see if their position is reasonable or if they are asking for an increase “just to try” as a bluff. So that you can then undercut them through pressure or parallel concessions. It is necessary to know if it is a motivated proposal or a simple “bluff”. The why is the key to justifying the best possible proposal.

Never say “no.”

If it’s clear to you that you can’t accept, don’t say “no”. Ask for a condition that you know he/she will not be able to fulfill. In this way you invest the responsibility of the “no” in the other person, who will never be able to reproach you. Since your answer was always, “YES… but with this condition…”.

“Yes, I will fly … as long as you walk on water.”

If they make an out-of-orbit proposal, we have to set an out-of-orbit price. Emotional Intelligence.

Nothing comes for free.

Do not give without any consideration. Always ask for something in return, however small it may be. Even if you give something you don’t care much about. Ask for it. In this way you educate your counterpart in future transactions or concessions. And you make it clear that you are neither “wolf” nor “sheep”. You are an assertive partner. Reasonable. You only look for the most mutually beneficial balance for both parties. The best possible negotiation.

Avoid the “Cro-Magnon”. Get them/yourself away from the “Cro-Magnon”.

To always maintain OBJECTIVITY. Don’t let your natural instincts, your ego, or your complexes affect the central object of the negotiation. Remain cool and objective at all times. And if you notice that you are getting “overheated”, ask for time. He/she is called a “coffee-pause”.

Go to the bathroom, take a breath, adjust your list and come back with a clear mind. Hot” emotions are your biggest enemy.

Do not convince.

To convince is not to negotiate. We should not try to convince (which comes from the “ego”) but to compromise. That is to say, to satisfy mutual needs.

Of course, these are only some of the techniques that have been compiled, according to the best negotiators and lawyers in recent history.

It is important to work on them, train them, and add any other negotiation techniques that we think may be useful.

And remember that, just like you, your counterparts will continue to train and improve, so we should never let our guard down in learning and skill. The counterpart’s laziness can be very useful when you have prepared your “List” well. So your effectiveness will grow exponentially the more negotiations you close in your career.

As in everything, experience does not add up, experience multiplies.

Start practicing today.Emotional Intelligence.


More information on negotiation techniques in the magnificent book: “Negociar es fácil, si sabe cómo” (Negotiating is easy, if you know how) Author: Alejandro Hernández – Editorial Alienta 2011.

Images: IG: @lariostreslegal

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