The ability to successfully negotiate is a valuable skill for all to possess. It is then your responsibility, as a parent, to lay a foundation for your kids of negotiation essentials. The following guide will help enable you to begin intentionally teaching your kids how to negotiate:
1. Teach by Example
Your kids are learning from you the moment they are born and never really stop. The number one most effective way you can teach your kids negotiation skills is to let them see you negotiating. Take them along with you when you buy a car, let them overhear your conversation when negotiating with the cable company, and bring them to garage sales to let them see you practice the good ol’ fashion haggle. The point is to expose them to as many positive negotiation experiences as possible in their formative years.
2. Teach by Experience
Set-up situations where your kids have the chance to exercise their negotiation skills. For example, you may tell them that you will raise their allowance if they can tell you why it should be higher, what they will do for the increase in cash, and how they can assure you that they will follow through with their end of the bargain.
3. Teach Problem Solving
Much of negotiation involves working with others to find solutions that satisfy the interests of all parties involved. Give your kids a chance to work out differences between their siblings or friends on their own. Reward them for a job well done if they find a solution that doesn’t leave anyone in tears.
4. Teach Confidence
An essential trait of an expert negotiator is to be confident in his or her abilities. Praise your child for their successes in school, sports, and hobbies. Remember the first steps that your child took and how excited they got from all the positive attention? Depending on their age and attitude, they may not show their gratitude for your praise as obviously as they did when they were babies, but inside they are just as happy that they could please you.
5. Teach Resilience
We all make mistakes and failure is a part of the learning process. If we don’t even try, we will never succeed. To encourage your child to utilize their negotiation skills, however elemental they may be, show them that it is okay to make mistakes. The best way to do this is teaching by example. Instead of getting upset with yourself for doing something wrong, just laugh it off and hopefully they will learn to let things roll off their shoulders as well as you.