An expert negotiator once told me, "Great negotiation skills come from conscious preparation and practice." While this is a fairly well-known fact, that advice came to me at the tender age of twelve from my grandfather who successfully ran his retail store for three decades.

For a long time I believed I knew everything I needed to know about negotiation. A year ago, however, in a business meeting with a graduate of a negotiation seminar in Denver, I realized that negotiation training is an ongoing process for every business person. If you're truly interested in excelling at business negotiation, then you have to get out there and meet, talk and practice with the experts in the field.

In addition to exposing you to the latest negotiation skills and techniques, negotiation seminars and workshops offer a great opportunity to network with other graduates who all have one common goal: to be among the best negotiators in their company and industry.

Regardless if you're a young professional just setting foot in the world of negotiation or a seasoned pro working as a lead negotiator at a top global multinational, negotiation training programs can throw up a wealth of insights and equip you with a bunch of useful skills that you just cannot ignore.

Attending negotiation seminars is great, but making the most of your learnings and experiences from them can be a challenge. Often delegates attend a seminar diligently, but then they fail to make use of what they’ve learnt.

Below I've earmarked a set of three guidelines that will be immensely helpful to anyone who wants to gainfully apply the methods and techniques they’ve learnt in a negotiation class.

By following these guidelines you’ll not only gain the most value from your negotiating seminar and workshop learnings, but you’ll develop a daunting negotiation strategy, one that you can use effectively to achieve your desired outcome.

1. Review and Revisit

When you return from a negotiation seminar or workshop, you’re often in awe of the whole training program; the illustrations, strategies, role plays, etc. But when you get back to your workplace, you feel less inspired to review the material and use the techniques that were shared with you. To keep yourself motivated and apply the techniques that you learnt on the negotiation course, create a series of helpful reminders.

A friend of mine uses a memento, an award that he won during one such negotiation workshop, to review and revisit the key ideas that were presented. Alternatively, you could thumb-tag on your workstation a standout contribution that you made during the workshop. Such reminders not only help you revisit what you learnt, but they work almost magically to motivate and inspire you to use what you learnt.

2. Practice, Practice, Practice!

We know that practice makes perfect. Yet we manage to avoid the single most important activity that can help you become a better negotiator. A daily routine, one that you've comfortably settled into, may be the biggest culprit here. Make a conscious effort to replace an unhelpful part of your daily routine, such as frequently checking emails, with a short, quick burst of role play activity that uses the strategies you learnt at the negotiating seminar.

If you don't have a colleague or friend who can serve as a role-playing partner, simply imagine yourself in a business negotiation setting and practice the methods and techniques you were taught. Most are cautious about deploying their newly acquired skills in a real-life negotiation setting until they’ve practicing first. Practicing your negotiation abilities before applying them in real life will give you the added confidence you need to succeed.

3. Teach, Share and Grow

We often feel that the knowledge we’ve gained belongs to us and that sharing it could mean giving away something important without getting anything in return. This couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is that the more you share your knowledge, the more it grows.

When you teach the negotiation tactics you've learnt, say at a negotiation seminar, it helps you reinforce what you've learnt. Set out about 15 minutes of your day for a few days after you attended the negotiation seminar to teach a friend, partner or colleague the concepts and strategies you learned there. Gradually, you’ll realize that you’ve internalized those concepts in your mind.

What's more, you’ll likely never go back to your old, ineffective habits. Another advantage of teaching negotiation strategy is that it helps you uncover gaps in your own learning. When you realize that you haven't fully understood a topic, you’ll reach out to get more clarity, and in doing so you’ll end up greatly expanding the scope of your negotiation skills.

Conclusion

When you took that first step to improve your negotiation skills by enrolling in a good negotiation course, you took a very wise decision. But unless you strive to make the most out of your time and investment, you will not be able to achieve your goal of becoming better at business negotiation. Use the three strategies listed above to reinforce the knowledge and skills you will acquire at your next negotiation training program.

Author's Bio: 

Md Rasel is a professional blogger.