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Is negotiating a hard or soft skill?

Negotiation is all about finding a win-win solution to a problem, settling a disagreement or closing a deal. Every person should have some knowledge and skills required to negotiate skillfully. But, is negotiation a hard or soft skill? In this post, we’ll discuss this question in depth.

What is a Hard Skill?

Hard skills are specific, quantifiable, and teachable abilities that provide knowledge to perform a particular job. These skills are the abilities that are learned through formal education, training, and experience. Hard skills have a specific beginning and end to their learning curve, and it is easy to measure someone’s proficiency in these skills. Examples of hard skills include coding, computer programming, math, writing, editing, and accounting.

What is a Soft Skill?

A soft skill is a characteristic that helps an individual interact effectively with others. These skills are usually intangible and are not imparted through formal education or training. They are skills that are learned on the job, through experience and practice. Soft skills are mainly personality traits and habits that influence an individual’s communication, work, and social behaviors. Some examples of soft skills are communication, adaptability, problem-solving, creativity, leadership, and empathy.

Is Negotiation a Hard or Soft Skill?

Negotiation skills are a blend of both soft and hard skills. Negotiation involves dealing with people, so it requires substantial communication skills. Effective negotiation skills also require analytical skills and the ability to understand data and information.

Negotiation is mainly a soft skill because it is based on behaviors, personalities, and emotional intelligence. Negotiation is about building relationships and finding a common ground of understanding. Soft skills are essential throughout the negotiation process, from holding a discussion, listening to feedback and interpreting information to gaining commitments and agreeing on a strategy.

At the same time, negotiation is also a hard skill as it involves a structured process with specific techniques and methodologies, including preparation, planning, and strategy. A negotiator should be skilled in researching, data analysis, and recognizing great deals to develop a strong position and persuasive arguments.

Importance of Contracting and Negotiation Skills

Effective negotiators must have a strong set of contracting and negotiation skills to manage problems, address conflicts, negotiate deals and be able to reach an agreement that benefits both parties. Here are some reasons why negotiation and contracting skills are essential in the business world:

1. Increases your company’s ROI.

Strong negotiation skills help your company grow, by adding value to your bottom line and increasing your company’s ROI. Negotiation can help you get better deals when sourcing products, securing deals, or even negotiating salaries and benefits.

2. Helps to build a stronger business relationship.

Effective negotiating requires building robust business relationships by finding common ground and seeking ways to strengthen partnerships. Strong negotiation can clarify expectations and manage the risks and uncertainties that accompany particular agreements while also helping to establish partnerships in the long term.

3. Negotiation Helps to Resolve Conflicts.

Negotiation is a powerful tool for resolving conflicts between individuals or groups. When conflict is apparent, effective negotiations become critical to both parties to reach a win-win situation.

4. Helps in decision making.

The negotiation process is useful in assisting companies and individuals in making informed decisions. By analyzing the advantages and disadvantages and considering different viewpoints in the negotiation process, they can better understand the outcomes and commit to them.


Negotiation is both a soft and hard skill. Although soft skills like communication, adaptability, problem-solving, creativity, leadership, and empathy are essential throughout the negotiation process, a solid understanding of research, data analysis and the ability to recognize a great deal are crucial skills that effective negotiators must have. Nowadays, negotiation and contracting skills are more critical than ever to succeed in the business world.


What type of skill is negotiation?

Negotiation is a valuable skill that can be developed and refined over time. It involves two or more parties communicating with the aim of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. Negotiation should always be win-win, where agreements are created by taking care of the interests of both the sides.

Negotiation requires a variety of skills, including interpersonal skills, communication skills, as well as problem solving skills. Interpersonal skills are essential because negotiation often involves people who have differences, different goals, and different personalities. The ability to build trust and rapport with the other party is crucial to create a positive atmosphere.

Communication skills are also important in negotiation. Both parties must communicate clearly and effectively to ensure that they fully understand each other’s needs and concerns. It is essential to listen actively and respond appropriately to the other party’s message. Good communication also involves being able to read body language and understand nonverbal cues.

In addition, problem-solving skills are essential in negotiation. If two parties are at odds, then they need to find creative solutions to help them reach an agreement. This often requires brainstorming and considering different options. It helps if both parties are willing to think outside of the box to find a solution that works well for all.

Negotiation is a complex skill that requires a combination of interpersonal skills, communication skills, and problem-solving skills. It is a valuable skill to have in many settings, including business, politics, and personal relationships. By developing and refining these skills, individuals can become more effective negotiators and increase their chances of reaching win-win agreements.

Is negotiation a skill or talent?

Negotiation is an essential part of our personal and professional lives, and it’s often regarded as a critical skill that can make a big difference in achieving our goals. However, there is some debate over whether negotiation is a skill or a talent.

Some people might argue that negotiation skills are purely innate, and some individuals are just naturally better at it than others. They believe that some people are born with certain characteristics that make them excellent negotiators, such as being assertive, persuasive, and quick thinkers.

On the other hand, many experts argue that negotiation is a skill that can be learned, developed, and improved over time. They argue that while some people might have a natural aptitude for negotiation, anyone can become a better negotiator by learning certain techniques and strategies.

Research has also shown that negotiation skills can be improved through training and practice. There are numerous courses, workshops, and resources available to help people develop and enhance their negotiation skills. Studies have also suggested that people’s ability to negotiate effectively can be improved through experience, reflection, and feedback.

Moreover, successful negotiators usually possess specific skills, such as the ability to listen actively, identify the other party’s interests and needs, and collaborate to find mutually beneficial solutions. These skills are not necessarily innate, but can be honed with training, practice, and reflection.

Negotiation is primarily a skill that can be learned and improved with time, practice, and experience. While some people may have a natural talent for this skill, anyone can develop effective negotiation skills through a range of available options such as courses, books, workshops, and practice opportunities. So, if you’re struggling with negotiation, don’t despair, with the right training and a bit of determination, anyone can become a skilled negotiator.

How do you put negotiation skills on a resume?

When it comes to creating an effective resume, one thing you’ll want to highlight is your negotiation skills. Negotiation skills are crucial in any job, as they help you build strong relationships, resolve conflicts, and navigate difficult situations. But just listing “negotiation skills” on your resume won’t be enough – you’ll need to provide specific examples of how you’ve used these skills to achieve results in your professional life. Here are some tips for putting negotiation skills on your resume:

1. Check the job description: Before you start crafting your resume, take a close look at the job description for the position you’re applying for. Look for examples of the kind of negotiation skills the job requires, such as “ability to negotiate complex contracts” or “experience negotiating with clients.” These keywords will give you a clue as to how to tailor your resume to the specific job.

2. Think of specific accomplishments: Once you have a good sense of what kind of negotiation skills the job requires, think about specific times when you’ve demonstrated those skills in a professional setting. For example, you may have successfully negotiated a raise or promotion with your boss, resolved a difficult conflict with a coworker, or closed a major deal with a client. These accomplishments will help to show potential employers that you not only have negotiation skills, but that you know how to put them into action.

3. Use bullet points: As you write your resume, make sure to use bullet points to highlight your negotiation skills and accomplishments. Be sure to use concrete language and specific details to help potential employers understand the scope of your accomplishments. For example, instead of saying “negotiated a contract,” say “negotiated a $1 million contract with a major client.”

4. Quantify results: Whenever possible, try to quantify the results of your negotiations. For example, you may have negotiated a lower price for your company’s supplies, saving the company thousands of dollars per year. Numbers like these can help to show potential employers the tangible benefits of your negotiation skills.

Putting negotiation skills on your resume requires a combination of attention to detail, specificity, and careful wording. By following these tips, you’ll be able to showcase your negotiation skills in a way that helps you stand out from the competition.