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Negotiate like a pro in English

In this blog post, I’ll tell you the essential language and vocabulary you need to negotiate like a pro in English

There are many types of negotiation in the professional world. These can be formal like getting a pay rise, closing a business partnership. Or they can be less formal, like resolving a disagreement, or deciding who sits where in the office.

For any of these situations, being able to negotiate fluently in English can give you a significant advantage in today's globalized business world. The ability to communicate effectively and persuasively in English can help you build stronger relationships with partners, secure better deals, and avoid costly misunderstandings.


  1. Types of professional negotiation

  2. Negotiation phrases

  3. Key Vocabulary list

Types of professional negotiation

Here are some different types of negotiation, with useful phrases to use.

Contract negotiations involve the discussion and agreement of terms and conditions for a contract between two parties. During this negotiation, both parties need to make sure that the terms and conditions are agreeable and that they fully understand what is expected of them.

Useful phrases

  • "Can we discuss the payment terms?"

  • "I would like to clarify the duration of the contract."

Salary negotiations should be familiar to most people. This is when you are trying to get a raise or when you have a job offer. This negotiation can be a delicate balance between expressing the value of your work and understanding your employer’s budget.

Useful phrases

"Based on my performance, I believe that a fair salary would be $...,"

"Can we discuss the possibility of additional benefits, such as Health insurance?"

Business deals and partnerships are when 2 businesses or 2 parties try to work together so that they both benefit. This could be a supplier to a client, or maybe a partnership. In this situation, it’s important to understand who will do what and when it will happen.

Useful phrases

"We're interested in exploring a partnership that benefits both parties,"

"Can we discuss the specific terms of the agreement?"

Conflict resolutions are when there has been a problem, this could be something small, for example an office argument. Or it could be something on a larger scale, for example a company poaching staff from a rival. Conflict resolutions are challenging, there’s usually anger and distrust and maybe both parties feel wronged.

Useful phrases

"I understand your concerns, and I believe that we can find a solution."

"Let's focus on finding a resolution that is fair for everyone involved."

Negotiation phrases

1. Key phrases and expressions:

  • "Let's begin by discussing..."

  • "I understand your concerns, however..."

  • "Can we find a compromise that works for both parties?"

  • "To summarize..."

2. Polite requests:

  • "Would it be possible to..."

  • "I would appreciate it if..."

  • "May I suggest that we..."

3. Persuasive phrases that trigger emotions

  • "This opportunity could bring tremendous benefits to both parties."

  • "Think about how this decision could positively impact our business."

  • "Let's work together to create a win-win situation."

Handling objections

  • "I understand your concerns, and I'd like to address them by..."

  • "While that may be true, let's also consider..."

  • "I see your point, but have you also considered..."

  • "Let's explore all possible solutions before making a final decision."

Key Vocabulary list

  1. Anchoring: A negotiation technique where one party sets a high or low starting point for the negotiation to influence the outcome.

  2. Arbitration: A process where a neutral third party makes a binding decision on a dispute after hearing both sides.

  3. Bargain: A negotiation where parties try to reach an agreement on a price or terms of a transaction.

  4. Bottom line: The most important or essential aspect of a negotiation, often related to a financial outcome or objective.

  5. Concession: A compromise or a gesture of good faith made by one party to another in order to reach an agreement.

  6. Consider: To think about something carefully before making a decision or forming an opinion.

  7. Compromise: An agreement reached between parties by making concessions on both sides.

  8. Counteroffer: A response to an offer made during a negotiation, which changes the terms or conditions of the original offer.

  9. Decision: A choice or selection made after careful consideration of options and consequences.

  10. Deadlock: A situation where no progress can be made because of a disagreement or a stalemate.

  11. Duration: The length of time something lasts or continues.

  12. Face-saving: A negotiation tactic where parties try to avoid losing face or appearing weak in front of others.

  13. Impasse: A situation where parties cannot reach an agreement or compromise.

  14. Mediation: The process of using a neutral third party to help facilitate a negotiation or a dispute resolution.

  15. Party: A group of people or an individual involved in a negotiation or a dispute.

  16. Win-win: An outcome where both parties benefit from the negotiation.

Negotiating like a pro in English is an essential skill for success in international business. As an English learner, it is crucial to master the language and vocabulary necessary for professional negotiations, such as contract negotiations, salary negotiations, business deals, and conflict resolution. By being able to communicate clearly and effectively during negotiations, you can strengthen your business relationships and ultimately be more professionally successful. With practice and the right mindset, you can develop the skills to negotiate like a pro in English and succeed in the global business world.

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