You have read about negotiations. You have been in negotiations. You have a good idea how they work. You may consider yourself a good negotiator, an average negotiator or a poor negotiator. You may really like negotiations or you may prefer not to participate in negotiations, but no matter what you understand key elements of negotiation. You have practiced techniques. Are you are prepared? Have you researched the other party beforehand on social media? Are you ready to work on developing a a very good to potentially a great relationship?. You believe you are ready to actively listen before beginning to educate the other party. You are looking for a win-win negotiation so that you can create value. With all that as background here are three other items for you to consider to step up your game.
Reframe the situation
What? What is that? The first step is to de-escalate yourself. Calm yourself down. If before you give a presentation or enter into a negotiation and you are not nervous, you should be. You better check and see if you might be overconfident going in. It is quite normal to feel nervous. How you deal with that nervousness is important. Reframe your state of mind. Reframe that nervous energy into positive energy. We can do this. Rechannel this energy into thinking of this as a real opportunity. By being proactive and positive this will help you focus this nervous energy. By doing so you will convert that nervous energy into an asset rather than a liability.
Listen, listen, listen and shut up
This is advice from a very experienced professional. I asked him if I could borrow this phrase. Silence is a very useful technique. If you are quick to judgment and ready to go with your next commentary don’t. Give their commentary a chance to sink in. Slow down. If you need to count to 10. Give your mind and the others in the room time to think and to offer their ideas. You may actually learn something unexpected by keeping your mouth shut. If you find yourself beginning to become angry, this is the time to focus on de-escalation of yourself with breathing techniques. Take a few deep breaths. Concentrate on not allowing yourself to become angry. If the other side presents an unbelievably poor alternative your silence says wonders about what you think about that offer.
Ask for advice
Really? Yes! One of the greatest ways to show respect for the other party is to reach out to them and ask for help. In a recent negotiation I was involved with a client attorney we said to the other side that we can not simply offer their position to the ultimate client. There is no strong rationale to go forward with their offer. In essence we told the other side that we needed them to help us frame such an argument for the ultimate client. This actually helped the other side to feel an element of partnership with us. As they presented their commentary, we presented how we thought the ultimate client would respond. This proved very helpful to the other side as we were able to present a rationale that convinced the other side they needed to make additional concessions to help us convince our ultimate client. By approaching this situation this way we were able to work on this collaboratively and show the other party where there were short comings in their proposal. This helped them modify their proposal.
These three tools of reframe the situation, listen, and ask for advice are three additional tools to add to your negotiation tool box that may very well come in handy for you in the future.