Category – Psychology
Reading time – 5 minutes
Whenever a baby is born, everyone wants this baby to cry. That’s all right. They need to learn to cry, before they can earn their laughs. Who wants to be at a place; where everyday is pelted with difficult negotiations.
Negotiations mean, a mutual discussion in an effort to reach an agreement, which both parties find appropriate.
Humans are partially illogical. You got to negotiate with a lots of them daily.
Every life is a series of negotiations. Every day is string of negotiations to get a better place in resource limited biosphere.
So guys, it is of utmost importance that we know what’s up with this negotiations thing.
Neither you can stand there like a banana tree, nor you can punch people in faces. You got to be diplomatic, when it comes to dealing with breathing people.
So, let’s discuss some basics of negotiations.
Disclaimer – These might not work with your wife, but they may help you to tackle little less complicated situations.
Things to be kept in mind –
1. People are irrational. They work at emotional level, especially in difficult situations.
2. People want to be understood.
3. People want to be in control of the situation.
4. Seperate people from the situation. People are not the problem. Situation is.
5. People want things to be fair according to their own definition.
6. Keep your voice as calm as possible to keep emotions under control, so that brain can work.
Now let’s dig deeper.
Dont shout or exchange names or open your lid, kept on adrenaline and cortisol. Try to control tone of your voice. Take pauses. Be slow. Don’t overexplain. Try to listen.
It can be done, if you seperate yourself and person from the situation and see situation as the problem.
It takes yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Those are difficult things.
Then what is the next thing that you need to do.
Once you control your primal instincts and get hold of your emotions.
Then listen complaints and try to make out meaning of demands.
Then comes your next two big tools.
1. Tactical empathy –
It means understanding their position. Labelling it. Telling in calm voice, whatever you could understand about their situation. Vocalising it. Without judging at this point.
Like saying to an angry customer that,” I understand your discomfort”. “If I was in your situation, I will feel the same.”
It calms the person in front and gives them feeling of control. ( Which they crave for)
2. Open end questions –
Ask a question that leaves opportunity for multiple possible answers from the person in front. Ask it and then throw a pause.
Let the person in front complete it or answer it.
This will give person in front, a feeling of control. It will give them chance to vocalise their concern. And it may bring out facts, which may help you in finding a solution.
Sometimes, even repeating what the person in front has said; followed by a tactical pause, can bring out a lot of facts about the reason why that person is upset.
After you have stopped surge of anger with tactical empathy and found more facts by open ended questions, then keep that voice calm like Morgan freeman and try to reach a solution which is win -win for both parties.
These are time tested skills practised by best real world negotiators. So they are going to be useful in normal life scenarios.
Things that help.
1. Instead of saying No, ask open ended question starting with how.
Like if you don’t want your rent to increase. Ask, “How I am going to afford this increased rent?” Throw a pause and hence make this problem, a problem of the landowner.
He has to tell this solution, how you can afford or tell alternative possible solutions. Saying, ‘No’ would not lead to any such results.
2. Watch your body language. 50% of the message is conveyed by your body language. Show concern about opposite party.
3. Give surprise gifts or non monetary benefits in a business deal.
4. Don’t fear,’ No ‘. No is starting point of a negotiation. Welcome a, ‘No’ from opposite party and start negotiations from new set point.
5. Create deadlines or urgency. Like limited time deals. Limited time offers.
So these are few good things that will always help you in difficult talks.
And don’t mind if you fail sometimes. Afterall failing is all too human.
Inspiration – Never split the difference by Chris Voss
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