As we go about daily life we negotiate with family members, business associates, and strangers in all sorts of situations. Some of us embrace these challenges, while others may run in the other direction. The verb negotiating means to confer with another, so as to arrive at the settlement of some matter. More often than not, in a stressful negotiation we are so wrapped up in our own head, that we are clueless to the other person’s thoughts, feelings and emotions. We are not listening to the needs of the other person. We are focused on what we are going to say next, to be cleverer than the other person, and get our way.
Listening is an active skill just like yoga, balancing the subtle behaviors of emotional intelligence and the assertive skills of influence, to gain access to the mind of another person. What we’re really talking about is applied people smarts, having the psychological edge in all domains for daily living. How to size someone up, influence their sizing up of you, and utilizing that knowledge to get what you want. The art of negotiations is quite simple, people want to be understood and accepted. The fastest way to resolving a challenging situation is to sit back and listen. Here are four tips to enhance your negotiation muscles:
- Don’t make assumptions going into the negotiations, slow the process down and smile.
- Mirror the other person, speak in the same speech pattern, tone and tempo of voice, while mimicking their body language. To let the mirror work be silent for at least four seconds, repeat this process.
- Live for a few moments in the other person’s reality, the world they live in. Repeat that person’s perspective back to them, this skill is called labeling. Identify what scares the other person or is their negative, this will help to alleviate the fear or negative. When repeating start with; it seems like, it sounds like, it looks like.
- Get the person to say “No” verses “Yes,” believe it or not, no starts a negotiation. Typically, people say yes, to make the other person go away! Saying no makes people feel comfortable, it sets up temporary oasis of control.
Remember all negotiations are defined by a network of concealed desires and needs. Don’t be fooled by the surface conversations. Once you discover the hidden factors you understand what is potentially holding the negotiations up. Funny but true, people will take more risk to avoid loss than to realize gain. It is important for you to get your counterpart to see there is something to lose by inaction. This all sounds so simple, try these skills and see how you can better navigate through daily challenges with your children, spouse, friends, co-workers, or business associates. Trust me what you discover will be enlightening.