"Negotiate More Effectively By Knowing How To Act Better" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Do you plan how you’ll #act when you #negotiate? What #role do you decide you’ll play? Knowing the right role to display will allow you to negotiate better. Although you can’t predict every circumstance that you’ll encounter in a negotiation, the better prepared you are, the better your act will be.

Your act:

Everyone plays a role during a negotiation. And, your role should align with how you wish the other negotiator to perceive you; that’s your act. You should not view it as bad or inauthentic; it’s an act. If it’s misaligned, you run the risk of weakening your position. As an example, you shouldn’t become a bully if you’ve been playing the role of someone that’s helpful. That would be a misalignment.

Consider the following and keep in mind that you can morph from one act to another. Just be sure there’s an easily perceived reason for doing so.

  • Nonchalant

You can adopt this act to project a ‘no-care’ attitude (i.e. if it happens, fine – if it doesn’t, fine). You might employ this demeanor when you wish to confuse the other negotiator about your real interest in what he’s offering. Make sure not to become unmasked by being too deep into the role. Because a fleeting offer may disappear before you can shift acts.

  • Defiant

“I won’t accept that offer under any circumstances!” Be cautious when adopting this act. It can leave you in a position that’s difficult to retreat from. While this can be a good tactic, if it’s overused and you must concede, you’ll be weaker throughout the rest of the negotiation.

To combat the perception of being in a weaker position, consider feigning momentary hopelessness. It’ll lend credence to your act. But you must attempt to regain your defiant act, be it from a less entrenched position, to regain your position. You’ll only be able to use the hopelessness ploy once, twice if you’re overly convincing. So, be mindful of how and when you employ it. If you do so too early in the negotiation, you’ll lessen its effect later. If you do it too late, you’ll bring additional scrutiny upon your act.

  • Helpful

Most people like helping people. It’s a characteristic that’s pleasing. It’s also a characteristic that some people despise. Thus, you must know when to be a helpful actor and when to drop the act.

Dominant negotiators, the bullying type, tend not to want help. They already know what’s good for the negotiation. From their perspective, your insights will only hinder the process.

Invoke the helpful act with collaborative negotiator types. They seek input to promote win-win negotiation outcomes. To better effect this act, consider when you’ll lead and when you’ll follow. To follow, ask the other negotiator for her opinion. Then, build on it. To lead, present a non-threatening offer and ask your collaborator what she thinks of it. Build on what she says.

  • Dominant

Most people don’t like to be dominated; it places too many restrictions on them. Nevertheless, acting dominantly versus someone that’s savvy and in control can have its benefits. The difference lies in whether you’re perceived as being overbearing, strong-willed, or just knowledgeable. To effect this act, attune yourself to the other negotiator’s perception. There can be hidden value in this role. Knowing how and when to uncover that value makes it more valuable.

The stage you’re in, in the negotiation, should direct how you act. Like a good director, if you time your actions appropriately, your actions will be more believable. That will lead to more winning negotiation outcomes… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

"Avoid Bias Mistakes – How To Negotiate Better" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Negotiator #1 – “I knew they’d back out of the deal. All of them negotiate like that.”

Negotiator #2 – “As I was negotiating with those guys, I knew I’d have to back out of the deal. They never negotiate fairly.”

In the above situation, neither negotiator was aware of their bias. The absence of that mindfulness brought unrecognized pressures on the negotiation. Each negotiator made mistakes because of it. It was also the reason the negotiation fell apart. Are you aware of your biases when you negotiate?

To negotiate better, note when you might possess the following bias mindset.

Cognitive:

  • These are biases that you’re aware of. They can easily slip your mind when you negotiate. It’s like breathing, automatic. The potential danger arises when you negotiate in an automatic mode and having this bias unknowingly directing your actions. To address it, be aware of what you’re aware of. Don’t shrug off a thought too lightly because you think you’ve addressed it. The more aware you are of how you feel, the better you’ll be at identifying why you feel a certain way.

Unconscious:

  • To be unconscious of anything is to be unaware of it. In a negotiation, when you’re unaware of a driving force, unconscious biases may be the source. To combat this possibility, note the source of your emotional sensations. Identify if you’re fearful, elated, expectant, or cautious. Then, note if it stems from a visual, kinesthetic, or auditory source. Doing that will sensitize your emotions to your state of mind. That will alert you to the realities of what’s motivating your action.

Culture:

  • It can be risky to lump everyone from the same culture into the same category. People are individuals with their own perspective of reality. The more you view someone as an individual, the greater the chance to see that person for the unique qualities they possess. Negotiating with them on that bases will enhance the opportunity to connect with them at their level. That will lead to better understandings about why they negotiate in a particular manner, while you help them obtain what they seek from the negotiation.

Bullying:

  • Some people bully others and some are just tough. Based on what you’ve experienced in life, you may deem someone a bully when negotiating. The person may just be a tough negotiator. There’s a difference in those personality types. Be very cautious about how you brand someone when negotiating. Because, the way you brand them will affect the way you view them, their actions, and the way you negotiate with them.

Confirmation:

  • We see what we expect to see. That affects our perception. Realize that your perception of reality won’t always be right. That should cause you to pause when you think, “I know he’s like ‘x’. Everyone in his group is just like that.” When making broad assumptions, be aware that anything which seemingly supports your beliefs may serve as confirmation about those beliefs. The truth may lie further from reality than you think. Don’t conflate like-appearing assumptions that should be thought separators.

The more you’re aware of the biases you carry into a negotiation, the less mental baggage you’ll have. Being aware of that fact and heightening it in the negotiation should lead you to greater negotiation outcomes… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

"7 Micro-Expressions You Need To Know – Negotiate Better" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

A pale expression held his face. Holy ‘blank’ was the four-letter word obscenity he uttered. We’re in a full-blown crisis! Dumbfounded, he said, what are we going to do now? We have to negotiate with them! His associate said, let’s meet with our adversaries. We can read their micro-expressions during the meeting to gain insight into their real thoughts and feelings. That’ll allow us to know what’s really on their minds.

Do you know how to read micro-expressions? Do you know what they are? Continue reading, and you’ll be able to answer both of those questions. Plus, you’ll discover how you can use them when you’re in a crisis.

Micro-expressions:

Micro-expressions are emotional displays that last for less than a quarter of a second. They reflect the reality of someone’s thoughts at that moment. Hence, if you’re able to interpret someone’s emotional displays accurately, you’ll have insight into their current emotional state. Doing that will give you insight into how they feel about an offer or statement. During a crisis, having this insight gives you real-time information about the direction you should take.

There are seven micro-expressions generic to everyone throughout the world.

  • Fear – When detecting genuine fear, look for raised eyebrows, widened eyes, and parted lips with the bottom lip protruding downward.
  • Anger – Anger is denoted by lowered eyebrows and flaring nostrils reminiscent of a bull before charging.
  • Disgust – This micro-expression is displayed by the upper lip turned up, while the nose is wrinkled.
  • Surprise – You’ll recognize surprise through raised eyebrows, wide eyes, and open mouth.
  • Contempt – This gesture appears as a sneer. You’ll note it by one corner of the mouth turned upward.
  • Sadness – Note sadness through drooping eyelids and downturned lips. A change in voice inflection and tonality may also accompany genuine sorrow.
  • Happiness – Happiness is shown through wide-eyes with crow’s feet or wrinkles at their corners, a smile, and raised cheeks. A degree of exuberance may also accompany this gesture.

Using Micro-expressions In Crisis Intervention:

Knowing someone’s real thoughts allows you to understand their source of motivation – and that’s the benefit of being able to read someone’s expressions.

During a crisis, use the unannounced information you’ve gathered and assess how strong the opposition is. From there, determine the degree of mental or real force to summon. Another plus is the ability to evaluate the commitment that those on the opposing side have to one another. Accordingly, if you can identify those with less alliance, you may be able to separate them from the others. Therefore, you’d be weakening their numerical strength, which may assist in decreasing their overall power.

Once you’ve gathered the mentioned insights, consider different ways to use them to your benefit. As an example, you might:

  • create false scenarios to confuse the other party per the direction they should take
  • align some of your stronger positions with their weaker ones (do this to keep their stronger points at bay) – then you can state that you’re trying your best to meet their needs
  • form a splinter group, consisting of those from your side, theirs, and neutral stakeholders to combat the overall strength of the opposing party – this maneuver is akin to divide and conquer, with the benefit of your team becoming stronger, while their’s become diluted.

Feigning Micro-expressions:

While genuine micro-expressions give insight into one’s mind, you can fake them. As an example, you can exaggerate contempt by turning one corner of your lip up and allowing it to linger longer than a micro-expression. Even if the other person didn’t initially observe your expression, you could ask if he saw what you’d done. Regardless, you’ll have him on the defense by asking questions and him answering them.

Confront With Caution:

There’s nothing more daunting than sizing up an adversary and not identifying its true leader. That means you must be hyper-aware of who your real opponent is and the decision-making abilities they have. You’ve heard about the power behind the throne. Even more so during a crisis, that’s who you want to confront. Your rivals may have a shared leadership structure or using a front-person as the face of their team. They’d do that to confuse you.

To identify a power source, observe who might look at whom for confirmation before making or accepting an offer. You can also detect subtle signals per the hesitation in committing that act. That’s where your observance of micro-expressions will lend assistance in identifying a person fronting as one possessing power.

Reflection:

Being able to identify and interpret micro-expressions accurately will give you an enormous advantage in any situation. During a crisis, having this skill will magnify your power exponentially. So, if you use this ability wisely, you’ll deter and avert more crises… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at [email protected]