"How To Avoid Danger From Being A Strong Negotiator" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Some negotiators emit weakness when they’re negotiating. There’s danger in doing that. Other negotiators exude strength. There’s danger in that, too. A successful negotiator knows how to project power while avoiding the threat of being perceived as overbearing, stubborn, or unrelenting. They also know when to appear robust and when to appear weak.

The following are ways that you can be a strong negotiator while avoiding danger and becoming more successful in your negotiations.

First, be mindful of the negotiator type with whom you’re negotiating. Some negotiators will view you as an opponent or adversary, while others will see you as an advisor or friend. It’s essential to identify and know the different characteristics displayed by negotiators. That’ll determine how you’ll negotiate with them.

Adversary Versus Advisor:

If a negotiator perceives you as too overbearing, he may become obstinate. When you appear weak, some negotiators will take advantage of you. So, you must know when to adopt the right persona. You can determine that by how the other negotiator sees you versus how you wish him to view you.

When dealing with someone that notes you as an adversary, his mindset is, he’s in a rigorous engagement, and there’s only one winner, him. With this type of negotiator, stand your ground. Challenge him before making concessions. Make him earn what he receives. That will enhance the respect he has for you and your abilities.

When viewed as an advisor or friend, display a demeanor of agreeability. You want this negotiator type to feel at ease with you. Create a climate whereby ideas are free to be exchanged. That will encourage that person to be more amenable to your offers, thoughts, and ideas. Also, he won’t feel threatened when you propose something that may appear to be out-of-bounds.

Advisory Role:

When projecting strength or weakness, know when to switch roles. Displaying the advisor role (e.g., I’d like to gather a little more information so I can best determine how I might meet your request), is an excellent way to break the frame. It’ll allow you to morph from a position of weakness to strength or vice versa. Be sure to change your demeanor when doing so. Do that by adjusting your body language to meet the new image that you project.

As an example, if you’re acting the role of a competent person and you switch to a weaker one, sit smaller in your chair. Do that by slouching, and drawing your body closer to itself as though you were afraid.

To project an image of strength, expand the space you’re occupying. Accomplish that by increasing the size of your body, and making big gestures when you speak. You can also move your objects further away. You want to occupy more space to appear more confident. That nonverbal gesture states that you feel comfortable and unafraid of anything in the environment.

You can also use inflections in your voice to cast the appropriate demeanor. Do that by placing a stronger or weaker inference on the words that are most important to you. That will add value to your persona.

Conclusion:

Like everything in life – the more you know about the environment you’ll be in and the people in it, the better prepared you can be for what might occur. Knowing how to move back and forth stealthfully, from a forceful negotiator image to one less dynamic, will allow you to have more influence over the negotiation. Plus, you won’t have to worry about being perceived as an ogre when you adopt a more rigorous personality. That will keep the negotiation wolves away from your door, those that would seek retribution for you being too strong against them… 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]or.com

"Avoid Danger In Negotiations – How To Control Conversations Better" – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Two agents were working undercover as they discussed an update with their informant. They were seated in a recessed area in an attempt to keep their conversation private and to avoid danger. They wanted to control the environment as much as possible. Suddenly, a panhandler walked over and aggressively began to ask for money. One agent said pleasantly, no. But the person persisted by asking, why not? The agent said, no, again. Still, the person continued their plea for money. Finally, the agent growled as he said in a loud voice, I said no! Stunned, the beggar turned and quickly walked away.

Potential danger always surrounds you, even during negotiations (you’re always negotiating). In some cases, you avoid it by staying outside of its bounds. At other times, you prevent it by the way you control conversations in an environment.

When the agents turned their attention back to their update, the informant asked, did you think that person was dangerous? The agent said, no. That beggar didn’t accept my answer the first few times. So, I had to alter the delivery of my words. By changing the tone of my reply and sounding more hostile, the panhandler sensed my, no, response as being more definitive. That’s why he walked away at that point.

Consider the following techniques to increase your control as you negotiate with those that might attempt to be defiant or with those that you’d like to control better.

  • Block and Bridge

Block and bridge is one way to alter the flow of a conversation. You’d implement its use as a conversation began to head in an unwanted direction – one that you feared would cause you to lose control of the discussion or interaction. You might also consider employing it when you wanted to enhance the flow of a conversation.

To invoke its use, when someone began making statements that you disagreed with, or citing accounts not aligned with where you wanted to take the conversation, block their comments. As an example, you can say, you have a point (block), and the outcome was less than expected (bridge). I suggest we take the following approach. It’s known to have better results.

The manner you block someone’s comments depends on the severity of the situation. If it’s one that might escalate to a high degree of irritation, you might consider blocking the other person’s statements with a harsh tone and words. If that’s not required, consider being milder in your intonation and demeanor.

  • Answering Questions With Questions

Answering questions with questions is an excellent way to gather more information than you give. It also allows you to control a conversation. Because the person asking questions is controlling the flow of the discussion. And that occurs as long as the other party is answering questions.

To implement this strategy, ask a question in response to one that’s asked of you. Do this instead of answering the initial query. Thus, instead of providing an answer to that question, you’d respond with one of your own.

As an example, if someone says, do I have to take this course of action? Your response might be, what do you think will happen if you don’t take this course of action? You’ve not answered the question. And if you get a response, you’ve gained more insight into the individual’s thoughts. Along with a possible solution to a situation if you choose to implement that person’s response.

  • Listening To What’s Not Said

Many people consider themselves good communicators because they pay attention to what someone says. In reality, you can be a better communicator and control conversations better by observing what’s someone doesn’t say.

As an example, if someone said, I didn’t do what you said I did. You might consider a person’s answer to mean, I didn’t do what you said I did. Yes, I did it, but not the way you stated it.

By listening for what’s not said, and the response of how something’s said, you’ll gain better insight and control of someone’s statements. You’ll also know more about how that person is communicating. And that will be worth its weight in gold.

Reflection

In every environment, and every negotiation you’re in, think about how you’ll control that environment. In particular, consider how you’ll avoid dangerous situations, what form of control you’ll use, and where that might take you in your encounter. Because the better you control conversations, the more power and control you’ll have in every negotiation and situation that you’re in… 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]