Brain Games: Understanding the Role of Emotions and Psychology in Negotiation - Body Language Secrets to Win More Negotiations - Greg Williams, Pat Iyer

Body Language Secrets to Win More Negotiations - Greg Williams, Pat Iyer (2016)

Chapter 5. Brain Games: Understanding the Role of Emotions and Psychology in Negotiation

Juan Martinez was in trouble. The rent was due on the gas station he leased. The falling price of gas was affecting his business. He operated his business with a very small profit margin; he was horrified to watch his profits steadily decline. Juan’s wife was pressuring him to buy a house in a safer but more expensive location. With no savings, Juan felt trapped between his landlord and his wife. He felt like a failure—less of a man—when his wife said, “If you can’t make more money from this business, maybe I will have to go to work.”

When Enrique, Juan’s landlord, called about the late rent payment, Juan felt the fear pervading his voice. “We have got to talk,” he told his landlord. Enrique smiled as he heard the fear in Juan’s voice. He thought, “How can I use this to my advantage?”

The combination of pressure from Juan’s wife and landlord made Juan think, “Now something else to deal with!” Juan was stressed by the conversation with his wife. Trying to negotiate under stress means you are at risk for missing nonverbal signals. What Juan should have done was instead say to Enrique, “I’d like to call you back a little bit later,” giving himself some time to reflect upon the situation as opposed to communicating in a state of fear.

Instead, Enrique concluded, “I’m in the driver’s seat,” and rightfully so. Enrique sensed that Juan was fearful and therefore more apt to do things more harmful to his negotiation position. Enrique figured, “I have more leverage.” He knew he could probably push a little harder if he chose to do so, using Juan’s fears to get him to capitulate.

Psychological Blocks

Fear is one of the strongest psychological blocks. Anger can function in the same way to block a negotiation. You’ve heard the expression, “I saw red.” This implies the person lost the ability to accurately perceive the stimuli with a narrowed field of vision. Disgust also acts as a block, as I shared in Chapter 2 on microexpressions.

Surprise happens to be a psychological block or enhancement that influences our ability to negotiate because a lot of people do not like surprises. When we’re surprised we have to go through the assessment as to whether or not a surprise is beneficial to us. Once we determine if the surprise is beneficial or detrimental to us, then we adopt a course of action. Surprise disables our ability to effectively negotiate.

These blocks influence your ability to negotiate. You will look at the other negotiator in a different light as a result of being fearful of what she may actually do to you. If you are angered by her actions, you may react in kind. Her intent may have been something completely different but because of the way you reacted you’re putting her into the same type of state that you are in. Then the negotiation starts to go astray. Be cognizant of your mental attitude and how that causes you to be influenced by mental blocks when you’re negotiating.

A Closer Look at Emotions

I have seen speakers placing a lot of importance on getting a speaking engagement. It is easy to fall into a trap of feeling desperate to book an engagement: “What do I need to do to get this gig? I’ll discount my fee, not insist on 50 percent of my fee up front, pay my own travel expenses … .” and they end up giving away too much. They have a psychological block fueled by fear.

Be aware of what you fear, why you fear it, and to what degree your assessment of it is accurate. Consider how you reacted in other situations in the past when you felt fearful during a negotiation. Is the current situation identical to the one in the past? How did you handle the prior negotiation? What did you learn from the situation? How can you apply that information? Once you make those assessments, at least you know why fear is there and how to deal with it.

Contempt for your opponent may act as a psychological block. Even before you enter into a negotiation you think to yourself, “I’m going to pull this person down a peg or two. He got the better of me in the last negotiation. Now it’s time for me to get even with him or at least let him know I’m not the chump he thought I was.” Contempt means you’ll react differently than if you had no psychological blocks to influence your negotiation style.

Sadness influences your ability to negotiate. You may feel besieged, depressed, or unhappy like Juan did as a result of talking to his wife before speaking to Enrique. Sadness puts you at a disadvantage because of what you’re focused on—your emotion rather than the negotiation.

Benefits of Addressing Blocks

Understand the source of blocks and how you need to address them before you enter into the negotiation and the benefits you can get from doing so. If you focus on the outcomes both you and the other negotiator are striving to achieve, you will influence your frame of mind. Determine what you might have to address in order to give the other negotiator what she needs to make her feel fulfilled and thus give you what you need from the negotiation. Psychological blocks may cause a quick deterioration in a negotiation.

Liam Donnelly entered a car dealership to buy a car for his mother. Despite his best efforts negotiating with Morris Bass, the salesman, he got nowhere. After he left the car dealership, he got a call from Morris the next day: “Please come back in.” Liam concluded they had gotten over that hurdle from the previous day and the discussion would go more smoothly when he returned to the dealership. That was Liam’s perspective; think of Liam’s frame of reference before he walked into the dealership.

To Liam’s surprise, when he got to the dealership he found Morris wanted to start the negotiation again from the beginning. Liam said, “No, that’s not where we were. I thought we had a deal, which is why I came back.” The mind-set Liam had and the discovery that he was being thwarted caused him to blow up. He screamed about the practices the dealership used and that he would never purchase a car from them. All activity in the dealership stopped as people listened to Liam’s voice. Liam’s loss of control stemmed from his block. Had he thought through the whole situation, he would have realized the origin of his block. If Liam could have controlled his emotions, he might have been able to negotiate a deal.

Self-Esteem and Ego as Blocks

We all have a picture of who we are. While we assume others see us in a certain way consistent with our own beliefs, that is not always the case. For example, the opponent may be a suspicious person who believes that all people lie in an effort to manipulate a deal. It is much more difficult to negotiate with such a person. After all, he does not share the value that I have of myself as an honest person. Look at this from a different angle. Suppose you don’t have the perspective your opponent is worthy of negotiating with you, meaning the person’s position is too low within the organization. You’re not going to negotiate with this individual in the same light as you would somebody else.

Let’s also take into consideration the fact that you think this person is out to get you. When you start a negotiation with that mind-set, it will influence the way you will interact with the person.You will not tend to be as open as you otherwise might be because you may believe you’ll be taken advantage of if you are open with your opponent. It is not surprising you will be leery or skeptical of offers that he might put on the table. Driven by self-protection, you will scrutinize offers for potential dangers and traps. You don’t trust the opponent. Trust is essential in a negotiation.

Awareness of Psychological State

When we are in a stressful situation or a stressful environment, we just don’t function as well as we otherwise could; we won’t look at things from the same perspective. We may overlook something that could prove to be beneficial to us simply because we are distracted by fear and doubt.

At the same time, we get pulled deeper into a negotiation process, to our detriment. In a dogged way, we continue a negotiation without the full ability to concentrate. Our preoccupation with fear may lead us to see dangers where none exist, to be suspicious, and to overreact. We focus on the negative instead of the positive.

If you’re not in the proper mind to negotiate, first of all, realize that’s not the time for you to negotiate. The pitfall of negotiating in that type of mind-set is you may be more likely to make concessions; you may say something or do something that you otherwise would not have done had you been in a different frame of mind.

What you do today influences tomorrow’s outcomes. You may be setting the seeds for future negativity when and if you ever negotiate with that individual or his associates. He might have said something negative about you, the way you negotiate, your personality, and so on.

For example, talking about the right mind-set, I had an inquiry from an organization to address a possible speaking engagement. I knew the person with whom I was talking had only one function: to gather information about the cost. I asked her questions such as, “Tell me exactly what it is that you’re seeking as the result of bringing somebody in to speak.” She clarified, “We want somebody to talk about body language.” I asked, “What outcome are you really seeking?” “So the people will know how to read body language better,” she replied. I responded, “In particular, what would you like them to know?” She admitted, “I’m not exactly sure.” I probed, “How long would you want the presentation to last?” She said, “I’m not sure.”

I inquired, “Can you please tell me your function in the organization and exactly how you came by my information?” “I did a search, found your information as a body language expert, and reached out to you,” she said. Still looking for more information, I responded, “What else are you seeking from the whole engagement?” She acknowledged, “I’m not really sure. I need to know how much you cost.”

A bit offended, I corrected her: “First of all, it’s not a cost. It’s an investment.” I asked her how many people would be in attendance, and she said 200 to 300 people who would be Realtors. I summarized, “Okay, 200 to 300 people. It’s not a cost, it’s an investment because to the degree they become a lot better at deciphering body language they can negotiate better. Speaking of which, to what degree would you want the presentation to encompass negotiation tactics or strategies?” Her response was, “I don’t know. I just need to know how much you cost.” Feeling a bit like I was spinning in a circle, I said, “As I said, it’s an investment.”

When I momentarily took a step back, I realized with whom I was dealing. I asked her the question that we all need to know when we’re negotiating: “Who else is involved in the decision-making process? Who will end up making the final decision?” She told me the CEO and the accounting VP.

She reemphasized she was just collecting data. “I can’t really quote an investment figure,” I told her, deliberately using the term investment figure because I did not want to be seen as a commodity. I’m not a commodity. I did that to differentiate myself. In a negotiation you always want to differentiate how what you’re offering is different from someone else. In so doing you disqualify others with the same type of services.

Her final statement was, “I don’t understand anything you said so I’m not going to go further.” I said, “Okay, fine. Thank you.” I then called the CEO of the organization. I left a voice-mail message describing my credentials and if he wanted to reach out to me he could do so.

After reflection about my demeanor, I called the assistant back the next day and said I wanted to apologize. “I place a high emphasis on always communicating efficiently with people. It is my intention to get along with as many people as I possibly can. That did not occur yesterday and I called just to apologize.” She said, “Thank you so much, Greg. You don’t have to apologize, because I was just trying to collect information and they really did not give me a lot to go on.” As we talked, I got additional information (that I already knew), but I made an ally inside of that organization whereby hopefully she will say, “I did reach him and by the way here’s the information I gained from him.”

Let’s think about how I used leverage in that case. I mentioned to her that I called the CEO. I said, “I called him because I know the training that I provide is not only of benefit, but I’ve gotten feedback to indicate that from Realtors.” Next, I asked her if she knew certain prominent individuals in the real estate field. When she admitted she did not, I knew her lack of knowledge about the industry confirmed she was just gathering information. In so doing I also gave her some insight as to how she could be better prepared if she did decide to gather more information.

Even though I was helping her, my assistance could be detrimental because I gave her names of people she might contact. But at least she knows that I was there to support her too. I closed that whole loop on being mindful of my demeanor and altering her perception of me and what initially took place.

The Medium for Negotiating

Consider how much information is conveyed through body language and voice. If I said to you “I love you,” you would listen to the tone of my voice. If I wrote the words, “I love you,” you get a feeling of what those words mean, but those words may have a different interpretation to you than they do to me. They may not convey the same intensity. You can gain more insight when you can hear the opponent’s voice. Speaking to a person sitting in the same room with you yields more information than if you talk on the phone. Negotiating via e-mail or letters provides even less useful data.

The medium in which you negotiate gives great impact to how your message will be perceived, but at times you want to use different mediums. Adroitly use the medium to enhance your negotiation strategies. For example, it may be quite useful to make a written offer to ensure your opponent understands the terms of the agreement. This negotiation sets a different tone than if the agreement was verbal. You might make a tentative offer in writing and someone says, “Wait a minute, that’s not what I understood we agreed to.” Now you are able to point to a document that defines the scope of the agreement.

A written agreement gives you another perspective when you’re talking to your opponents on the phone or in person. If they respond by preparing a letter that states, “That’s not what I understood,” you can clarify the details in writing, over the phone, or in person. Be mindful of what medium you use to communicate when you’re negotiating. If you want to pick up the nonverbal signals, do so by communicating via phone or in person.

Body language enables you to pick up the nuances that people use to convey their emotions based on their pace, words, and excitement—you won’t pick that up in writing. Understand what serves you best depending on what environment you’re in and what you’re trying to achieve with your communications.

For example, Attorney Kirk Wood called an engineering expert, Lorraine Nutting, and requested a report to be completed within eight days. Lorraine had worked for other attorneys in his firm, but she had never talked to him before. Kirk discussed the project, what was involved, and what he wanted. Lorraine took notes during the conversation, completed the project within eight days, and sent her invoice for the hours that exceeded the initial retainer. According to Lorraine’s fee agreement, the timing of the report production qualified as a rush job.

Kirk disputed the invoice because he claimed he did not request the work to be done in a rush. Lorraine pointed out that he signed a fee agreement that specified the job would be a rush and he paid a rush rate retainer. When Lorraine supplied a photocopy of her notes, which gave the due date eight days after the phone call, Kirk stopped disputing the rush rate request.

Kirk also claimed he asked Lorraine to limit the project and not do such a complete report. Lorraine had nothing in writing from the attorney and no notes that confirmed the attorney’s recollection. She had no recall of him making this request. There is a Chinese proverb: “The palest ink is better than the best memory.” In this case, a letter that confirmed Kirk’s expectations would have aided the collections negotiations. Had Lorraine and Kirk been negotiating via the medium of writing, they would have had a record of what Kirk wanted. It would have been difficult for him to wiggle out of that situation based on what he had written.

People honestly forget things sometimes. They have their own perspective and sometimes they’ll blend two different thoughts together that came from two different sources. The more they think about that situation, the more they rely on their idea of reality and thus they’re not lying. Their perspective is that this is exactly what happened. That becomes extremely difficult to deal with because the opponent has a different perspective of what was said, heard, and requested.

Lorraine gave Kirk exactly what she thought he wanted and needed. By not putting it in writing, both Lorraine and Kirk mistakenly believed they were in agreement about what Kirk wanted. In reality, nothing could have been further from the truth.

Suppose the same confusion occurred between friends. The strength of the relationship would encourage each to find a resolution. The friends value keeping their relationship intact. Kirk and Lorraine had no real intrinsic motivation to keep their relationship intact. Lorraine was at more of a disadvantage than Kirk was because her collection options were limited. She had already turned over her report. She could lower the price; she could ask him to pay what he thought was fair. She could write off her invoice and say she’d never do business with Kirk or his firm again. The point is Lorraine’s work would not be compensated at the rate that she should have received simply because she did not have the agreement in writing. Kirk ultimately paid Lorraine about two-thirds of what he owed her.

Avoiding Disputes Based on Memory

Here’s the step that should have occurred between Kirk and Lorraine; it’s a good lesson for anyone who is engaged in a negotiation. One of the things that you should always do is to make sure both parties are in agreement about the covenants of the negotiation. Lorraine might have given Kirk her notes before she started work, saying, “This is my understanding. Please confirm it’s yours.” Having Kirk’s endorsement of the plan would have averted the situation Lorraine faced.

Lorraine did not expect to encounter a collection issue with Kirk. Just because she had successfully dealt with other attorneys from the firm did not mean that Kirk would be like them. Be very mindful of your mind-set when you enter into a negotiation. Had Lorraine thought, “I’ve worked for this firm but not this attorney,” she would have recognized she was negotiating with different people. You can do the exact things you did with person number one, and you will get a different outcome when you repeat those strategies with person two. Every negotiation is different. This is true even if you’re negotiating with the same person based on that person’s psychological outlook and mental blocks about what occurred in between the negotiations.

Subliminal Messages

We send subliminal messages to people all day long. They are projected in the way we walk and dress, the possessions that we have, and the cars we drive. You can send a subliminal message to the other negotiator by the way you simply walk into the room. Do you project confidence or intimidation? What messages do you send when you gesture? Do you move your hands in a random way, or do you drive points home with a pointed finger or a closed fist? All of those variables send subliminal messages.

Effective use of subliminal messages enhances your negotiation. Recall Liam Donnelly’s reaction at the car dealership. One of the things he realized he could have done in addition to altering his demeanor was to set up Morris with subliminal messages. Liam could have said, “When I come back in we are going to reach a satisfactory deal. These will be the terms of the deal.”

The subliminal message was, “We’re going to reach a satisfactory deal.” Liam might have tested that premise. Had Liam used a subliminal messaging technique of letting Morris know they would have a successful deal, he could have elicited Morris’ perspective. Responding to the trigger words, “successful deal,” Morris would define the parameters of the agreement he would offer.

A negotiator might take a hard stance by saying, “If we can’t reach a deal in this manner, there’s no need for us to negotiate.” Instead, lead the negotiation by saying, “I know we can reach a successful agreement.” Then you state what a successful agreement means to you. Follow your description with a question: “Would you agree to that?” The opponent’s response gives you an opportunity to ask follow-up questions. This technique allows you to present a subliminal message without coming right out and saying, “This is what I need to do.”

Let’s talk about subliminal messaging in a different perspective. Subliminal messages may be used to set expectations from a positive perspective, but also from a negative perspective. Suppose you’re negotiating with someone who really needs the deal. You say, “If this deal doesn’t come together, I know there’s going to be a huge price to pay.” The subliminal message is if you don’t get this deal you’re the one who is going to be suffering. That’s a subliminal message, but you don’t want to necessarily push your opponent into a corner by letting her know that you recognize she needs the deal much more than do you.

This type of subliminal message allows your opponent to save face. Never put someone in a negotiation position whereby she can’t save face because she will use strategies, even in an unreasonable way, to maintain her reputation.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence means being acutely aware of how you react in certain situations, which triggers will elicit certain reactions both in you and your opponent. It can also encompass the mannerisms you display in a particular negotiation environment given the position you are trying to convey. Do you want to be perceived as being someone who’s easygoing versus hard-nosed?

When it comes to emotional intelligence, understand the role you wish to adopt and anticipate the one the other negotiator will adopt. Consider how you’re going to interact with the other negotiator so you can effectively use triggers to produce the results you are seeking. When you are effective in controlling your and your opponent’s emotions, you will become a more successful negotiator.

Fear’s Effects on Emotional Intelligence

I started this chapter describing Juan and his conversation with Enrique and the fear that Juan was experiencing due to his wife and landlord pressuring him. Fear hampers emotional intelligence because it hinders our ability to think properly. We lose our ability to rationally evaluate the realities we are facing. Fear increases stress and impairs your performance.

It may be to your advantage to invoke fear in your opponent. This technique adds to your strategies for manipulating the other negotiator into a position whereby he sees the value in making the concession that you are requesting. For example, you may discuss what he would lose if he did not agree to the deal. Fear of loss motivates him to do what you say he should do because you have conveyed to him it’s in his best interest.

When it comes to fear and emotional intelligence, be very mindful of how fear can influence your ability not only from an emotional intelligence perspective of negotiating efficiently, but at the same time how you can use fear on the other negotiator. Use fear to help him in performing to his best.

Juan was able to sense fear in his body as soon as he heard Enrique’s voice. With that awareness, rather than reveal his fear, Juan could have postponed the call instead of the way that he handled the situation. “Why am I feeling so fearful? What can I do to reduce my stress?” Juan might have asked. Stress can destroy a negotiation. It makes you less aware of nuances, of options, and of strategies you may use. Stress robbed Juan of his ability to effectively negotiate. Juan needed a time-out to regain his composure. Had Juan halted the conversation, he would have gained time to reflect on Enrique’s demeanor and what Juan needed to do to mollify him. “Yes, the rent is late. What might I be able to offer you in order to pacify you?”

Here’s something else that Juan could have done. He could have recognized that he was feeling the effects of the pressure from his wife and the landlord. It’s easier said than done to realize, “I’m carrying the weight of a prior situation into this one.” The more the simultaneous stresses build up and you try to carry those into another negotiation the less likely you are to negotiate efficiently. Inevitably, you are at risk for making concessions.

Look at negotiations from the positive perspective to the degree that you can. Learn from the outcome of them as opposed to berating yourself: “I was so stupid.” Instead, look at the positive aspects of your experiences. From an emotional intelligence perspective you will have buttressed up your fortification for future negotiations.

There’s no such thing as failure. There are just unexpected outcomes. I often say I never fail. “What do you mean?” I am asked. I say, “I never fail no matter what the outcome is because I extract the good that lies within the situation and take it as a learning experience to improve my future negotiations.” Staying positive aids your negotiation abilities. Complaining and negative behavior hampers performance and attracts more negativity.

Success Factors

Get the proper amount of rest before a negotiation. When you are tired you’re likely to make mistakes that you otherwise would not make.

Part of being able to negotiate at top levels is to eat well. Foods and beverages give you a level of energy. High levels of caffeine may make you jittery. Eating too much before a negotiation may make you feel sluggish and less agile when you need to be in a negotiation.

Psychological Success Factors

Consider how to use your emotional intelligence to recognize which triggers to use with your opponent. Anticipate which ones will be employed against you to activate hot buttons as I describe in the next chapter. Hot buttons cause you to react to certain messages or situations.

What might occur as you go throughout the negotiation process? In your planning stage, prepare for every scenario that you are able to anticipate; envision the difficult aspects of the negotiation. Ask someone to prepare you through role play. Have the person assume the role of the other negotiator and the negative situation you might find yourself in. Work out your strategy, then switch roles. You become the negative person who you might negotiate with; you see other aspects of how you might be able to maneuver before you actually negotiate with that person.

By doing the role play scenario I described, you will also be better prepared to take one action versus another if you find yourself in that situation. You have already gone through it in your mind’s eye. Psychologically, you’re prepared for it; you are not caught off guard. You have procedures that you’ve thought about to put in place using principles of psychology to become a much better negotiator.

Subliminal Messages at an Impasse

Earlier I described how to use subliminal messages to make subtle suggestions such as, “When we complete this successful negotiation we’ll both be happy with the outcome.” Subliminal messages are also effective when you reach an impasse. You’ve hit a wall or so you think. What I mean is just because you reach an impasse today does not mean you cannot get passed it tomorrow. As long as you keep the door open you can continue the negotiation. You never want to slam it shut or back that person into a corner by saying, “Take it or leave it!”

Instead, use a subliminal message such as, “It seems like right now we’re not going to be able to come to a suitable understanding. How about if we pick up this tomorrow, next week, or whatever timeframe and see if we can reach an admirable outcome at that time?” The subliminal messaging words “right now” implies that’s only for the moment and it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

So far I identified how to use subliminal messages with the other negotiator. As you become more attuned to subliminal messages, you may detect when the other negotiator is using them against you. As you’re going through the planning stage you try to think of everything that might occur in the negotiation. Part of that process also is to consider what type of subliminal messages the other negotiators might use on you. What type of information do they have about you to frame their own subliminal messages? What are your own hot buttons and how might the opponent hit them with subliminal messages?

For example, when I was a kid other kids made disparaging comments about their adversaries’ mothers. Kids sent subliminal messages just to start a fight at times with a child who was not smart enough to understand what was being done to him. Had the child been smart enough to understand the subliminal message that was being used, he could have denied the insult was not true and walked away from the situation. That’s one way you can combat subliminal messages being used against you.

Understand what and how subliminal messages are used. Prepare for them; be careful about being swayed by them. If it is not to your advantage, don’t give the response the other negotiator is seeking from you. Observe what he does based on your response. If he realizes subliminal messages aren’t working on you, he will then more than likely try a different subliminal message. Watch for that tactic and observe what he does if you don’t react the way he expects you to. This technique allows you to combat his subliminal messages.

You might be caught off guard as the result of your opponent using the subliminal message against you. Be as prepared as possible by getting the proper amount of rest, nutrients, and exercise.

I recall hearing the story of an elderly woman who was a plaintiff in a personal injury case. The attorney taking her deposition gave her pastries before the event started. He moved closer to her as he asked her questions, and did everything he could to ingratiate himself. Finally, as he nodded his head “yes” at her, he asked, “You don’t really remember what happened in this accident, do you?” Imitating his body language, she nodded “yes.” She was thoroughly convinced he was charming, and oblivious to the fact that her testimony had just ruined her case. At the end of the deposition, she turned to the attorney representing her and asked, “Why can’t you be as nice as him?” After that experience, her attorney warned all of his clients about the subliminal messages they would encounter in the deposition room.

When you are a prepared negotiator, you will recognize the opponent is trying to push your buttons. You will have the insight to be able to think, “I can’t do this. I have to be mindful of his strategies.” For example, your adversary says, “I know you want to conclude this deal today; that is important to you.” You might respond, “Oh no, I have all the time I need to reach a successful conclusion; I am in no hurry.” Catch your opponent off guard by responding in the opposite manner than he expects.

Psychology of Bundling

Take advantage of the psychology of bundling to reach an agreement. Here’s how this works. You have an offer the other negotiator likes, but he doesn’t like it well enough to enter into a final agreement with you. Instead, he says something like, “If you add these elements I can seal the deal.” You think, “No, that will make the deal unattractive to me. But I could offer him something else I’m prepared to surrender.”

Understanding Your Motivation

You may have heard the expression, “To thine own self be true.” Understand yourself and your values. Know why you do what you do and what influence others have on you. Consider how you influence others.

✵ What is it you want from others?

✵ Why do you connect with certain people versus others?

✵ What is it you are seeking as a result of doing so?

The more you understand how you are motivated and demotivated the more effectively you can interact. In any negotiation the first thought that any negotiator should have is, “How am I going to control myself in this negotiation?”

In Summary

Be mindful that brain games occur. Don’t get upset when your opponents try to put you into a position that is advantageous to them. After all, you’re negotiating. Everyone goes into a negotiation with the belief they will improve their position. Understand your opponent is trying to do the exact thing that you are trying to do.

Look for common ground to build trust. Think about what will occur if trust is broken and be prepared to deal with that too. Do you apologize to show you are trustworthy? If so, that becomes part of the process that you engage in. Always be mindful that fear plays a big role in a negotiation. To what degree can you use it to affect the negotiation?

Be aware of the impression you wish to create. Do you want to leave that person believing I’m no one to be trifled with or I’m someone who can be trusted or I’m someone who is kind? Or I’m someone who wants the best for both of us? Consider how you wish to leave the negotiation. In so doing, play your role as you’re entering into and engaging in the negotiation.