Do you need a permit during a negotiation?

Do you need a permit during a negotiation?
Image Credit: Joanna Paterson

As negotiators, we tend to spend our time thinking about what we are going to want to accomplish during our next negotiation. We’ll think about the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we are going to use, how the other side might react, etc. However, one of the things that we generally don’t spend any time thinking about is the very thing that we should be thinking about: just exactly what are we going to be permitted to do during the negotiation?

Persistence Is Acceptable

Deep down we all want to be liked by the people that we come into contact with. When we are engaged in a negotiation, this desire to be liked does not go away. That’s why we can shy away from interacting with the other side in the same way over and over again. However, it turns out that that is exactly what we need to be doing.

What this all comes down to is how you feel about your positions on the issues that are being negotiated. If you believe that you are right – that the other side would truly benefit if they accepted your proposal, then you need to be persistent. You need to make the same pitch to the other side over and over again. Eventually they will start to see just how committed you are to the ideas that you have presented and they will start to accept them.

You Can Keep Your Mouth Shut

When someone asks you a question, your gut instinct is to respond to them. However, it turns out that you don’t actually have to do this. Instead, the next time that the other side asks you something, don’t respond to them. Instead, let there be silence. What you will see start to happen is that the other side is going to become uncomfortable with the silence.

When this happens, they are going to feel forced to speak up. They will probably restate the question that they have already asked you and provide further elaboration and include more information. As negotiators we know that will allow you to learn more about what they want to get out of the negotiations. This is clearly a big advantage for you. Additionally, by remaining quiet you provide yourself with more time to think about what you want your next move in the negotiation is going to be.

You Can Say The Same Thing Over And Over Again

During a negotiation we want the other side to understand that we truly believe in the proposals that we have presented them with. What this means for us is that we need to come up with a way to clearly communicate to them that we believe in what we are telling them. One simple and easy way to go about doing this is to start to say the same thing over and over again.

There may be many reasons why you start to repeat yourself. One of the most classic is that you simply have run out of things to say to the other side. When this happens you can simply say what you have already said. By saying the same thing over and over, there is the possibility that you may start to impress the other side with your level of commitment to your proposals. This might be just what you happen to need in order to get the other side to commit to doing a deal with you.

What All Of This Means For You

During a principled negotiation, the other side is going to have expectations of us. For that matter, we may have expectations of ourselves also. However, one of the most important things that we may not have spent enough time thinking about is what we will be permitted to do during the negotiation. If we want to be successful, then this is something that we’re going to have to work out.

We need to understand that we can be a pest during the negotiation. This means that we can be very, very persistent in what we are trying to accomplish. By doing this we can show the other side just how committed we are to our proposals. Silence is a tool that we have on our side. When the other side asks us a question, we don’t have to say anything. By not answering, we’ll generally get the other side to ask the question again and provide more information. We also have the right to sound like a broken record. We can say the same things over and over again. When we do this, we may impress the other side with our proposals and get them to agree to them.

In order to accomplish what we’d like to get out of our next negotiation, we need to make sure that we fully understand what is permitted. We then need to make use of all of the actions that we will be allowed to use. By doing this we can speed things up and just maybe we’ll be able to secure the deal that we want!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: If we decided to remain silent when we are asked a question, how long do you think that we can remain silent before things start to get a bit too strange?

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P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I think that it’s pretty safe to say that when we enter into a negotiation, we all have a fairly good idea of where we’d like to end up. However, the trick is finding out how to use our negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to get from where we are to where we want to be. That’s why it may not come as all that much of a surprise to you to discover that where you choose to start things out in a negotiation can have a very big impact on where things end up.

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What Rights Do You Have As A Negotiator?

by drjim on June 29, 2018

What are your rights as a negotiator?

What are your rights as a negotiator?
Image Credit: cobaltstatic Follow

As negotiators, we end up putting up with a lot during a negotiation. We know that no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we are using, we often make mistakes during a negotiation and all too often we end up punishing ourselves for the things that we think that we could have done better. No matter if it’s an answer to a question that we didn’t have or when you wanted to say something, but the words just got away from you. It turns out that making these mistakes is ok because you do have a bill of rights. There is a set of things that it’s ok for you to do during any negotiation.

You Can Be Wrong

If you think that you always have to be right all the time, then that can be a real burden on you. The good news is that it turns out that you really don’t have to be 100% correct all the time. You can be wrong some of the time. In fact, the other side of the table probably expects you to be wrong some of the time. It’s knowing what you should do when you discover that you were wrong that is the key.

If you make a mistake and tell the other side something that turns out to be incorrect, what you need to do is to own your mistake. You need to pick up the phone, call the other side, tell them that you made a mistake, and then provide them with the correct information. By doing this you will raise your standing in their eyes because they will be impressed that you owned up to your own mistake. After this happens, don’t spend any more time thinking about it – just move on.

You Can Be Indecisive

Many novice negotiators believe that every time that they open their mouth, they need to say something that will very clearly move the negotiations forward. It turns out that once again, this is not the case. We’d all like to think about ourselves as being sharp business people who always know what we want. We’d like to have the ability to fire off correct decisions within seconds of being asked a question. However, it turns out that once again we really don’t have to be able to do this.

Instead, we have permission during a negotiation to be indecisive. This can show up in a number of different ways. We can put off decisions until later on. We are allowed to hem and haw as we struggle with decisions. You always have the right to say “I don’t know”. This can be a powerful tactic that you use to wear the other side down to a point where they’ll agree to just about anything just to avoid hearing you say “I don’t know” one more time!

You Can Ask Questions With No Answers

When we are involved in a negotiation, a great deal of the information that we’d like to have is in the brains of the other side of the table. What we’d like more than anything else in the world would be to get them to answer some key questions for us about what they want from the negotiations and how they plan on going about getting it. Now, in all honesty, they really should never answer questions like these because it would give too much information away to us.

However, this is where things start to get interesting. It never hurts to ask the other side questions that you know that they should never answer. The reason that we do this is because, every once in a while, they actually do answer one of these questions. When that happens then all of a sudden we end up with a great deal more information about how they are going to approach this negotiation than we had at the start of the negotiations. This is truly a case where you don’t have anything to lose so why not go ahead and ask the other side questions that you don’t think that they’ll answer.

What All Of This Means For You

It turns out that as negotiators we don’t just have to be knocked around by every principled negotiation that we participate in. We do have rights as a negotiator. However, you need to know what your rights are so that you can know where to draw the line in a negotiation.

The first thing that you need to realize is that it is ok for you to be wrong sometimes. When this happens, you just need to own it, pick up the phone and call the other side. Admit that you were wrong, get it corrected, and then move on. You also have the right to be indecisive. As much as we would all like to be very determined about everything, sometimes it can play into our hands to hesitate, be indecisive, and say “I don’t’ know”. We are also allowed to ask the other side questions that we know that they really should never answer. Everyone once-in-a-while they may surprise us and answer one of these questions. This can provide us with a great deal of information.

Knowing that you have a bill of rights can make the task of negotiating that much easier. You don’t always have to be right about everything all the time. Just knowing that this is ok can take a great deal of the stress of a negotiation off of your shoulders. The next time that you negotiate, go in with a good knowledge of just exactly what your bill of rights is!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: When you discover that you were wrong, how quickly do you think that you have to let the other side know about your mistake?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As negotiators, we tend to spend our time thinking about what we are going to want to accomplish during our next negotiation. We’ll think about the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we are going to use, how the other side might react, etc. However, one of the things that we generally don’t spend any time thinking about is the very thing that we should be thinking about: just exactly what are we going to be permitted to do during the negotiation?

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