Why Doubt Is A Good Thing For Negotiators To Have

Don't believe everything that you hear during a negotiation
Don’t believe everything that you hear during a negotiation
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As human beings, we are naturally inclined to believe what other people tell us. That’s how we make it through a day and that’s how we are able to get things done. Then there are negotiations. The other side of the table wants something from us and we can’t always be certain that they are telling us the whole truth. When should we believe them, and when should we have some doubt?

The Truth About Facts

Often times during a negotiation, the other side will try many different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to convince you that they are right and you are wrong. There are a number of different ways to go about doing this; however, presenting facts and stats is one of the most common methods.

The first thing that you always need to keep in mind is that any facts or statistics that the other side of the table decides to present to you are being used for one self-serving reason: to support their position. What this means is that you can never just accept them as being accurate.

Instead, what you are going to have to do when such facts and stats are presented is to be doubtful. Be skeptical and make sure that you ask a lot of questions about where they came from and who generated them. Keep in mind that all too often, things are not as they appear to be.

Always Doubt A Deadlock

Doubt can play a big role in many different parts of a negotiation. One place that it can be found is when a deadlock appears to be looming. As you start to anticipate that a deadlock might happen, you can be flooded with doubt and start to become anxious or even lose confidence in yourself.

This is the wrong type of doubt to be having. Instead, you should start to doubt that this deadlock is going to derail your negotiations. There are a number of different ways that you can get your negotiations once again heading in the right direction.

You need to get rid of the doubt by looking for solutions to the negotiations that will produce a win-win outcome for both sides of the table. If you are able to find these types of solutions, then the negotiations will stay on track and you’ll eventually be able to reach a deal.

What All Of This Means For You

Doubt can take on many different forms during a principled negotiation. The damaging type of doubt is the one where you start to doubt your negotiating position or you start to doubt that you’re going to be able to reach a deal. You need to ignore these types of doubts.

The doubts that you can put to work for you include doubting any facts or statistics that the other side presents in order to bolster their negotiating position or doubting that the negotiation is going to end in a deadlock.

As negotiators we need to understand that we live in a world that we have created. If we use doubt to push back against the other side’s attempts to shape our view of the world or to derail the negotiations, then we’ll be staying in control. The one thing that you never want to do is to doubt that you’ll be able to reach a great deal with the other side of the table!

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

Question For You: When the other side presents facts and statistics, should you call for a break in negotiations in order to study what has been presented?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

When you enter the world of professional negotiations, there are some basic skills that you need to pick up. However, those skills don’t cover all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that you are going to need in order to be successful. Among the additional skills that you’ll need are the following two tactics.