Don’t Let Your Shortcomings Affect Your Next Negotiation

Shortcomings can limit the type of deal that you can reach in your negotiation
Shortcomings can limit the type of deal that you can reach in your negotiation

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I’m not perfect – are you? I’m willing to bet that you are willing to admit that, like me, you are not perfect. However, when we know that we are not perfect a most peculiar thing seems to happen: we try to ignore it. It turns out that this is a big mistake and when you combine it with all of the negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that are used during a negotiation, it can have a dramatic impact on the types of deals that we can reach.

What To Do About Your Shortcomings

The first step in dealing with what you don’t do well is to admit that you are not perfect. You need to know where there are gaps in your negotiating skills. It may turn out that you are not good with numbers or that you don’t do a good job of reading long documents quickly.

We all have these flaws. Don’t get too worked up about them. Make sure that you know what you don’t do well. Once this is known, your next step is to do something about what you don’t do well.

The correct action to take is to make sure that the next time that you go into a negotiation, you show up with a solution for what you don’t do well. This could be as simple as remembering to bring a calculator (which you then have no shame in using) or you bring a person whom you know is good with numbers. Perhaps when the other side is pressing you to read and sign a big document you tell them that your boss will have to review it and buy yourself some time by scheduling another time for the meeting to continue.

How Many People Handle Their Shortcomings

As annoying as it is for us to have things that we don’t do well, the good news here is that the other side of the table is dealing with the very same issues. However, like most of us they probably don’t want to admit their failings and are willing to suffer through what they don’t do well because they are unwilling to admit that they are not perfect.

For you, this is great news. For you see once you understand what the other side does not do well, you can use this to your advantage during the negotiation. You can exploit their weaknesses to your benefit.

You might feel that this is not fair. You might even be right about that. However, you need to realize that it is up to the other side to realize that they don’t do everything perfectly and to take actions to compensate for where they come up short. If they chose not to do this, then you need to accept their decision and make the most of it.

What All Of This Means For You

We all have shortcomings. When it comes time to participate in a principled negotiation, we need to be aware of our shortcomings and not ignore them. Instead, we need to face them head on and take steps to deal with them.

When you enter a negotiation take care to make sure that you’ve come up with a plan for dealing with your shortcomings. Bring the extra resources that you need to overcome your shortcomings. Take the time to learn what the other side’s shortcomings are. Once you know what they are, you can take advantage of them because they probably don’t know about them.

Shortcomings are a part of life. However, because we know that that they impact how we negotiate, we can take steps to limit their impact on the type of deals that we are able to create. Since the other side of the table may not be as aware of their limitations, you should be able to minimize your weakness and maximize theirs!

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

Question For You: Do you think that talking with others on your team would be a good way to find out what your shortcomings are?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Did you know that I’m perfect? Well, ok, so I’m not really perfect. However, I’d be willing to bet that you are not perfect either. What this means for both of us is that during our next negotiation despite all of the clever negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that we’ve been using, there is a very good chance that we are going to make one or more mistakes. It’s what we do when we realize that we’ve made a mistake that really counts.