8 Ingredients For Baking A Delicious Negotiation

by drjim on November 4, 2008

The Results Of A Negotiation Depend On The Ingredients That You Use

The Results Of A Negotiation Depend On The Ingredients That You Use

And who wouldn’t want to bake a delicious negotiation as long as they are going to go through the effort of conducting a negotiation anyway? In order for any negotiation to turn out successfully, YOU have a job to do. Specifically, you need to find ways to build trust, rapport, and satisfaction in the mind sitting across from you at the negotiating table. Got any thoughts on how best to do that?

Just in case you are still stuck on that old “I’ve got to WIN this negotiation” mentality, how about if we have a quick talk with our old friend George Ross who is Donald Trump’s lead negotiator and ask him how best to do this type of negotiation baking. George suggests that we do the following 8 things in order to achieve our goals of building trust, rapport, and satisfaction:

  1. Locate Common Ground: It doesn’t matter just how far apart you feel that you are with the other side when you first sit down at the negotiating table, there is some common ground between you. Before you dive in and start talking about your differences, you should work with the other side in order find your common ground and then use that as a base to start your negotiations. Small talk, banter, looking at what someone displays in their office are all good ways to help you find this starting point.
  2. Visit The Rapport Store: … and make sure that you buy a whole bunch of rapport. This simply means that you need to make sure that the other side is comfortable talking with you (and that you are comfortable talking with them). This also means that you need to make sure that the other side believes that you can fulfill any promises that you make to them.
  3. Just Be Nice: Umm, this should be fairly obvious; however, lots of people try to put on their “negotiating face” in some sort of misguided attempt to scare the other side into giving in. Give it up. Be nice and you’ll be amazed at what can happen.
  4. Match The Other Side: What makes negotiations so “fun” is that we have to always be adjusting our negotiating style in order to match the other side and the current status of the negotiations. This is clearly a situation where “one size fits all” does NOT apply!
  5. Feel Their Pain: Taking the time to understand the other side of the table and thinking about what they are trying to accomplish. This is a critical part of making sure that you are going to be able to ensure that they will be satisfied as a result of the negotiations.
  6. Prove Yourself Worthy Of Trust: Getting the other side to believe that they can trust you is difficult to do. Once done, you don’t want to lose this trust during the negotiations. What this means is that you need to make sure that you keep any promises that you make during the negotiations.
  7. Bend, Don’t Break: Learning to be flexible is one of the key negotiation skills that the professionals have. Inflexibility spells doom for any negotiation because that can quickly become a deal breaker.
  8. Let Your Reputation Work For You: If you are known as a deal maker, then the other side will come to the table with expectations of being able to successfully negotiate with you. If, on the other hand, you are known as a deal breaker, then the other side will avoid having anything to do with you because they view negotiating with you as a waste of their time.

When you go into the negotiation kitchen, do you use all 8 of these ingredients to bake something wonderful? Which ingredient do you use the most often? Were there any on this list that you never use? Can you think of anything that I’ve left off of this list? Leave a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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