Using Countermeasures During A Negotiation

During a negotiation, you need to know how to fight back!
During a negotiation, you need to know how to fight back!
Image Credit:
Dane Erland

When we are negotiating with someone, we need to understand that in addition to a number of different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques they are going to be using tactics to get what they want out of the negotiations. As a negotiator, you need to be able to recognize when they are using tactics, you need to be able to identify the tactic that they are using, and then you need to know what countermeasures you can use to defeat their tactics. Wow – sure sounds like you’ve got your work cut out for you!

Negotiation Is A Game

As negotiators, we need to understand that this thing that we call negotiation is really a form of a game. It is a serious game, but at the same time it is still a game and it is played like a game. Our responsibility as negotiators is to learn how to successfully play the game of negotiating. The reason that it is so important for us to learn how to play the game of negotiating is because only then will we be able to get rid of our emotions along with our hostility and anger.

As negotiators who understand that the other side will be trying to use tactics on us, we need to train ourselves to deal with this. When they use a tactic, we need to tell ourselves that we recognize what they are doing – using a tactic. We need to understand that this is an important part of them doing their job. When they use a tactic, we need to have trained ourselves to identify what they are doing and then to “tag it” and give it a name. When we’ve done this, we need to then take a moment and pause. We want to remove ourselves from the negotiations and take a look at where things currently stand. What are the tactics that the other side is using and what is their overall approach to the negotiations?

What we are trying to do is to determine how we should react to the tactics that they are using. If we are able to look at the tactic that is being used and give it a name, then we’ll be able to remove our own emotions from our response to this tactic. This will allow us to take our emotions out of the negotiations. This will then allow us to spend time thinking about the best way to react to the other side’s move.

Changes In A Negotiation

In any negotiation, there are very few things that are actually firm and fixed. Instead, since everything that we are talking about is man-made this means that just about everything can be changed. As negotiators it is critical that we keep this in mind while we are negotiating.

During a negotiation a lot of different things can change. The reason that things change is because the wants and needs of the other side of the table will be changing during the negotiations. When we are negotiating with someone and they start to use a tactic on us, it becomes our responsibility to push back, to persist and try to find other solutions. If we do this long enough, then alternatives will start to emerge.

When we are dealing with the other side of the table, we will often run into roadblocks in terms of budgets and other restrictions on the other side. They will use these restrictions as tactics to try to get us to change our proposal to them. What we need to realize is that these limitations really only exist in the minds of the other side – they are not real. People can and do change their minds. As negotiators, we need to realize that anything that can be negotiated can always be renegotiated.

What All Of This Means For You

In the world of negotiations, if you want to be successful, you need to realize that principled negotiation is really a game. If we can realize that the other side will be using tactics in order to get what they want, then we need to identify them and react to them.

When the other side uses a tactic on us during a negotiation, we need to train ourselves to recognize the tactic, name it, and then react to it. By doing this we can eliminate our emotional response and get rid of any hostility that we may feel. We need to keep in mind that in a negotiation, everything can be changed. Wants and needs may change and it’s our responsibility to keep pushing in order to discover new alternatives. Roadblocks often only exist in the mind of the other side.

Tactics are what the other side will use during a negotiation in order to get the deal that they want. As negotiators, we need to recognize that they will be doing this and then we need to create countermeasures to their tactics. Only by reacting without emotions will we be able to defeat their tactics and walk away from the negotiations with the deal that we want.

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

Question For You: When the other side starts to use tactics on you, should you pause the negotiations to consider you’re your response should be?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The goal of any negotiation is for us to be able to walk away with the deal that we wanted to get no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques were used. The trick, as we all know, is just exactly how to go about making this happen. It turns out that if we want the other side to agree to our proposals, then we need to give them the time that they need to do it. This concept of acceptance time is critical to negotiations.