Negotiation is never about insisting your way is best or worse, arm-twisting to get what you desire. The better route is to seek an acceptable solution for all involved in the decision. Calmly asking questions to understand the basis for the conversation will enhance the outcome.
Traditional negotiators have the appearance of being arrogant, knowing everything, and refusing to listen to another. For business, the style could have a better outcome. On the other hand, by putting the other person’s or company’s needs and interests first by asking questions of them, the likelihood of a favorable outcome increases substantially.
As strange as it may sound, the better negotiator asks many questions, the underlying one being ‘Why?’ It is the only way one can get to the essence of the desires of others to build a fruitful outcome together.
Upon asking ‘Why?’, more questions will follow upon hearing the initial answer. The more complete answers you receive, the greater the likelihood of realizing how best to proceed to earn the sale. Earning is another essential in that it requires that throughout the conversation(s), trust is built to move forward with business.
A current dilemma is companies attempting to ‘encourage’ employees to return to corporate headquarters instead of working remotely. The question becomes, is management attempting to learn what will motivate and inspire the return of their staff? Many pros and cons on both sides are understandable, and it will be essential to carry out effective negotiations. Otherwise, everyone will lose rather than see some advantage.
Exemplify Leadership As You Negotiate
Numerous factors enter a successful negotiation, including:
- Careful listening to what is being said and omitted.
- Asking many questions to reveal the entire ‘story.’
- An equal exchange of insights.
- Dig deep with more questions to understand the other side’s positioning fully.
- Both sides will be willing to ‘give’ to ‘get.’
The emphasis is on modeling leadership no matter the position one may officially hold. Leading emphasizes hearing out opposing viewpoints for in-depth understanding to create a better solution together. Modeling better leadership qualities will encourage others to do similar. Moreover, by encouraging everyone to share their insights and experiences in an open forum, versus a select few, the feeling of inclusion will contribute heavily to a better outcome.
Furthermore, behaving this way almost silently teaches reports how to grow into leadership positions. Encouragement is a crucial principle for grooming effective and influential leaders.
Your Leadership Style
When people dismiss your ideas or special requests, and frustration takes over, it’s time to pause and consider how you may improve your effort. Giving up is common among many, but it never serves anyone well. Instead, reviewing previous (or several) requests immediately considered ridiculous is an excellent exercise. Negotiating well can convert ‘ridiculous ideas’ into something workable and appreciated.
When you hear a put-down or negativity, eliminate anger. Instead, respond with the question, ‘Why do you believe that?’ Then state there are elements to consider about which you must be aware. The response will stop someone in their tracks to say, ‘What?’ Then it’s your turn to dive into a deeper explanation. But connecting the dots between your interest and the other person’s is essential.
The entire process upfront depends upon asking the other person about their objection(s) and delving into all the contributing factors. Once you become familiar with what bothers them, it is almost a straight line to figure out a solution whereby you both walk away happy. A successful negotiation Is referred to in sales terms as a ‘win-win.’
The goal of any negotiation is to complete the discussions with everyone feeling they have something to gain, known as a win-win. Companies will treat their employees with respect, hear out their issues, and negotiate an outcome whereby everyone believes they are better off than before. The effort establishes loyalty and a slowing down the revolving door syndrome.
- Relax ahead of a potentially contentious meeting, and practice smiling.
- Review the history of previous conversations and the person’s or company’s website.
- Research the industry news ahead of the meeting.
- Create a list of questions to ask potentially.
- Upon gathering, thank everyone for their time and suggest they present their case first.
- Take specific notes for further questions to add to your list.
- A pleasant conversational Q&A is far more likely to realize a beneficial outcome for all.
- Celebrate Success!