May 12, 2015 by Jeff Lowen
Negotiating isn’t just for union bosses and hostage negotiators. Every time you’re face to face with someone else, you’re negotiating. It’s not a bad thing. You parents know this, don’t you? We all need to take a lesson from our kids in the famed art of negotiating! They are masters at it!
If you’ve ever asked for a raise, discussed what restaurant to go to, bought a car, a house or sold one – or just about everything else; You’re negotiating. Not only does it make sense to be aware of this, but to be aware of what negotiating “Style” you have. Could this be leaving money or time or your decisions at the mercy of someone else? Of course it can!
Of course, when it comes to your style: There’s the amiable negotiator, that gives up everything to get the deal done. Is this you? Are you afraid of hurting someone’s feelings, so you’ll make up for it in dollars thinking that will smooth the negotiation?
Or, do you even need to read this article because you expect a purposeful outcome for all because you realize that we all don’t necessarily want the same things. Well then… You’re a solutionist.
Some call it a win-winner, but regardless of label, you take the high road and really take an interest in the other person’s wants, because you know that’s the quickest way to yours.
I can tell you from experience, that good solutionists, will eat a conquistador for lunch – and help the amiable find peace of mind without giving up the farm.
Do you use the “Walk-away?” When you storm out of the room and are ready to give it all up, subconsciously hoping the other guys will come running after you… Are you aware of the “Counter tactic” to the “Walk-away?”
Have you ever been subject to the “Good guy, bad guy” technique? You’re in the store looking at a big screen TV, and the salesman who’s helping you is showing you all kinds of things that are so far off from what you’ve told him you want, you’re about ready to walk out of the store! And then… A new salesperson takes over. Sweet as can be, showing you everything you like, listening perfectly… Are you aware of what just happened?
These are just two of the many negotiating techniques, sometimes called ‘tactics’ or ‘gambits.’ They’re being used on you all the time! And for every one of them there are counter-tactics and counters to the counters!
Imagine a poker game. Do the players have a “Tell?” Everyone does. Some hide it better than others. What are yours? Has anyone ever told you? This could be costing you and you don’t even realize it!
I once knew a couple that bought a house at a foreclosure auction and was so sure they got a fantastic deal, they completely overlooked the fact that not only they overpaid, but there were high dollar repairs that they knew about, but were so focused on the picture the seller painted as a ‘great’ deal, they bought it anyway.
Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a great negotiator or aspire to be one, knowing these ‘tactics’ will allow you to recognize and adjust your own strategy accordingly. And that can only benefit you in the long run!