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Tactical Empathy, the art of intentionally using concepts from neuroscience to influence emotions as a core stratagem in navigating any type of friction.
Workplace negotiations entail trust and teamwork more than pinning an opponent to the ground. One has to use a collaborative approach to a conflict.
Tactical empathy requires demonstrating to your counterpart how deeply you’re listening to their words and, in effect, how thoughtfully you’re considering their position. One key tactic, called “mirroring,” entails echoing back one to three words the other person uttered, which can help build rapport from the outset.
Mirroring can also be a survival tactic for awkward networking events. Faced with a roomful of strangers, one can simply echo words and phrases to get them to open up. This simple practice can even turn idle chit-chat into meaningful conversations.
Will this tactical empathy work when parties come from different cultures? What about with someone who uses silence as a power-maneuver?
Everybody on earth wants to know that they’re being understood and will open up when they feel they are listened to.
Mirroring and the other negotiation tactics require patience and practice. Before any big conversation, try out these techniques with friends or even your kids.
The upfront time invested in building long-term trust will always pay off. It’s a really subtle accelerator and the better the relationship gets the more a deal’s timeline gets accelerated.
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