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Negotiation was seen as a zero-sum game for a long time. The goal was to get as much out of the interaction as possible—but always at your opponent’s expense. Your counterpart was your enemy, and the negotiation was a battle. The idea is to realize that the situation is the adversary and that the person across the table is actually your negotiating partner—a partner who is to be worked with, not against, in pursuit of a mutually beneficial outcome. In short, effective negotiation is collaborative.
The idea is to demonstrate that you are not here to deceive or exploit the other side—sometimes showing deference can be key.
Be genuinely interested in what drives the other side. Understanding their goals, motivations, wants, and fears will help you navigate the negotiation effectively. An authentic connection with your negotiating partner will help lead to an optimal outcome for both parties.
Take emotions into consideration. Negotiators used to assume that eliminating emotion from the process would create the most logical (i.e., best) outcome. But what we understand now through neurological research is that there is no way to cut people’s feelings out of the process. Nor is it desirable to do so. In reality, suppressing emotions—specifically negative emotions—will hurt the process.
Build trust-based influence through the use of tactical empathy. It is the deliberate influencing of your negotiating counterpart's emotions for the ultimate purpose of building trust-based influence and securing deals. The ways you employ your voice, labels, mirrors, and dynamic silence all contribute to tactical empathy. By appealing to your counterpart’s emotions, you can build rapport, mutual understanding, influence, and—ultimately—deals.
Work to deactivate negative feelings. Fear, suspicion, anger, aggression, and distrust will impede the negotiation. From a neurological standpoint, this means you should work to defuse activity in the amygdala, the part of the brain that houses those feelings. Watch for body language that indicates negative feelings, and, when you notice it, focus again on using tactical empathy.
Aim to magnify positive emotions. People are actually smarter when they’re in a positive frame of mind. Building trust, comfort, and rapport will help you accomplish your goals. It will also benefit you to abandon the whole notion that “they’re crazy.” Know that the other side has a rationale, motivations, and some strong feelings for wanting what they want—even though their goals may be diametrically opposed to yours.
Keep an eye out for black swans. Another crucial element in negotiation is the existence of black swans—those seemingly innocuous pieces of information that, once revealed, can change the entire negotiation process. Imagine this: You’re a vendor, and you’re sitting across the table from the executives at a company that has been failing to pay you for your goods and services in full and on time. As you press for an ironclad payment schedule, your knowledge that the company posted record profits last quarter—aka your black swan—could boost your position immensely.
Being a good negotiator is not just about fighting for the upper hand and arguing for your bottom line. Successful negotiation is about presenting your point of view in a calculated and calm way, through carefully calibrated questions and oftentimes by giving your negotiating partner an illusion of control.
Negotiate in their world. Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.
Clinical Operations Manager overseeing the daily operations of Menara Clinics, ensuring all doctors & staffs perform their jobs effectively & the patients receive quality care in a clean, safe environment & provided the best healthcare options.
Negotiation is key element not just in leadership but also in team management. As a Clinic Manager it is very important to equip oneself with negotiating tools to deal with doctors, patients and staffs.
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Chris Voss, Tahl Raz
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