The Emotional Paradox

relationships, business, achievement, perseverence, success, negotiation

As a follow up to my previous blog titled “Tactical Empathy”, there are several paradoxical principles when it comes to mastering the art of negotiation: 

  • Without self-control and emotional regulation you will never be an effective negotiator.  If you can’t control your own emotions, how can you expect to influence anothers’?  In order to be in control of a situation, you must let the other person think they are in control.  By listening, you have control.   
  • Start with "No", to get to "Yes".  Answering "No" gives the other person the safety and security that they are in control.  Instead of leading with, "Is now a good time to talk?", it is better to say, "Is now a bad time to talk?".  Instead of asking, "Do you want to use this great new product?", you can ask, "Do you want to use outdated technology?".  Answering “No” is a reaffirmation of autonomy.  After several “No” answers, the other party will be moving towards the comfortable place where they can say “Yes”.
  • SLOW DOWN to get to the answer you want quickly.  You want to be a people mover, not a problem solver.  Going too quickly towards a possible solution makes the other person feel as if you aren’t hearing them.  Remember that people don’t want you to solve their problems, they want you to listen and understand them.
  • Mirroring, which is a form of imitation, is an effective way to start a negotiation.  Repeating the last several words back to the other person is a great way to bond with the other person and validate that you hear what they are saying.  Trust begins to form once you are in sync.
  • Use calibrated open ended “How” questions to get to the answers that you want.  If someone makes an offer that you cannot live with, simply ask, “How am I supposed to do that?”  After you ask the question, shut up and let them negotiate against themselves.  When they are finished, keep asking “How” questions until you reach the conclusion you are looking for.

Human beings are emotional irrational beings.  If you want to be effective in working with others, start with gaining an understanding of the emotional paradox’s of the human brain.

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