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When you Negotiate, Check Emotions (Autonomy)

» Introduction
When people negotiate, they want to experience autonomy. In essence, they want to feel like they're in control throughout the negotiation. As such, they don't want to be brow beaten or set upon, when they offer suggestions and potential solutions during the negotiation process.
» Step 1
When people negotiate, they want to experience autonomy. In essence, they want to feel like they're in control throughout the negotiation. As such, they don't want to be brow beaten or set upon, when they offer suggestions and potential solutions during the negotiation process.

You can allow your negotiation partner to experience autonomy by acquiescing to her demands, agreeing to the direction in which she moves the negotiation and by giving her the level of control she seeks throughout the negotiation. The question you're probably asking yourself is, if I allow my negotiation partner to experience control to that degree, why should I bother to negotiate? Won't I put myself at a great disadvantage by doing so? To which I reply yes and no.

Yes, you may give the appearance of being a weak negotiator and depending upon the person you're negotiating with, he or she may try to exploit their perceived advantage. If that occurs, you will gain additional insight into the mental makeup of the person and what they might do if you give them too much control. In essence, its a balancing act. The thought that comes to mind is, you can give them enough rope to hang themselves, but not so much that they hang you.

While putting yourself at a perceived disadvantage you do so for the time it takes to make the person you're negotiating with feel comfortable, or guilty enough to give back to you that which you seek from the negotiation. You accomplish your goals by making those goals your partners goals.

You allow your negotiation partner to experience autonomy and still reach your goals by planning the direction you'd like the negotiation to go in during your planning stage. In the planning stage, you need to assess where there might be overlay between the goals you share with your negotiation partner and create a path that the negotiations can travel to take advantage of that overlay.

Remember, control is perceptional. To the degree that someone feels they are in control, in any situation, in their mind, they are in control. Thus, it behooves you to convey the submissiveness they seek from you in order to project the feeling they need to experience in order to feel empowered. If they feel empowered to set the pace of the negotiation and thus set the negotiations direction, they will also have the degree of control they need to help you reach the goal of the negotiation.

You may have to walk a fine line when allowing your negotiation partner to think he's in control of the negotiation. As long as that person stays on the path that you set, you will be okay and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are...

* Always understand and apply the importance of autonomy during a negotiation. To the degree that you can allow your negotiation partner to experience autonomy, she's more apt to stay engaged throughout the negotiation.

* During the negotiation, seek opportunities to bond or break the bonding process based on the degree of autonomy you allow someone to perceive they have. In this way, you can use the experience of autonomy as a tactic or strategy.

* Remember that control and thus autonomy is a matter of perception. To the degree that you allow others to experience autonomy, they will be more likely to grant you what you desire.


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