Negotiate Like an Olympian
When you negotiate, are you prepared to negotiate? If you’ve been paying attention to the Olympics, the one thing you’ll note is the pristine shape in which athletes keep their bodies. They know they’re going up against stiff competition and they prepare for the encounter by honing their skills, excessively.
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When you negotiate, do you do so like an Olympian? Too many times, too many people will glance over the subject that they’ll be negotiating and then wonder why the negotiation did not turn out the way they expected.
Like an Olympian you can learn to become a gold medal negotiator. You can learn to negotiate hard, soft, fast or slow and always know at what pace to negotiate, while at all times knowing exactly what strategy and tactic to apply, if you but practice.
The following are insights you can use to heighten your Olympian efforts when negotiating. These insights will assist you at winning the negotiation gold, and the goal of the negotiation.
1. Become a better negotiator by heightening your awareness of your negotiation skills and then increasing them on a daily basis.
a. Olympians practice the techniques they need to increase their skills on a daily basis. Sometimes, they do so for hours on in. Try different negotiation tactics and techniques on a daily basis. As the result of doing so, your negotiation skills will increase exponentially.
2. Increase your ability to accurately read and interpret body language.
a. Reading body language can be used in every aspect of your life. The challenge becomes doing so accurately. In order to be successful at reading and interpreting body language, you have to …
i. Obtain the base mannerisms of the subject whose body language you’ll be reading and interpreting
3. When you negotiate, don’t get caught in a circular firing squad.
a. Recently, I had a conversation with a gentleman about the percentage of hours that could be allocated in a week, to address a particular function. I stated 50% of a resource’s time could be allocated, based on a 60 to 70 hour week. For the purpose of the discussion, he asked how many hours could be allocated based on a forty hour week. Then, he said, so the answer is 20 hours, correct? Without missing a beat, I restated my initial comment, which was, 50% based on a 60 to 70 hour week. When you negotiate, be aware of how percentages change the perception of things.
4. Don’t be dysfunctional when you negotiate.
a. If you’re not ‘up’ to negotiating at a particular time, don’t negotiate. Prepare your mind and body before negotiating by getting the proper amount of rest and inner peace. Like an Olympian, try to be as ‘sharp’ as possible when you negotiate.
5. When you’re down, find a way to fight back.
a. If you’ve prepared your negotiating plan (i.e. the roadmap you’ll follow, that contains the tactic and strategies you’ll employ to reach the goals of the negotiation) prior to negotiating, you’ll have tactics and strategies assembled to address the potential of a negative outcome. Thus, by being prepaid, you assist your own efforts to fight back.
6. Sometimes a win, isn’t a win.
a. When you’re close to victory, ‘lock it up’ (close the deal). Don’t ‘toy’ with the person with whom you’re negotiating just to extend the possible perverted pleasure you may be experiencing. Remember to always treat your negotiation partner with respect. One day she may be in a stronger negotiation person than you and you wouldn’t want her to ‘pay you back’, if you didn’t treat her right during the last negotiation session.
Sometimes, there’s nothing funnier than seeing the fisherman pulled into the water, by the fish. If you start to negotiate before you’re prepared to do so, you could find yourself in that position. There are serious rewards to becoming a good and then better than good negotiator. Those rewards are more money, more respect, and a better lifestyle. All of those rewards are waiting for you, if you’re ready to accept them by preparing to do so. Once you do, your life will become enhanced … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Lessons are …
• When negotiating, position yourself for the outcome you seek. Do so by setting the stage in the beginning of the negotiation and adjust your position, if need be, as the negotiation progresses. Don’t be immobile for the sake of being stubborn.
• Be aware of the shifting that occurs when someone reframes your stated position. When they do, make sure the answer or solution they come to is in-line with your initial response or position. It’s very easy to change the perception of an outcome by stating that outcome in the form of a percentage compared to an actual number.
• When you negotiate, to the degree that you can, be gracious. There’s no need to brutalize the person with whom you’re negotiating just to make yourself appear to be better. If you’re superior to your negotiation partner, be gracious and allow him to walk away with as much of his dignity as possible. In essence, allow him to leave the negotiation table a winner.