Negotiate Sincerely but Know When to Bailout
When you negotiate, if the negotiation is not moving in a direction you like, look for signs that indicate you should end the negotiation.
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Too many times, people put too much time and effort into a negotiation that’s going nowhere. There are inheriting problems in putting too much time into a negotiation that’s not moving in the right direction. The more time and effort you put into a negotiation, the more psychologically committed you become in seeking a successful outcome. In the process, at some point, you’ll run the risk of making decisions with a clouded perception.
How then might you know when to exit a negotiation that appears not to be progressing in a meaningful direction? The following are insights …
Negotiation Situation: You’re accommodating when it comes to making concessions, but find the more concessions you’re asked to make, the more concessions you’re asked to make.
· Be aware of the negotiator that attempts to continuously squeeze you. In a negotiation situation of this nature, be aware of the negotiation road upon which you’re traveling. When making a concession, get a concession. Concessions don’t have to be on a one for one basis, but don’t get too far out of sync. If the other negotiator consistently asks for concessions and you don’t get concessions in return, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of wasted effort. The other negotiator could simply be ‘pushing you’ in order to make you exit the negotiation so he can ‘save face’, or for some other unforeseen reason. He may be in a position whereby he can’t deliver on what you’re seeking from the negotiation, or tying to maximize his return at your slanted disadvantage.
Negotiation Situation: You attempt to highlight the benefits of your position, as it relates to the negotiation, only to find the other negotiator constantly interrupts you and goes off onto tangents.
· This type of negotiator may be pompous, self centered, egocentric, or more interested in imposing his will on you. He may also be trying to impress you with his position, compared to taking into account the value your negotiation proposition holds. Whatever the situation, find a way to alter his demeanor. Then, inform him of the fact that you feel he’s not being considerate of your thoughts or position. If he becomes upset, so be it. It’s better to bring the situation to a head than allow the other negotiator to pontificate and take you down a road to nowhere. When it’s all said and done, it will be better for you to get out of the negotiation sooner than later.
Negotiation Situation: You observe the progression of the negotiation is moving slightly in a positive direction, but something doesn’t ‘feel right’.
· Many of us have senses that we don’t tap into when we negotiate. If you perceive something is out of sorts in the negotiation, you may be ‘picking up’ subliminal signals from the other negotiator, indicating something is not right with the negotiation. Don’t dismiss these feelings before examining their source. When you’re negotiating, if words and actions (body language) are not synchronized, observe the actions more than the words. If the lack of synchronization between words and actions persist, seek an exit to the negotiation. Always remember, during negotiations or any aspect of life, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
When negotiating, words confuse as often as they explain. When there’s doubt as to the reality of what you perceive, trust your instincts. Do so to the point that your instincts are replaced by a feeling of foreboding. Then you’ll truly know in which direction your body is telling you to move.
If you observe the body language of the other negotiator and you detect a separation from his words and his body language, follow the language of his body. In most cases you’ll find, the language of the body needs no speech. Once you become instinctively accurate at determining the meaning of someone’s body language, you’ll have better insight into what their true intent is for the outcome of the negotiation.
When negotiating, some people are as open as sunlight, while others are as closed as darkness. Seek to deal with those that will negotiate in the sunlight and let those that would negotiate in darkness stumble in the dark by themselves … and everything will be right with the world.
The Negotiation Lessons are …
· In negotiations and indeed in life, some people will waste your time and steal your energy. If you sense the negotiation is not flowing the direction you’d like and realize your attempts to alter that direction may be futile, exit the negotiation. Don’t let your time, energy, and mental attitude be drained when negotiating with someone that is either incapable or unwilling to give you what you want.
· When you sense doubt about the viability of successfully completing a favorable outcome to a negotiation, test your feelings. Do so by creating situations containing red herrings (‘pushing the buttons’ of the other negotiator that causes him to disclose some hidden agenda he has for the negotiation) and noting the outcome of such a tactic.
· There will be times when the timing is not right to negotiate. If the time is not right for the other negotiator, for whatever reason, the time may not be right for you. If the other negotiator is hesitant to consummate the deal, gesture in the direction of letting the negotiation dissolve and observe his reaction. If he displays a nonchalant attitude, and he’s not doing so to position for a better outcome, you’ll know, more than likely, you’re wasting your time. Move on!