To be a successful asker it's imperative to shift your mindset from positional to collaborative negotiation. Learn how curiosity and discovery help you meet the priorities, needs, and preferences of everyone involved.
- Many of us come to the negotiation table believing it's a contentious process, a battle to be won, or an attempt to convince our conversation partner to do something they don't want to do, or to persuade them to stop doing something they want to continue doing. That's known as competitive or positional bargaining, and I want to show you a better way. It's called interest-based negotiation, a process that relies on discovery and attempts to meet the priorities, needs, and preferences of everyone involved.
To develop your skill as a negotiator, let's tweak your mindset with a few basic definitions and principles that'll set you up for negotiating with ease and confidence. First, negotiation is simply a conversation in which you're trying to get something you want. This is something you've been doing ever since you first put a string of words together and asked for more, or for help, or for somebody to push you on a swing. Next, negotiation is a conversation in which the goal is to find your way to an agreement, an agreement that's good for you and good for your conversation partner.
Third, getting to a good agreement requires curiosity and creativity. Now borrowing from the world of improvisation is what's known as the yes and principle. Incorporating your conversation partners ideas and expanding on them as opposed to knocking them down one by one. Now it's true the preparation, research, and developing a strategy are incredibly important elements in most every negotiation. But it's curiosity and question asking that helps you gather the information you need to propose solution that move things past push back and no.
On that note, I want to make a distinction between asking and negotiation. If you're having back pain and you ask the office coordinator for a more comfortable chair and 30 minutes later he wheels it over for you, that's asking. And good for you, you asked and you received. But if the coordinator tells you there's chair deficit and for budgetary reasons it'll be six months until new chairs arrive, you and your back have a problem to solve. And that means a negotiation is about to unfold.
Now, most of us have heard more than a lifetime share of no's, and it's the fear of no and potential conflict that stops us from asking in the first place. If you're someone who rarely or never asks for what's important to you, I have a challenge. Become a daily asker. Make 10 asks every day for a week. Ask for a ride to work, ask for your partner to pick up the kids, ask for someone else to take notes. Your goal is to notice how often you get a yes and what you do when you get a no.
I predict that you'll get far more yes's than you expect, and that should give you more confidence to work your way through and past no.
- Identify the different types of negotiation.
- Distinguish the difference between asking and negotiation.
- List core negotiation practices.
- Explain anchoring and framing for mutual benefit.
- Describe tactical empathy.
- Explain the principles of influence.
- Create an influence plan.
- Analyze conflict styles.
- Recognize contentious negotiation tactics.