Despite popular belief, negotiation is not about bluff and bluster. In reality, the secret to a successful negotiation is to take ego out of the equation. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and arrogance can kill your opportunities almost immediately. All too often people walk into a negotiation with the mindset that they are the expert on the topic being discussed. Unfortunately, this arrogance isn’t well received by the other party and it can hinder the negotiation. Egos can be extremely detrimental to negotiations and can actually be the demise of the deal, so your best bet is to leave your ego behind. Here are just a few reasons why negotiators should consciously set aside their egos.
1. Egos Prevent You From Hearing Important Information
Egos play a critical role in the information gathering stages of strategic negotiations. People who are egotistical love hearing themselves talk and in doing so, they give away crucial information. Furthermore, they are so busy talking about themselves that they fail to listen to the needs of the other person. Failing to listen prevents negotiators from gathering critical information that could be effective in closing a profitable deal.
2. Egos Can Ruin Deals
Egos can be extremely detrimental to the close of a negotiation because it undermines the person’s rational decision making and can cause them to ignore strategic agreements. All too often deals go south because someone’s inflated ego gets in the way of what would otherwise be a rational offer. Some people lose a deal simply because they cannot stomach the thought of the other person beating them. Their egos cause them to focus on winning rather than reaching an agreement that meets their needs.
3. Egos Make It Hard to Be Open-Minded
If you walk into a negotiation with the mindset that it’s your way or the highway, you might as well consider the deal broken from the start. When you are arrogant, you tend to be close-minded and less likely to consider new solutions and alternatives. This prevents you from listening to the other person and learning what their needs are in order to reach a win-win agreement.
4. Egos Lead to Mistakes
People who have an inflated ego think they are always right and this can lead to mistakes. You might miss something important that could end up being more advantageous for you. Listening to the opinions of others doesn’t make you less able, rather it demonstrates that you appreciate and value teamwork, a quality that is highway valued by others.
5. You Fail to Focus on the Results
An inflated ego causes the person to focus on “winning” rather than focusing on the results and what would make the best long-term deal for both parties. It is important to take the emphasis off the people involved and remain focused on the facts alone. Remember that it’s your goals that should be driving you, not your ego.
6. Egos Destroy Relationships
Egos are harmful to professional relationships because such personality traits are less likable. People simply don’t like dealing with someone who is arrogant and this can destroy your chances of working together in the future,