Written by Jim Hornickel
There are lots of areas of importance in a negotiation, including the financial bottom line, your reputation, and the reputation of those on the other side. (In mutuality based win-win negotiating, we always care about how the other people are doing too).
So why get training on negotiating styles? Here are three reasons:
1. Improve Your Understanding of the Relationship
Professionals going into a negotiation most often focus on the bottom line dollar. The money piece is of course (usually) the main emphasis but, should not be to the exclusion of all the other factors involved in the negotiations process. In fact, money will suffer if you do not attend to the people aspect. Negotiators are human. People trade tangible concessions. The relationship between the negotiating parties absolutely influences how well the “trading” goes. So, deepening your ability to read the other party and work with them with more ease will positively impact how the process goes along with the bottom line end results.
2. Get To Know Yourself Better
When you decide to get even better at working with the negotiating relationship, it makes sense to start with yourself. Yes, you think know yourself well. But, knowing yourself in each and every negotiating relationship takes a bit more consciousness. None of us relate in a vacuum. The other party always has influence with us. You need to know ever more clearly what triggers you, what troubles you, what pleases you? What are your current blind spots (the other may very well see and exploit them)? What values do you need to have honored by the other(s)? What personal as well as professional goals are at stake in the negotiating process?
3. Get To Know Others Better
As we said, you do not negotiate in a vacuum. Nor do the others at the table. After getting clear that you need to lend more attention to the relationship side of negotiating, it is probable that those on the other side of the table have not yet learned this secret to success. So be prepared to do the brunt of the flexing work. Flexing? The key is to study the people you are negotiating with to see what makes them tick. Why? Not to take advantage of them (that can lead to win-lose which is truly lose-lose) but to support them in getting what they want too. If you can master the practice of flexing to be a bit more like them, they will see you as more familiar, therefore more of an ally. People work more easily with people they see as similar to themselves. This familiarity and ease brings both of you more success. Flexing takes LOTS of practice but it is well worth the effort once you have been trained on how to relate to the others at the table even better than you do now.
About The Author:
Jim Hornickel is co-founder of Bold New Directions, a transformational learning company that works with companies to transform people and performance through training solutions including seminars, webinars, coaching and keynote events. Bold New Directions specializes in training solutions that build leadership skills, communication skills and resilience at work. Jim leads dynamic workshops that help professionals grow their negotiation skills. You can learn more about Jim Hornickel and the topic of Negotiations at Bold New Directions by visiting the company web site at www.boldnewdirections.com