“Afraid To – Negotiation – Discover How To Overcome Bad Habits Quickly” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Fear of negotiation is like walking in the dark in fear of the light. To advance in life, overcome your fears, and then, you will find the light.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator and Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“Afraid To – Negotiation – Discover How To Overcome Bad Habits Quickly”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Name one thing in the world that is not negotiable. Go ahead; I will give you a moment to think about that. Did you come up with anything? We enter into negotiations multiple times a day. And yet, some people readily state that they hate negotiating because they are afraid. That sounds perplexing.

No matter your negotiation skill level, if you want to improve your negotiation abilities, continue. You will learn simple ways to dispel the fear of negotiating. You will also discover mental tactics you can use to curb the anxiety of dealing with larger opponents with more significant resources. 

Self-Mental Tactics

In my mind, that would never happen! Before a negotiation, do you find yourself thinking like that? And do thoughts like that float passed your mind when negotiating?

You project more confidence when you have a solid mental mind during negotiation. In some negotiations, that will translate into more credibility, allowing you to negotiate more effectively. The self-mental tactics that can serve you during negotiations are:

1. Control Fear

You may have some degree of anxiety about an action to take or the position you are in at a point in the negotiation. But do not allow that to paralyze your thinking. Instead, let a strong sense of optimism be your focus. Controlling fear allows you to be in greater control of your mental faculties, which will enable you to control the negotiation better.

2. Consider The Opposition’s Mindset

When a negotiator possesses a negative negotiation mind, they focus too much on themselves and the situation. Some negotiators forget that the opposing negotiator has thoughts motivating their actions too.

It is always beneficial to pay attention to your opponent’s actions; valuable information will come from such insights. That will allow you to become more flexible and adopt more appropriate steps. That will enable you to control better the possible fear you possess during negotiation.  

3. Making Big Gestures Before And During Negotiation

You can make large body language gestures before and during negotiation. Such gestures as standing with your feet apart, placing your hands on your hips, your head held high, and your shoulders back create a psychological impression of a negotiator being more assertive, decisive, and powerful. Adopt this position before the negotiation and feel the power surge that flows through you. That power surge will make you less afraid to negotiate.

During negotiation, the combination of these gestures projects an outward sense of power perceived by the other negotiator. Before and during negotiation, consider how your gesture impacts the interactions.

Managing Your Emotions

When you negotiate, are you constantly aware of your emotions? They drive your actions. And that is why you must control them during negotiations, especially when you are afraid to negotiate.

To manage fears that might alter your otherwise positive thoughts, which can lead to better outcomes, push back on your cognition when you sense fear begins to change your thinking. Question the moment that gave fear life and what it means per the way you think.

During negotiations, emotions may run from extremely high to low points. Do not allow the low points to maneuver your emotions negatively. Stated differently, use your mental issues of control to manage your level of fear, and you will manage your emotions better during negotiation. And to do that better, always address what you are most afraid of before your negotiation.  

Plan For Contingencies

Before the proceedings begin, create contingencies to deal with your fears. Base contingencies on what you think the negotiation process will be and the outcome that might occur due to those fears. Doing that will allow you to determine what you are most afraid of and how you might deal with it before you start your talks. To accomplish that:

1. Assess why you are afraid and the worst possible outcomes that might occur. When making this assessment, dig deep to uncover the demons hiding within you. You need to get to the root of your anxiety and eliminate it from your mind. Creating contingencies will help you eradicate those demons, preventing them from attacking you during your talks.   

2. If a situation during the negotiation activates your fear that you had not considered, call a timeout. Step away from the negotiation table. And only return when you are no longer afraid to negotiate.

If you allow fear to conquer your mind, it will dominate your actions and how you engage the other negotiator during the talks. Suffice it to say the more contingencies you have, the more you will be able to beat back fear. 


When fear paralyzes you, and you are afraid of negotiation, realize the feeling is due to your perception that things are out of order – you fill a sense of discomfort, and that is where your fear resides; it is in your mind.

Instead of allowing fear to control you, control it. The best way to do that is to intellectually understand that no matter the negotiation outcome, you will still be alive to negotiate on another day – you will not die.

So, embolden your mind – insulate it from fear. Increase your negotiation skills by adhering to the information that I have presented. That will enhance your mental attitude about negotiating from a position of strength, making you less fearful of doing so.

Accordingly, when you see things differently within yourself, you can make more of a positive difference to advance your negotiation skills. That will take your abilities from a question mark to an asterisk! And everything will be right with the world. 

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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