Be Likable to Negotiate Successfully

When you negotiate, how much value do you place on likability? Likability is an unseen force that can aide you throughout a negotiation. Likability is also a two way street. To the degree someone likes you, you tend to reciprocate. Conversely, to the degree you and someone dislike one another, you tend to have more of an adversarial negotiation engagement.

During the negotiation process, when the negotiators like one another, they tend to work better in addressing the purpose of the negotiation. The negotiators will be more amenable to assisting one another in achieving the goals of the other and they will be more understanding, and forgiving, of misunderstandings.

The key to being likable when negotiating can be a real balancing act. While you want to be likable, in an effort to enhance the negotiation process, you can’t be perceived as a ‘pushover’.

If you sense the other negotiator begins to be less yielding to your request, or more dogmatic about receiving concessions from you, you may need to adjust your likability factor, to display it in a harder manner. In altering your likability demeanor, to a mode that states you can still be likeable, but not to your detriment, the other negotiator will more than likely alter the negative course upon which he’s on.

When negotiating, always be aware of your environment and the value that likability adds to the process. In accessing your environment, take note of how you and the other negotiator interact. By doing so, you’ll be able to discern small incremental changes in his likability demeanor, as you go through the negotiation process. As long as the negotiation is progressing towards the goals you’ve set, and you don’t sense the need to be ‘on guard’ against being ambushed by the other negotiator, continue to negotiate amicably. In so doing, you will enhance the negotiation process and make it easier to negotiate in the current environment. You’ll infuse the negotiation with a sense of continuity, inspire more cooperation between the parties negotiation and move more easily towards the goals of the negotiation. As a ‘spillover benefit’, you’ll incur less stress, have a more pleasant negotiation and reduce the mental anxiety that’s found in some negotiation procedures … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • Regardless of how well you interact with the other negotiator, always be willing to walk away from the negotiation. By doing so, you’ll increase your negotiation power and position.
  • When you experience a lack of appreciation for being likeable during a negotiation, take a moment to reflect upon what has occurred in the negotiation, and then assess the role likability has in the negotiation. If likability is not ‘working’, don’t be afraid to let the demon in you come out.
  • Remember, people want to get involved with ‘personalities’ when they negotiate. Set out to make your personality likeable and keep it in that mode until there’s a need to alter it.
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