“Sunday Negotiation Insight”
“Empathy is mentally transporting yourself into the thoughts of another for the purpose of truly understanding that person.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Empathy Doesn’t Cost A Thing In Life Or Negotiations”
I’m in a hurry; get out of my way. Those were the sentiments I had recently while driving for an appointment that I suspected I’d be late for. Traffic had come to a dead halt and I was fuming! Come on, come on, I thought. Then, I saw the cause of the delay; it was a funeral procession. Instantly, a tidal wave of guilt washed over me. There I was in a hurry to get to an appointment, stuck in traffic that had come to a dead halt, while someone else was dead, going to their final appointment. I thought, empathy doesn’t cost a thing, as I empathized with a person that I didn’t know and reflected on what the family must be going through.
We give meaning to our daily occurrences and those meanings determine how we see ourselves, as we view our activities through the lens of those daily occurrences.
As you rush through life, be sure what you’re interpreting has significant meaning to you; one day you too will be heading for your final appointment. It’s the significance of those meanings that will become the reflections others will have of you when recounting your life’s meaning.
Live your life with a sense of empathy for others. In so doing, you’ll be shaping the destiny that you’ll be most proud of. People will remember you for that, which is exactly what you will have sought.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In order to appreciate the other negotiator’s position, you need to see things from her perspective. The best way to do that is to have empathy for her and her position. Having empathy doesn’t mean that you place yourself in a vulnerable position. Quite the opposite, it will allow you to be perceived as a more venerable person. Empathy will also allow you to be more creative if you should reach what appears to be an impasse; that’s because trust will be the perceived arbiter for your actions. Empathy will allow you to be seen from a more understanding perspective, which will ward off potential impasses. Such senses from both of you should allow the negotiation to flow more smoothly. That will make reaching a consensus easier … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your takeaways? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating.