In your negotiation, how focused and persistent are you on the variables that lead to a successful negotiation outcome? The right degree of persistence and focus will lead to more negotiation success.
A small boy is sent to bed by his father. Five minutes later…. “Da-ad….” “What? “I’m thirsty. Can you bring me a drink of water?” “No. You had your chance. Lights out.” Five minutes later: “Daaaaad..” “WHAT?” “I’m THIRSTY. Can I have a drink of water??” “I told you NO! If you ask again, I’ll have to spank you!!” Five minutes later..
“Daaaa-aaaad…..” “WHAT!” “When you come in to spank me, can you bring a drink of water?”
That story highlights the persistence the little boy had for reaching his goal of getting a glass of water. It also highlights the consequences he was willing to endure (spanking) to get the glass of water.
Consider the following factors as you engage in your negotiations.
- Think about the questions you’ll ask and how they might lead to the outcome you seek. Questions determine the answers you get, which determines the path upon which the negotiation will follow.
- Assess what you’re really willing to do to reach your goals and the words and actions you’re willing to commit to in order to do so. This is an important factor to consider for every negotiation you’re in. Don’t treat this thought haphazardly. As an example, if talking tough is required to get your message across, be prepared to do so. Also, understand that there’s a difference between talking tough and showing how tough you are via your actions. We send messages through our actions as well as our words. As such, if our actions are not aligned with our words, our words have less sway. They don’t convey our commitment to the outcome we seek. If our words and actions are aligned, their synchronization emits a subliminal conveyance that we’re more focused on what we seek and the degree to which it has importance to us. Thus, being persistent and conveying it via our words and actions can get you closer to your goal.
During any phase of a negotiation, one has the belief that he will or will not achieve a successful outcome. If you maintain the mindset that states there’s a winning solution to this negotiation and all you have to do is find it, your actions will move you along that continuum. If you think you’re in a hopeless situation and it’s time to pull out, you’ll be focused on an exit point.
Either scenario may be appropriate based on the negotiation situation you’re in. The point is, know where you are in the negotiation, make the right assessment as to your course of action, and execute that action after you’re sure you’ve existed all possible routes to the outcome you’re striving for. If after doing so, you still feel it’s time to pull out of the negotiation you will have displayed the due diligence to yourself indicating that you really gave it your all. In so doing you’ll also have input to tweak your level of persistence for future negotiations, which will serve to make you a better negotiator … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!