“The perception of strength resides in the perception of a strong mind.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (click to Tweet)
“How To Possess A Strong Mind When Negotiating”
I cannot recall the last time I was negotiating with someone that caved to our every request. Yep. That negotiator made one concession after another. I wanted to continue the negotiation to see how much we could get from him. Yeah, he projected a weak position from the moment the negotiation began. He lacked a strong mind, along with his soft negotiation skills.
Those were the comments of two members from the same negotiation team. They recalled the occurrences of a person with whom they had been negotiating and mocking him for not being of strong mind. Are you aware of the last time someone ridiculed you for not possessing good negotiating skills? Did they think you were not strong-minded when it came to your will and negotiation skills? A negotiator’s weak mind is his foe and his opponent’s ally when negotiating.
The following is how you can project a more robust persona, along with a strong mind in your negotiations. Having this skill will increase your negotiation outcomes for the rest of your life.
Why Weak Mind Equals Hindrance When Negotiating
Consider this; you are negotiating with someone that is very perceptive. Not only does the other negotiator base his evolving negotiation strategy off of what you say, he observes how you make your pronouncements. Thus, he is astute to your display of doubt as you exchange offers. Add to that the fact that you stammer and stumble while making your pronouncements. You are displaying a weak mind, one that lacks the strength of convictions. How do you think that positions you in the negotiation?
The point is, by not possessing a solid-state of mind when you are negotiating, your mind serves as a hindrance to your efforts. To be a good negotiator, you must have sound strategies coupled with a solid mental display of commitment in your negotiations. Anything less serves as a hindrance to your efforts.
The Sources Of Weak-Mindedness
What causes one to become weak of mind? Sometimes, it is the lack of commitment to one’s position – a negotiator may have inward feelings that he is asking too much of his opposition. At other times, fear of not knowing how to negotiate with the other negotiator may be at the source of his unsettling.
To negotiate more effectively, you must know your strengths and weaknesses before entering a negotiation. And, you should assess the same of the person with whom you will negotiate. The better you handle your lack of abilities, the greater will become your opportunity to project self-confidence. That will become your lightning rod that illuminates the self-assuredness needed to negotiate more successfully.
Creating The Illusion Of Strength
Question: What is strength? Answer: It is perception. Even if you are out-resourced by your negotiation counterpart, and you have a secret weapon that he is unaware of, both of you may think of your negotiation position as being more substantial than the other. In reality, either of you may be right. The answer to whom is more powerful occurs at the negotiation’s conclusion.
To project the perception of someone with a strong mind when negotiating, understand the value of creating illusions. Do that by:
a.) creating the perception of substantial backers
b.) using sound logic and reasoning to refute the opposition’s positions
c.) displaying a willingness to hear the other negotiator’s points without judgment
d.) using misdirection to enhance your position – taking a negotiator down one path, only to switch to another
There is power in creating the illusion of strength. Always consider how you might do so when you are negotiating.
Manage Strong Emotions
Your mind is your superpower. But like superpowers have Achilles heel, you must be mindful of yours and that of the other negotiator, related to your emotions. To control emotions better:
a.) know what both of you want
b.) become attuned to how the other negotiator feels about certain aspects of the negotiation
c.) use the power of the pause to solicit more information silently
d.) repeat what the other negotiator said to send the message that you are listening to her subliminally
e.) be quick to deflect negative emotions that might derail the negotiation – that can prevent the loss of control due to anger
To overcome strong emotions, think before you speak – once words are out, you cannot take them back.
Regulate Your Emotional Mind
Your mind does not work well when it is under stress. That is the importance of being able to regulate your mind. Stress debilitates your mind from rational thinking. And it’s more challenging to reason logically when you are in a state of emotional chaos. Letting go of judgments can also become more difficult due to inadequate reasoning abilities.
Making judgments in a negotiation is a necessity. But be aware that they also exclude aspects of things that we should judge in some situations. That exclusion may make you less likely to speak to more significant activities occurring in the larger environment of the negotiation. The more you regulate your emotional mind, the more control you will have when you are negotiating.
When you are negotiating, there are unknown forces that do not want you to realize what you can achieve. They do not want you to know what is extraordinary about you that is real. When you adopt a strong mind that conveys your strengths, those forces will not be able to overcome you.
Some negotiators will fear you because you display too strong a mind against them. But do not let that stop you from heightening your negotiation outcomes. Your belief in yourself is inner strength waiting to become unleashed. And the display of that inner belief will encourage you to adopt better positions when you are negotiating. That, in turn, will make you a more powerful negotiator. 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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