“To lead better, better leaders master negotiations. Without that, hidden trolls await to disrupt their advancements.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Leader Master Negotiation
This Is A Much Better Way To Fight”
To become a more effective leader, you must become a better negotiator. That means you should endeavor to master negotiations by improving your negotiation processes. I offer the following information – the components a leader should master to help you achieve that goal.
The Planning Process
Mastering negotiations begins with the plan. Thus, the better leaders plan to negotiate, the more effective they will be during the talks. Consider using the following steps in your planning process.
Defining goals entails understanding why you seek to accomplish your outcome and how you might achieve them. Consider the sources that are motivating you and the power they have on your thought process. That will grant insights into why you are developing a particular plan versus another. It will also allow you to switch direction more efficiently should one source become less critical.
Assess How And When You Will Make Concessions
Concessions are integral to mastering negotiations. When and how you make or offer them impacts the flow and outcome of the talks. Thus, to maximize your efforts, you must strategically use concessions wisely. To do so:
1. Consider whether to ask for a concession when you give one. Sometimes, offering or holding one back will be more beneficial. As you plan, consider how you can strengthen a concession or how it might become weaker to determine when to offer it. Let that be your guide as to when to apply it.
2. Create red herrings; a red herring is any item having perceived value to the opposition. To effect this ploy, project the image of the red herring being valuable to you.
3. Determine what you will trade to get what you want. And remember, the manner and timing in which you concede will determine how aggressive the other negotiator will become when asking for additional concessions.
Your Push-Back Strategy
It is vital to develop a push-back strategy. It will assist in setting the tone of the negotiation’s flow, allowing you to control it more effectively. It entails assessing how and when you will push-back on offers or suggestions. Keep in mind that the timing of such will significantly impact the negotiation.
Also, think about the style of communication you will use (conciliatory, neutral, aggressive), when you will use either style, how the opposition might respond, and your strategy to build rapport. Addressing these components will allow you to be adaptive to the ebbs and flows of a negotiation.
Master Negotiation Processes
After creating the most airtight negotiation plan, it is time to implement it. During that phase:
1. At the beginning of the negotiation, set the expectations about how you and your opposite will interact during the talks. Get the other negotiator’s buy-in to secure this component of the negotiation. Observe how they respond to your suggestions about your interactions. Note any hesitations or ease of acceptance. All of this will help set the framework for your discussions.
2. During the negotiation, at some point, you may communicate clearly, speaking in specifics. At other times, you may want to be somewhat ambiguous; doing that would allow you the wiggle room to escape a position that does not serve you later.
3. Observe your body language and that of the other negotiator. Everyone emits nonverbal cues when they communicate with others. A person can alter the perception of their messages by the overlaying conveyance of their nonverbal signals. That is why it is crucial to observe such cues.
If you witness a difference between what is said and a gesture that does not match the message, pay closer attention to the action. The action will broadcast a higher signal about hidden feelings and emotions. That disclosure can indicate when to shift strategies or when to forge forward.
4. After the conclusion of the negotiation, become reflective. Consider how it turned out compared to your plans, what occurred to shift your prior plans, and how you might have negotiated better – unpack as many nuances as possible. What you will uncover will be nuggets that will assist your efforts to master negotiations in the future.
5. Consider how AI might serve your efforts. With the emerging value that AI adds to any endeavor, consider the types of questions you can pose to it to gain greater advantages in your negotiation. You can ask it to evaluate your plan, suggest alternative strategies, etc. AI can become the assistant that serves as your secret negotiation ally.
To master negotiations, a leader should seek to create value, be flexible and mindful of how they address conflict, and have a push-back strategy. I expanded on some of those premises prior.
Leaders should also focus on active listening, aligning stakeholder success with their own, being optimistic but prepared to walk away from the negotiation, and understanding the motivations and priorities of the other party.
As a leader, once you synchronize those negotiation components, you will improve your ability to master negotiations as you harmonize more successful negotiation outcomes in the future. And everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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