When most people negotiate, they attempt to bond with the other negotiator in an effort to lay the groundwork for a positive encounter. As a result of adopting such a position, they negate the potential benefits that negativity can have during the negotiation.
Since a good number of negotiators are motivated to move away from negativity and towards that which is perceived to be positive, being negative in a negotiation can have a large impact on the outcome of the negotiation. Therefore, during your negotiation planning, consider how you might utilize negativity. Also, consider how negativity might be used against you during the negotiation and how you might combat it.
The following points give insight into how you might consider positioning yourself, by using negativity during a negotiation.
- If you know the other negotiator is trying to avoid a particular negative outcome, highlight and reinforce the negative outcome he’ll have if he adopts a position that is contrary to a position you’ve offered. In essence, reinforce the negative outcome he holds to be true in his mind, in an attempt to heighten the potential of it becoming his reality.
- If you’re negotiating against multiple negotiators, consider adopting a position that will undercut the positions of both negotiators, by causing their positions to become misaligned against each of them.
- Use the take away to enhance your position. Anytime someone believes he’s won an outcome, mentally, that outcome becomes his; he owns it and views it in that manner. If it’s an outcome that he’s acquired as the result of a hard fought negotiation, the outcome becomes more valuable to him. If you take that outcome away from him, it will become even more valuable. Even if you just use the threat of taking it away, you’ll increase the perceived value of the outcome.
- Highlight how the other negotiator’s position dissimilates him, compared to what is deemed normal and rational. Since most people possess a crowd or group mentality, they want to be considered like everyone else. If you observe this characteristic in the person with whom you’re negotiating, consider how you might advantage the negotiation by utilizing this tactic.
- You can utilize the thought of fear, as a source of negative motivation, if you know the other negotiator is moved to action from that point of view. Fear and negativity go hand and hand, and thus to couple the two in one instance can create additional stress and tension in the other negotiator.
If you look at the political process in countries that have free elections, you’ll note how effective most negative advertisements are against a candidate. Thus, from a psychological perspective, negativity sells. In a negotiation, if you use negativity wisely and strategically to promote the move away from position (move from negativity) that the other negotiator might possess, you’ll become more efficient when negotiating … and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.
The Negotiation Tips Are …
- Always keep in mind, there will be times when you can minimize your losses and maximize your gains by being negative in a negotiation. Just be sure the time is appropriate before utilizing the strategy of negativity.
- When using negativity, allow the other negotiator to alleviate the pressure of negativity by moving in a direction that he views as being more positive.
- In a negotiation, sometimes you can’t win for losing and you can’t lose from winning. However, you can take control of a negotiation by being able to adapt to its flow and utilizing the appropriate strategy in a given situation. Knowing when to use negativity gives you an additional tool by which to influence the outcome of a negotiation.