“When it comes to uncertainty, it’s okay to pray about the direction to take. Just be sure not to fall prey to the uncertainty of that direction. Know when to follow and know when to lead.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Negotiation – Don’t Fall Prey To The First Enemy Of Uncertainty”
As he walked past an unseen man lying on the ground, he heard someone exclaim, “he looks like he’s dying!” He thought to himself, “I’m uncertain of what to do. Others seem to be handling this. I’m not going to get involved.” He later discovered that unseen man was his father.
Are you aware of when you fall prey to the first enemy of uncertainty in a negotiation (You’re always negotiating)? Do you know what that is? The first enemy of uncertainty in a negotiation is the emotions, actions, and reactions you engage in, based on what those around you are doing or do. The opening statement highlights that point. The first enemy of uncertainty is doubt.
When you’re in an environment and you’re not sure of what to do, you seek direction from others in the environment; you may do this in a quiet mindset to assuage your mind of the lack of direction it’s offering you. Your uncertainty is the driver that’s not sure of where to go, so you seek the opinions and insights of others to direct you. Thus, by observing their actions or reactions, you gain a sense of what you might do.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with following the lead of the other negotiator; you can obtain great insights from doing so. The challenge lies in when you should lead from the front, lead from behind, or allow him to lead. If you’re in a leadership position up to that point, relinquishing the lead may seem or feel tenuous. You may even feel that your lack of direction is splayed for all to see, which might call your perceived leadership into question. If such is the case, realize that uncertainty has crept into your mind. The way you deal with it will determine the direction you take in the negotiation. Don’t be mentally constrained by such a thought. Here are a few things to be aware of.
- You’re more likely to be influenced into some form of action based on where you see yourself in relation to the other negotiator (i.e. superior, in a controlling position, inferior, etc.)
- Based on what’s occurred prior to the point of uncertainty, you may be more or less circumspective. Be aware of this because it too will impact your perception and the actions you engage in.
- While you’re in a stage of mental siege, take note of what the other negotiator is doing. In particular, note the degree that he studies your actions. If he cues off of your actions, he may be wondering about your position or to what degree you’re contemplating his. If you sense the latter, don’t relieve him of his quandary. You can use that time to think about your next move.
Here’s the point. When you’re in a negotiation, at the first sign of uncertainty, stop and think. Don’t be mentally belabored by the perception of pending doom, or the fear of looking stupid. When it comes to uncertainty, we seek the leadership of others to lead us, or we can call upon our prior actions for that purpose. To combat uncertainty, know which source to choose.
When you heighten your sense of awareness about uncertainty, you’ll have greater insight into how to control it. Controlling it will be the key that unlocks the blockade where uncertainty lurks. That will allow you to banish the enemy of uncertainty, which is doubt … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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