(See special offer at end.)
Have you ever blown a negotiation because things got so heated that the other negotiator spited his proverbial nose to save his face and became immobile? During such times, were you unable to defuse the level of emotions to keep the negotiation from becoming even more heated?
.When a negotiation becomes heated, consider these seven guidelines to defuse it:
1. Seek ways to bond with the other negotiator.
a.) Genuinely empathize with the other negotiator to let him know you understand and appreciate his perspective.
b.) Convey understanding of his belief system.
c.) When negotiating, people want to be heard and know that others understand what they believe, why they believe such, and how they came to possess such beliefs. Feed into the other negotiator’s belief system.
2. Highlight the benefits of adopting your suggestions and the risks of not reaching a positive outcome, if your suggestions are not followed.
3. Extend and offer of hope for a positive outcome. During a negotiation, when situations become heated it’s usually due to someone thinking they’re going to be on the short end of the stick. Extending hope for a positive outcome will mollify such thoughts.
4. Distant the other negotiator from past negative negotiation situations/outcomes. In essence, don’t associate past outcomes that were perceived as being negative to the current situation (note: the opposite is true if you’re attempting to motivate the other negotiator by inciting fear in him).
5. Talk in soothing tones and observe the body language of the other negotiator to confirm points that resonates with him.
a.) If the situation warrants, consider speaking in a more conciliatory tone.
b.) Consider how you can lead the other negotiator towards a calmer mental state by nodding in agreement with him, and/or touching his hand or shoulder, to physically display your understanding of his position. Observe his body language gestures to confirm his alignment with your attempts to decrease the heated level of the negotiation (note: If he allows you to touch him, he’s displaying his openness to your approaches – as such you’ll be on your way to defusing the situation).
6. Assess your risk of staying engaged in the negotiation too long; to stay engaged too long could be placing yourself in a pearliest situation (note: the longer one stays engaged in a negotiation, the more likely someone will make concessions that he otherwise would not have made). Assess the other negotiator’s goals and inform him to what degree you can and cannot grant his wishes. In essence, be very open and upfront with him. At this point, the perception of trust is paramount in the negotiation.
7. Consider timing of offers, fatigue, and mitigating circumstances.
a.) Knowing that one’s thought process and decision making abilities can become impaired by fatigue, realize that the negotiation outcome can hinge on perceived good will and intentions. Those perceptions can also be altered by fatigue and mitigating and/or external circumstances. Know how such variables might affect the outcome.
b.) Consider intrinsic offers/value that you can extend (e.g. not as much money, but more exposure for future opportunities, etc.) to add perceived value to your offer.
Always be prepared with a plan of action to defuse a negotiation prior to it becoming heated. To do so means you’ll be better equipped to deal with heated situations, and … everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
If you’d like more information about how you can negotiator better, while reading body language, click here or pictures below.