In any negotiation, psychology games play a large part in the outcome of the negotiation. Thus, negotiators utilize different psychological ploys to progress their goals to achieve more successful outcomes. The perspective you have going into the negotiation and the persona you project will dictate the maneuvers you and the other negotiator will engage in.
The following are noteworthy strategies and tactics about the psychology games to observe and use to enhance your negotiations.
Positioning entails determining how you want to be perceived by the other negotiator and setting out to create that persona prior to the negotiation. You accomplish this by assessing what character (your persona) would be best suited to match the style of the other negotiator. Part of your persona might consist of a no-nonsense person that wants to haggle over every point. It could also be the exact opposite.
Knowing the best character to present yourself as, based on the style of the other negotiator, will give you a psychological advantage in the negotiation. The reason being, you’ll know how to adapt to his maneuvers from which your advantage will exist.
When creating your strategy/game plan for the negotiation, assess what a successful negotiation outcome will be for you and the other negotiator. In making your assessment, consider what both of you might have to incur (i.e. concessions, offers, counteroffers) to reach a successful outcome. Also, understand to what degree the other negotiator will be happy with that outcome; if he’s moderately happy because he expected more but settled for less, he could seek to unravel the deal.
The other consideration to lend attention to is how you might obtain and use leverage in the negotiation. Part of the leverage insight can be derived from asking yourself such questions as, why is he negotiating at this time, how much time does he have before other forces begin to create pressure on him to reach an outcome, who else will be involved in the negotiation even if they’re not at the negotiation table, etc. The more input you have pertaining to those questions, the greater the possibility that you’ll have leverage that you can use in the negotiation.
In every negotiation, there’s a psychological form of intimidation, even if you bring it upon yourself. As such, you have to possess the mindset that allows you to display courage by committing to an action when such is required. You can also enhance the intimidation factor via your body language (e.g. if you’re taller than the other negotiator and you’re standing, move closer to him (appearing taller than would be the case if you were standing further away) as a way to physically display your commitment to a point.
When you consider gender differences, as a woman, you can move closer to a man to drive you point, indicating that you’re willing to invade his space; the subliminal signal sent is, you’re challenging him and you’re not afraid to do so.
In either case, with the intimidation game, be careful not to overplay your hand. In essence, be cautious about possibly alienating someone past their point of no return.
As you can see, from a psychological perspective, there are ways you can sway a negotiator point of view. By applying the tactics and strategies above, you’ll position yourself to negotiate from a stronger position, which will enhance your negotiation outcomes … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!