“Negotiation Wins And Value Are In Your Mind”
“In negotiations and life, winning is a state of mind. Thus, if you think you’ve won or loss, it’s true. Thus, the difference between the two thoughts is your perspective.” –Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
You win a negotiation in your mind based on the value you assign to the outcome.
We give meaning to what occurs to us and we act accordingly. Thus, if we say we won something we’re usually filled with the ecstasy of victory. If, on the other hand, we sense a loss, we find ourselves filled with regret, dread, or even fear. In the latter case, we don’t feel like we came away with the maximum outcome we could have achieved. To the degree we find ourselves obsessing over what we deem a loss in the negotiation, we may attempt to unravel the agreement or worse, just not abide by the agreement.
To the point, while you’re in a state of evaluating to what degree you won or lost the negotiation, the other negotiator is assessing the same sentiments. Thus, if she has a sensation of loss, she too may be considering how she’ll atone for the position she’s in.
In your negotiations, always consider the value perspective the other negotiator has per the value she sees in the outcome of the negotiation. You should go out of your way to make sure she sees the value in the outcome for her side and she perceives the outcome to be fair and equitable. If that sense is not prevalent, you could be laying the groundwork for the reopening of the negotiation.
Here are a few things you can do to assure the perception of value is embedded in your negotiations.
- Let the other negotiator know that you respect the time and effort that she’s committing to reach an amicable outcome; emphasize amicable. If done in the beginning of the negotiation, such a perspective will send a subliminal message that she’ll surmise to mean you’ll be fair. That will set the grounds for a less cautious negotiation on her behalf.
- Early in the negotiation, give her a concession/point that she had not expected. Be mindful not to make it too great a concession or one that will place you in a disadvantaged position. The goal is to show in action the words you stated in number 1 above.
- At the conclusion of the negotiation, thank her for the agreement that you’ve reached. Then, ask for her honest opinion per her level of satisfaction with the outcome. Don’t be fearful of opening Pandora’s Box. If you are fearful of doing so, tell her that you’re not opening the possibility of renegotiating, you just want to make sure she’s happy with the outcome, and be pleasant (i.e. smile on your face) as you do so. If she says she’d like to have had ‘X’, you can state that you’d like to have had ‘Y’.
Even when you don’t achieve the expected value and outcome you sought from the negotiation, the world won’t come to an end. If you look for the gains you’ve made you’ll find some to be thankful for. So, in your future negotiations, look for that degree of insight you gained from having gone through your prior negotiation and seek the benefits from it that’ll add value to your next negotiation. Be it ever so minute, that will be your value from having engaged in the prior negotiation. That will also be the platform upon which you will enhance your negotiation abilities … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!