“New Conflict Avoidance Advice How To Increase Your Negotiation Skills” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“With conflict avoidance, every piece of information you have, used correctly, adds value to the focus of avoidance.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)

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“New Conflict Avoidance Advice

How To Increase Your Negotiation Skills”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Some people stumble into conflicts, not realizing they have done so until they become mired by them. But what might occur if you had insights into conflict avoidance? Would that save you from the despair that comes from conflicts? And how might possessing the insight into conflict avoidance help in your negotiation efforts? Would it increase your negotiation skills?  

Some people sense pending conflict, and they attempt to dodge it. But based on how they engage in that avoidance, they may create more significant disputes. Continue, and you will gain insights into avoiding conflicts and how doing so will increase your negotiation skills.

Using Body Language To Avoid Conflicts

There are body language signals that a negotiator should observe that indicate pending conflict. Signals such as rapid hand flexing, exaggerated breathing, display of contempt (i.e., one corner of lip turned upward), and rising voice tone are signs that the displayer is becoming agitated. Once you observe such gestures, become more mindful of what is occurring. And seek ways to tamp down the tension. 

Observance of Microaggressions

Negotiators may have tough negotiations that cause temperatures to boil. Signs of potential conflict may be looming and displayed in the form of microaggressions – subtle offensive actions or statements intended or perceived to prejudice the other party.

To avoid disputes that lead to conflicts, once you sense a change in someone’s demeanor, ask if you have unintentionally offended them. They may be appreciative that you cared enough to raise the question. That will alter the path that you are on and help avoid pending conflicts. That should lead to a smoother negotiation, which is another way to enhance your negotiation skills.

Anger Management Control

Anger can quickly ignite situations and cause conflict avoidance to vanish. When you are in the heat of the moment, observe the degree of angst infusing that moment. Defuse it by offering to discuss a less volatile segment of the negotiation. If tempers begin to fray, seek ways to lower the emotional stress. 

Rather than getting upset with someone, evoke empathy. Coddle yourself with the thought that the other negotiator is acting from their self-beliefs, not from a desire to maim you mentally. The story you tell yourself to avoid conflicts determines how successful you are at conflict avoidance. And controlling yourself is also a way to increase your negotiation skills.

Handling Objections/Rejections

Before addressing someone’s objection, understand what is behind your perception of their action. Also, consider if what that negotiator has stated as an objection is the depth to which it exists.

Some negotiators will use the pretense of an initial argument to better position their unexposed agenda. Thus, they use the pretense of rejection as a subterfuge to prolong your efforts to negotiate from a stronger position. In negotiation, it is called the softening process.

In exercising conflict avoidance in these settings, be mindful of what your opposition attempts to do. And be aware of how and the degree you address their concerns. The more control you maintain over your mannerisms in refuting the opposition, the more substantial will become the control you have over the negotiation flow. 

Thinking Process

Before considering how you will engage in conflict avoidance, consider the thought process you and your target may use. Ask yourself, are you and the target linear thinkers – thought processers that progress from one step to the next, weighing each step’s value before preceding? Or, are you, or the target, divergent thinkers – someone who thinks about numerous possibilities to develop original or unique ideas to solve a problem before moving forward?

It will help your efforts if you focus on the thought processes that you and the other negotiator will use in your attempt to avoid conflicts. Having that insight will make you aware of the best way of dealing with them.

For example, if you asked someone, how long has it been since that occurred? And they replied it had been some time ago. Notice the response did not give you specificity – the exact timeframe of the occurrence. If you reframed the question and asked, what was the date and time of the event, and they replied, awhile ago. You will have gained insight into that person’s thought process. Thus, to avoid conflicts, you might consider delivering your communication the way they communicate. Avoid being too vague; less they miss the intent of your actions and messages.   


What you see, what others hide from you, and how you uncover the unseen and unknown in a negotiation will determine how you react to such. Thus, to better engage in conflict avoidance, a good negotiator should seek to uncover what is not said or shown with the thought of how it will impact their mental thought-process. By doing that, they will maintain greater control over the negotiation while increasing their negotiation skills. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

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