“New Negotiation Expert Advice – How To Overcome Self-Sabotage And Win More” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Sabotage can be crippling, even more so when it’s self-inflicted.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (click to Tweet)

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“New Negotiation Expert Advice

How To Overcome Self-Sabotage And Win More”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Negotiation is a delicate art requiring a certain level of skill and expertise. However, even the most skilled negotiators can find themselves in a state of self-sabotage during negotiations without realizing it. And self-sabotage can occur for many reasons in a negotiation, including the blame game, fear, insecurity, and lack of preparation.

This article explores those aspects of self-sabotage in a negotiation and how you might avoid them to win more often. And when it comes to self-sabotage, the insights presented will benefit you in all aspects of your life.

The Stair Steps To Self-Sabotage In Life And Negotiations

The Blame Game

When negotiating under stress and anxiety, beware of the blame game. It can lead to self-sabotage in a negotiation.

Depending on the number of entities involved in the negotiation process, people on one side versus the other may point the finger at the opposition for a problem at hand. In such situations, strong emotions may drive decisions. And during those times, the need to protect one’s position may be the source of bad decision-making.

Note attempts at manipulation on behalf of the opposition; that could be the beginning of self-sabotage. When making negotiation decisions, be aware of how you make them and their driving influences.   

Fear Of Rejection

One of the most common ways negotiators sabotage their negotiations is by fearing rejection. That can make a negotiator less effective, leading to less favorable outcomes. Negotiation requires a certain level of vulnerability, and the fear of being rejected or failing can prevent negotiators from being assertive and making bold proposals.

Do not fear rejection. Instead of fearing rejection, I suggest that negotiators focus on their value-add to the negotiation. Doing that will allow them to feel more confident and approach negotiations with a stronger will of mind, displaying their strengths and the strengths of their proposals more confidently. When a negotiator adds enough perceived value to a negotiation, rejection disappears.

Lack Of Preparation

Preparation is critical to a successful negotiation; without it, negotiators can be seriously disadvantaged. That may lead them to be unable to articulate their offers effectively or to adequately or convincingly respond to questions or objections from their counterparts. Suffice it to say that if negotiation is important enough to engage, prepare for it.

Negotiators can become better prepared for negotiations by researching the other party and their needs, understanding the market and industry trends, and developing a clear strategy for achieving the goals of all parties. By adequately preparing, negotiators can confidently approach negotiations with the understanding of what they can do to achieve a successful outcome.


Negotiators can also fall victim to self-sabotage by allowing their insecurities to subvert their thinking. They can impede their negotiation efforts by becoming overly defensive, not forcefully speaking up, or lacking assertiveness when necessary. Insecurity can also lead to poor decision-making, as negotiators may be more inclined to settle for less than they deserve.

If you are insecure about negotiations, seek feedback from skilled negotiators you trust about why you may have such feelings, practice being more assertive, and develop a clear understanding of your value and strengths. By building confidence, negotiators can approach negotiations self-assuredly and use that to squelch self-sabotage.

Lack Of Focus

Imagine you are in the throws of a critical negotiation. What is happening in your mind? Go deep! Now, think about the following sequence of numbers – 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 – what number comes next? Now, where were you in your thought process in the imaginary negotiation? Do you remember?

Negotiators can self-sabotage their negotiations by allowing themselves to become distracted or lose focus. Savvy negotiators use this ploy to divert or deflect their opponents’ thoughts.

During negotiations, focus on essential matters and be aware of when the opposition attempts to detour your thinking. Do that by focusing on your goals.


When self-sabotage threatens to avert your thinking during negotiations, realize that it also suppresses your ability to think and perform clearly. Do not make hasty decisions then; they could worsen your negotiation efforts.

Instead of becoming paralyzed, realize that you may be amid self-sabotage and the perils it brings. Decrease your anxiety and recall what you now know. Consider momentarily exiting the negotiation to regain your composure to assess your challenges.

In negotiation, maintain as much calm as possible while remembering to avoid doing or saying something that may cause permanent harm to it and those with whom you are negotiating – control self-sabotage. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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