“Constantly test your beliefs. They serve as the foundation from which you view the world, those in it, and how others, in turn, view you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Perception, Does Being Right Or Wrong Matter?”
When you engage in a conversation, debate, a different perspective from someone else, what or who determines who’s right? You can use social norms or set empirical data as the arbiter to make such an assessment, but social norms can be fraught with imperfections and empirical data is based on verifiable experience or experiments, which can be flawed or misleading. Either can be shaded to reflect the benefits sought by those that would have you think a certain way; there was a time when smoking cigarettes were pronounced as being cool! It was the ‘in thing’ to do. Years later, that premise was invalidated and went up in smoke through the presentation of empirical data that became the new norm.
So, how do you go about assessing who’s right or who’s wrong? My perspective is, it doesn’t matter! The real question becomes, what does it matter if you’re right or wrong as long as others do what you want them to do. Thus, you can be wrong and followers won’t care. They’ll accept you for who you are and your premises.
Once you can boil right or wrong down to its most simplistic form and still get others to follow you, right or wrong becomes immaterial. Recognize that you really don’t want to be viewed as being right or wrong, what you’re really after is to have others agree with your beliefs.
Going forward, when you’re engaged in dialog with others ask yourself, “Am I placing too much emphasis on being right or wrong?” Understand the source of motivation behind your actions to convince others that you’re right. That will be the real key to the impact you have on them … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
Every negotiator enters into a negotiation believing that her point of view should be accepted by the other negotiator; from her perspective, her point of view is right. If too much emphasis is placed on being right, she may overlook other opportunities to sway her counterpart to the real objective of the negotiation, which is to receive a favorable outcome for her.
Before you can shape someone’s perception, first you have to shape your own. You should have a firm understanding of how you arrived at your perspectives, the value they contain as viewed by others, to what degree they may contain unsubstantiated biases, and how you’ll position them to be viewed as most advantageous by the other negotiator. Once you’ve gathered those aspects, you’ll realize that it’s perception that matters, not who’s right or wrong. That will add a new dimension to your negotiation efforts.
What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
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Remember, you’re always negotiating.
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