What’s your mental mindset when you enter into a negotiation? Are you fraught with apprehension, imagining the gloom and doom that awaits you? If so, you’ve placed yourself at a psychological disadvantage before you really get down to negotiating. From a psychological perspective, that makes you ripe for the proverbial picking.
Before entering into a negotiation you should prepare sufficiently to ward off such hostile attacks on your mental psyche. If you’re unprepared, your apprehension will become enhanced.
The following is a partial system check list that will give you insight to prevent such apprehension from attacking your psychological aptitude before and during your negotiations.
• Psychology Mindset
o Know who you’re negotiating with (i.e. the source of motivation that’s brought the other negotiator to the negotiation table and who’s not at the negotiation table that has influence on the negotiation)
o Separate the verbiage from the person (Don’t be drawn into discourse simply because you don’t like the other negotiator or how he projects his offers and counteroffers. Instead, think about the psychological mindset he possesses that leads him to depict his sentiments in the manner he does.)
o Maintain and project a winner’s attitude throughout the negotiation; that which the mind focuses on expands.
o When at a potential impasse, observe the situation from different points of view; you never lose in a situation until you give up and accept defeat.
o Understand that you won’t get everything you seek from every negotiation. Rather than enter into a bad agreement, set markers that will signal your exit from a negotiation. If you engage too long, you run the risk of accepting a deal that’s not to your benefit.
• Shape The Negotiation
o During your negotiation’s planning phase, determine how you can position your perspective (value proposition) such that the other negotiator accepts it as being beneficial to her.
o Prior to entering into the ‘official’ negotiation, thoroughly explore how you might address situations that may arise.
o Consider how and when you can use leverage, and the form in which it may appear, to influence the other negotiator.
o Structure your offers and counteroffers so that they flow in the direction you’ve set for the outcome of the negotiation.
o Position yourself properly before the negotiation (i.e. get write-ups in news articles; heighten your perceive expertise via social media, etc.)
o Use empirical data to improve your negotiation position.
• Perception Versus Reality
o Negotiation Postmortem – Always assess your negotiation outcomes compared to what you thought would occur during the negotiation. Make notes pertaining to how you addressed situations. By doing so, you’ll sharpen your perception and glean insight as to how you can enhance the outcome of future negotiations.
You won’t come out ahead in every negotiation. When the perception of defeat engulfs you, don’t become bitter. Don’t let the perception of defeat prevent you from becoming a better negotiator. Learn from your frustrations. In so doing, you’ll maintain the mental psychological mindset that will allow your negotiation skills to grow … and everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!