“This Is How To Make Better Negotiation Decisions” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Your decisions can become better when you’re aware of how you make them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  (Click to Tweet)

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“This Is How To Make Better Negotiation Decisions”

People don’t realize; they’re always negotiating.

I sneezed, and the proprietor walked briskly to me and said, “are you alright?” I told him I was okay and stated there must be pollen in the air that caused my sneeze. Right then, he and I were in a negotiation. If he sensed something was wrong with me, he would most likely have asked me to depart his establishment. His alarm stemmed from the pandemic that was afoot. He was assessing what decision to make – because he wanted to make sure I was not a carrier of the virus that could hurt his business.

When you make decisions, what data or input do you use to reach your conclusions? That source determines the degree your decision will be valid or a point from which you need to assemble more information. If you’d like to know how you can make better decisions during your negotiation, continue. 

Analytical Process

Some people make snap judgments, only later to discover they arrived at the wrong outcome. Others may procrastinate and have a decision handed to them, one they’d choose not to engage. The sweet spot lies between those two points, not being too hasty and being overly deliberate. Thus, when making decisions, ask yourself, are you comparing apples to apples, apples to oranges, intentionally skewing the outcome, or is there another force or purpose that’s driving your analytical process. Once you have those insights, you’ll have a better understanding of how you arrive at your decisions.  

Comparing Apples To Apples

In some situations, you’ll want to consider points that have equal value as you make decisions. Doing so will give you a better sense of the value proposition you’re weighing per the outcome you seek.

Comparing Apples To Oranges

While your decision-making process can benefit from making equal comparisons of variables that make up your thought process, it can also be beneficial to consider unequal components. You might make such an assessment to determine how unequal aspects might fit to give a possible better outcome.

Skewing Outcomes

There’ll be times when a goal won’t fit a model of comparing equal or unequal components to lead to the best decision. The cliché, “liars figure, but figures don’t lie,” is an example of that. Because some people use figures to enhance lies – it’s all according to how someone presents numbers. That’s why its important to understand the analytical process that you engage in when making decisions throughout your negotiations. Based on that process, you’ll come to one conclusion versus another.  

Asynchronous Vs. Synchronous Thinking

When considering your thought process, do you think of it from a sequential or nonsequential perspective? Some negotiators may say there’s little difference in thinking asynchronously, compared to synchronously per the impact it has on the negotiation. They’d say, it’s a point without distinction.

But there’s a nuance to consider. That nuance becomes evident per how you think based on the offers, and counteroffers exchanged between you and the other negotiator. Thus, if you’re thinking in a logical progression (asynchronous), you may or may not miss the benefits of combining thoughts simultaneously (synchronous).

To highlight the point, in future negotiations, note the thought process you engage in to reach decisions. Then, consider the outcome had you used a different thought process. Ask yourself what impact those decisions might have had on the negotiation.

Recognize Controlling Emotions

In every situation we encounter, some identifiable forms of emotions dictate our actions. And thus, our activities evolve from the feelings upon which we act. That’s true in negotiations too. Accordingly, when going through the decision-making process, consider the emotions that drive your decisions. And assess what process the opposing negotiator may be going through also. In particular, consider some of the following reasons that may be dictating the actions causing the reactions noted.


Fear can be a stimulus that causes some people to exit a thought process. It may cause others to delve deeper into thoughts to discern its source. To make better decisions understand the role fear may play or is playing and determine if it’s serving a useful purpose. Even if it’s not originating in you, it may prove a tool to be beneficial to the decisions you make.   

Reward (Monetary, Self-satisfaction, Other)

Most people are motivated by rewards. Some will even take shortcuts to receive them. Thus, if you sense this stimulus is incentivizing your decision-making process, consider how you might use it to make better decisions. Also, consider how it might be holding you back from making decisions. An analysis of that thought process will allow you to understand how and why you reach specific choices.


During a negotiation, the stories told or implied affect the thoughts of the negotiators involved in the talks. That’s due to the effect stories have on the brain of the negotiators participating in the negotiation. Therefore, you can recount past situations to impact the thoughts you tell the other negotiator and yourself. And that will influence your thoughts and decisions.

For that purpose, I refer to two particular hormones secreted in the brain, cortisol, and oxytocin. Cortisol increases focus and attention. It also stimulates the fight-or-flight syndrome. In comparison, the release of oxytocin enhances the feeling of empathy and emotion. Thus, in telling a story, you should first assess what action you wish your decision to enact. That will allow you to cause the release of the chemical activity in the brain that serves your purposes.  


The decisions we make in a negotiation is more critical at some points than others. Appropriately, the better you become at making decisions and understanding how you acquired a particular perspective, the more control you’ll have over your negotiations and other situations in which you find yourself. To assist in that process, I suggest you adhere to the information presented. It’ll give you an advantage in every environment. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://c-suitenetwork.com/radio/shows/greg-williams-the-master-negotiator-and-body-language-expert-podcast/

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

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Negotiation Insight,” click here https://themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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