Negotiation Tip of the Week
“Chaos and serenity live on the edge of the same coin. Thus, one is dependent upon the other based on the tilting of that coin.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“How To Use Chaos To Win More Negotiations”
Chaos is thought to be bad in situations. That’s because most people like peace and serenity in their environment. The latter is why you can win more negotiations by using chaos properly and at the right time.
Continue reading to discover how you can use chaos to win more negotiations.
Before attempting to deploy chaos in your negotiation, you need to understand what the other negotiator perceives to be chaos. If she’s an astute negotiator, one that’s accustomed to dealing with lots of negotiation tactics and strategies, she may not be flustered by your attempts to instill chaos into the negotiation. As such, she may identify your efforts as the tactic that it is and turn it against you. On the other hand, if she’s someone that seeks nonconfrontational environments, you can attempt to use chaos as a way to make her conform to your plan for the negotiation.
If serenity is sought by the opposing negotiator, insert chaotic situations into the negotiation when he seeks serenity the most (e.g. things are going well and you make an outlandish request that you know he’d never accept). You would do this to test his fortitude as to what he’ll accept and what he’ll fight for. Therefore, the degree and kind of chaos used should be determined by the amount of pressure you’re attempting to cast upon him, which in part is dependent on his level of tolerance for chaos. Remember, this tactic works best if the other negotiator is somewhat tired or worn-down. He’ll be more susceptible to this tactic when he’s in such a physiological state because he’ll be deprived of his mental clarity and agility due to his diminished state of awareness and consciousness.
Don’t be predictable, unless you want to be perceived as being predictable.
People love to deal with others that are predictable. They don’t mind if someone is good or bad as defined by the situation you’re applying the definition to. All they seek is predictability. That’s because, when someone is predictable less mental effort is required to predict their potential behavior.
To use predictability as a supplement to chaos, zig when you’re expected to zag. Then, if the opposing negotiator suspects you’re zigging when you’re expected to zag, change up again by doing exactly what he expected you to do. Once he feels he ‘understands your pattern’, you can restart the unexpected zigging and zagging. By doing so, you’ll decrease your predictability and cause additional angst in him, which will lead him to become more disdainful of the negotiation. Given that fact, you should be in a power position when doing so (i.e. able to engage in such actions without retribution), because you need to be somewhat accurate with your predictions of how he’ll react to your efforts. Thus, if predictability as an aide to chaos is not used adroitly, you could end up sending the negotiation into a tailspin. That might prove to be chaotic for you.
In your negotiations, if you use chaos as a tool in which serenity resides on the other side and the other negotiator seeks serenity as the result of you doing so, you’ll definitely win more negotiations … and everything will be right with the world.
What are your takeaways? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com
Remember, you’re always negotiating.