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How-To & Quick Tips

Conceptual image with ladder reaching increasing graph.jpegThe standard answer is practice, practice, practice. Repetition; however, is the mother of skill, but what you are practicing is just as important. If you want to be better at basketball, you aren't doing yourself many favors on the golf course. If you want to be better at negotiation, you aren't doing yourself much good reverting to bad communication habits like "tell me more" and trying to convince the other side by exposing them to your logic.

  Hand held medal against a stormy sky.jpegTraditionally speaking negotiation is seen as a focused comparison of ideas/results, in some circles, this can easily be construed into an argument over points.   Typically a negotiation begins with one side stating what their issues are and what they want. Next, the other side does the same thing. In the end, if a deal is made both sides feel like they could have gotten more or they stuck it to the other side. Here are 3 guidelines for negotiating better outcomes.

dam.jpgWith questions? Surprisingly…no!

Not with questions. At least, not with open-ended or questions that are meant to be answered with a “yes.”

Your best tools are statements based on observations. Labels and cold reads. They extend thought processes, helping people open up the flow of what they are thinking and causing them to say it out loud.

Is it crazy to think this would work for you and your unique situation?

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Think of this as “You had me at ‘no’” meets “think like Elon Musk.” 

“Do you want the FBI to be embarrassed?” –effective pause – “What do you want me to do?”

The above example is from our book “Never Split The Difference” where an FBI hostage negotiator – Marti Evelsizer – was negotiating with her (jealous) boss. He wanted to remove her from her position as head of the Pittsburgh FBI Crisis Negotiation Team.

She walked into his office prepared for the worst and used this sequence to walk out with her position intact.