Whilst clearing out a whole lot of ‘old’ paperwork destined for destruction, I came across part of an article on Negotiating. Since I don’t have the whole article (just the first page) I have no idea who it’s by or indeed who even made the notes all over the page in my possession. There seems to be one mainstream of thought though and I thought it might be a good idea for me to share it with you as it really resonated with me.
Some of the points raised (but not limited to) go along the lines of:
• Stop talking and listen
• Pay attention to what is being said
• Pay attention
• Eliminate distraction
All of the above make one thing really clear (well to me anyway) and that is we need to listen carefully before we jump in feet first.
Some of the notes written all over the page go along the lines of:
• Understand what is being said – no assumptions
• Try Again
Very interesting don’t you agree?
Assumptions and perceptions! Those two are really bad for business! I have come to the realization that if ‘money makes the world go round’ then ‘assumptions and perceptions’ bring it to a dead holt. So many bad decisions are made, based on assumptions and perceptions.
The common thread throughout though seems to me to be along the line of we need to listen, in order to understand, and in understanding, we are able to compromise.
If the response you get is not what you expected, chances are that either you did not communicate it properly or alternatively they don’t understand what you are saying, try giving them the same information but in a different way.
Be patient, not only with yourself but with them too. Make sure that you understand the deal on the table, only once you are sure that you understand and that the other person understands clearly, can you begin to put the finer details in place.
Make sure that you have your emotions under control. Getting irritated and frustrated will do more harm than good. Use the additional energy to try and understand what is being said and why.
Don’t be scared to ask questions, but ask questions that are helpful or useful. Don’t try and just make your point and be heard – doing this could jeopardize the whole negotiation. Listen before you speak – think before you speak.
The time for assertiveness is only once you fully understand what has been said and the implications thereof. Don’t be shooting your mouth off and be the first out of the starter’s gate – you may very well be the last over the finishing line if indeed you even get to the finishing line at all.
Open up to people, don’t be afraid to show that you too are vulnerable.
Above all don’t forget that other people also have a right to their own opinions especially when those opinions are of you. Opinions can be changed, but they cannot change or do anything about your level of competence. So think about what you want, think about how you are going to get it, and then think about how you are going to go about it.