28 listopada 2015 | NEGOCJATOR - negocjacje w biznesie, negocjacje handlowe i szkolenie, kursy z techniki negocjacji
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Negotiator / Knowledge base / Persuasion

Step 4 – persuasion

Time to learn to talk about persuasion. This subject is as important for negotiators as for any other person. As a professional negotiator, I use persuasion to build agreements aligned with interests. Persuasion is ubiquitous. A teacher will be more effective by showing students how they can make use of knowledge in their life. A manager will have more power by delegating in a way people don’t feel being ordered around. A parent will not have to raise their voice by skillful communication with their child. PERSUASION AND INFLUENCE IN BUSINESS NEGOTIATIONS Persuasion wisely used can bring about a lot of good into our lives. First things first, a few words about ethics. Context of an end: As I pointed out describing the negotiation process, persuasion is the act of causing people to do or believe in something. For persuasion to be ethical, it is important that ‘something’ is beneficial for the side. Otherwise, we’re dealing with bad intentions. Context of means: Ethical exercise of persuasion used to reach an end should be free of lies, bias and other dirty tricks such as a bribe. Below I present good and practical basics for exercising ethical persuasion. Duality –  every stick has two ends. While preparing, carefully analyze the thing you want to persuade someone to. Behold equally the advantages and disadvantages. This will provide you with a more complete perception and will then help you to understand if such pros and cons match your partners’ expectations. Also, direct the talk so as to jointly discuss the other sides’ arguments and see their advantages and disadvantages. This way you will make your conversation more objective, gaining credibility and favor. Know your partner – the approach to getting to know your partner will vary depending on the time span of the negotiations. The basic means is carefully chosen questions. With limited time, start with finding out the most important things. The better your understanding of your viewpoint / product / interests / market segment, in which you function the better you will be at constructing questions. Keep an open mind – everyone has a unique viewpoint. Entrenching around your positions or biased perception of the subject of negotiation is a dead end because it blocks your partner. The ability to accept and recognize your partners’ viewpoint is a powerful persuasion tool in itself. When we see that someone approaches our observation or viewpoint with respect and takes it into account while formulating a proposition, we feel greater trust towards that person. Moreover, we listen more carefully and are more prone to make concessions on our side. Dialog and discussion – search and verify. Persuasion means looking for a solution integrated with the needs of the other side through a process based on win-win strategy. Through open discussion about differences and similarities as well as advantages and disadvantages we get to understand the preferences of the other side. We therefore know what pros are the most important and what cons will not pose a problem for them. As a result we can modify the terms until they become a solution which meets their expectations. INFLUENCE AND NEGOTIATION PERSUASION NEGOTIATION PROCESS: How to begin negotiations? Preparing for negotiations. Information exchange in negotiations. Relationship building in negotiations. Influence and persuasion. How to made concessions in negotiations. Agreements.

Take a minute to reflect on the people with whom you have recently reached a good agreement. What feelings do you have towards them? How do you think they feel towards you? We, people, make decisions based on emotions – so most probably those with whom you built the best agreements are also those towards which you have positive emotions. This is our nature. Relationship building leads to trust. Trust in the context of negotiation, one could say, is the will to expose yourself to another person for the purpose of some benefit. The game is simple. If there is no trust between us, we will hold our talks in an atmosphere of suspicion and the agreement we reach will be a compromise at best (a result reached by both sides sacrificing what they wanted for the sake of reaching an agreement). If there is trust between us, we will hold our talks focused, because the distractor of suspicion is eliminated. Moreover, we will have the courage to expose our interests so that jointly we can work out an agreement which will make each side a winner. A successful agreement could mark the beginning of a lucrative cooperation, which might last for years. That is what negotiations are about. Below you will find some tips on relationship building The foundation of cultivating good relationship is respect. Respect towards the other side can be practiced by:
  • listening (eye contact, directing the body towards the speaker, not interrupting, not changing the topic without ending the current one etc.),
  • acknowledging their words (making sure we understand their interests e.g. by paraphrase, resembling their interests in stated propositions etc.),
  • being punctual (respecting their time),
  • giving space for partnership relations (being equal).
A vital aspect is communication. We will not build a good relationship with someone with whom we cannot communicate. Communication is the building block of interpersonal relations because it is the means of contact between people, that is the place where relationship happens.
  • listening (focusing on the speaker),
  • polite curiosity (the will to talk more about the other side),
  • authenticity (not reaching to the means of lies),
  • integrity (walk the talk).
Just like most soft skill domains, relationship building is an infinitely wide issue. I encourage you to reflect on your relationships in business and to observe what’s going on with the purpose of learning. A valuable experience would be to meet with people who teach communication and authorities in the field of relationship building and winning people – by spending time with them you will experience the relationship which they create around themselves, which will be an environment for optimal assimilation of practical knowledge.  

Negotiator / Knowledge base / Agreement

Step 6 – agreement

It might seem there is not much to write about the agreement – after all it marks the end of negotiations. There is nothing further from the truth. The negotiation process leads to an agreement which is just as important a step as any of the previous ones – a lot can be lost or gained. Our focus at hand can’t drop at this point. We need to endure in our engagement till the very end and sometimes even further. Read on to find out what to keep in mind to close agreements like professionals do. The desired effect is for all parties to leave the table with a feeling of victory and a real victory. This distinction is important. A feeling of victory means emotions, delight and joy – feelings of a time spent productively and a promising outcome. Real victory is an economically expressible justification that negotiations brought you closer to fulfilling your interests. Moreover, please note that we’re talking about a victory of all sides. This can be reached through the practice of negotiation based on win – win strategy. During the negotiations all arrangements should be monitored on the fly. Writing down establishments as they come up, in a place visible for all parties can spare much confusion once the time to write the final agreement comes. Placing faith in memory may turn out not so well, especially if there were emotional escalations during the negotiations. When closing in on the agreement emotions play a crucial role. Having gone a long and twisty road towards success, we have a natural tendency to want to secure our terms once we’re close. In such a state it is worth to remain calm, focus and restrain from signing something in a haste. This is the time to make sure that all the numbers add up and your interests are fulfilled at a satisfactory level. If the contract is big, don’t hesitate to wait with signing it for a day or week to consult the terms with your business partner or have the data checked by analysts. Be aware of pinching,  the last minutes are a place vulnerable for tricks. In context of emotions mentioned in the above paragraph, these circumstances act in favor of playing a pinch technique. It works by putting forward a final (usually small) demand once the agreements have been settled upon. Ideally, the demand is small enough for the partner to accept it instead of negotiating again. This trick often comes in the form of ‘I forgot one tiny thing…’ or ‘I slipped a digit in my calculations, I need just…’. Be aware and don’t get tricked into giving away a present. Negotiations lead to an agreement but don’t always end in one. In the event of walking away from the table, the most important thing is to keep respect towards your partner and keep your dignity. After having reached an agreement it is a nice custom to congratulate your partner for good negotiations. This kind gesture is a sign of partnership; it will rise his self-esteem and make you well remembered for the future.   

Negotiator / Knowledge base / Information exchange

Step 3 – information exchange

We hear more and more about the rising importance of soft skills. The negotiator’s advantage is the ability to use them more cleverly and swiftly. This article will give you an insight into how this works. Information exchange is a two way communication process. In the beginning, each side has information about their own situation and assumptions about the situation of their partner. By the exchange we seek both sides to have an optimal quantity of information, which can be used to reach an agreement. Subsequently, it is wise to provide the other side with solely information which can influence the outcome whilst keeping to yourself the information which is irrelevant. It might be so that we wish to restrain from sharing some information that we consider as ‘delicate’. The problem with keeping relevant information to yourself is that if our partner ends up as a looser of the agreement and finds out about it, then the chances are your cooperation will end rather quickly. Your reputation in the environment might suffer as well. We find ourselves in the knowledge era, where messages circle the globe faster than ever. Therefore, transparency is a becoming a strong way to build credibility and trust. Having said that we can move onto the good tools for information exchange. NEGOTIATIONS - INFORMATION EXCHANGE Here are three key elements of information exchange: Question – questions have power because our need of cognitive closure ensures they are answered. Asking the right question at the right time directs the talks, gives us access to desirable information and displays our interest in what the other side is saying. Moreover, they build an image of us as confident, interesting and clever people – enhancing credibility. Question can inquire after facts, emotions and feelings. Listen – active and disciplined listening helps to analyze and challenge information with the aim to improve their quality and quantity. This leads to an optimal material which forms a base for decision making. By assimilating sounds in full concentration you will notice the axis of information as well as emotion. This will make it possible for you to respond to messages which are not in the basic axis – for example an ineffable anxiety which is blocking the talks. The art of listening is lately recalled as the most crucial business competence. There is solely truth in that. Listening is a fuel for snatching and developing reflections and ideas for success. Understand – listening and understanding are two different things. The skill to remember and repeat what someone else said does not guarantee the ability to understand those contents. Due to how languages are constructed, there is ambiguity. Due to the fact that each human being is different, there are interpretations. Both of these reasons act against the understating of a message with the senders’ intention. To counteract this, many ways of checking if peoples’ understands is aligned have been introduced. The most common and most effective one is the paraphrase. Our brain receives it as acknowledgement and calmness, which lowers the emotions of the sender. The tools mentioned above make the foundation of information exchange. Let them lead to good agreements!   NEGOTIATION PROCESS: How to begin negotiations? Preparing for negotiations. Information exchange in negotiations. Relationship building in negotiations. Influence and persuasion. How to made concessions in negotiations. Agreements.

Negotiator / Knowledge base  / Concessions

Step 5 – concessions

Can you make concessions with style? Concessions are a natural element of negotiations. That is solely a good reason to know how to walk through them victoriously. Due to their character of depriving us from things, we can intuitively feel reluctance to make them. A mandatory habit of business negotiators is conscious observation of emotions concerning concessions and rational evaluation of each concession. The mechanism described below will help you with this. Concessions should be made with respect to our interests. You lead talks with a partner because you have reasons to believe that through cooperation with them you will close in on your goals. Let’s remember that at some point this might turn out to be false. One symptom to have your eye open for is pressure to make prohibitive concessions, which might also be a sigh that your interest are more out of line than initially assumed. It is crucial to know the hierarchy of value for your areas. If your partner is demanding that you give up something of utmost importance to you, then it is time to call for a break and grab your excel spreadsheet. First check if no mistake was made when calculating your desired values. If not, take a minute to consider finding a partner who will show more respect towards your interests. NEGOCJACJE ZASADY CZYNIENIA USTĘPSTW W NEGOCJACJACH, TARGOWANIE SIĘ Basic concession mechanisms:
  1. Descending steps – each next concession has a smaller value. This gives your partner a heads up that you’re closing in on a value which is the bottom line. By making several small steps instead of one leap, you create more opportunities to gain something. For example: if your first offer was at 480,000.- and your minimum was 455,000.- then hypothetically your concessions could look like this: first: 12,000.- second: 8,000.- third: 4,000.- fourth: 1,000.-
  1. Packs – concessions in several areas. By combining trade in several areas, one have greater possibilities due to a larger number of potential combinations. For example, in a purchase transaction we demand a deferred payment and transport costs covered by the supplier, offering to increase the volume and oblige to place another order next month.
  2. Presents – if we give something and take nothing in return there are two things that can happen. Firstly, in the case of a small present we might arouse a need to reciprocate or raise our partner’s vigilance – depending on the experience of the other side. Secondly, by giving presents we teach the receiver that we are a giver. In the future, they might demand to get more.
  3. Leverage – sometimes a small give away can bring a huge profit. Concessions are never monovalent. Relating to the hierarchy of value, it is worth the while to check what small concession can give our partner an disproportionate benefit. This way we can give them immense value with little cost… and vice versa.
NEGOTIATION PROCESS: How to begin negotiations? Preparing for negotiations. Information exchange in negotiations. Relationship building in negotiations. Influence and persuasion. How to made concessions in negotiations. Agreements.

Negotiator / Knowledge base  / Role of techniques

Role of negotiation techniques

One way to double the probability of success in any negotiations is to use techniques. They are one of several ways one can rise effectiveness. To see the role of negotiation techniques, we will have to scrutinize the way people influence each other. How are techniques possible? Negotiations, just as communication, are sequences of inter-human interactions. These are aimed to get us to the agreement. An agreement will be reached once our partner feels they accept the terms. In order for anyone to accept our terms, they need to see them as their ideas or buy in. Either way, this requires communication. When people communicate, countless mechanisms are at play. The study of societies and social relations known as sociology, the science of the mind and behavior known as psychology and a combination of them known as social psychology are dedicated to decoding these mechanisms. Thanks to scientific research we know a lot about the nature of the human body and mind. The complexity of how they work still leaves a lot of space for discovery. The known part of how reality works can be analyzed and people can learn to use naturally existent mechanisms in their favor. To illustrate what I mean by mechanism, let’s use an example. The human brain detests emptiness –  is a mechanism. It works in a simple way – when there is a lack of information input, out brain creates the lacking information. This is why we answer questions – our brains can’t stand the fact that one could be left without an answer. What are negotiation techniques? Techniques are simply mechanisms triggered intentionally. People in general trigger mechanisms all day, unaware of it. Negotiators train to trigger the desired mechanism at the right moment to increase their effectiveness. Most techniques are intended to alter the decision making process of a person. To follow up on the example of our brain detesting emptiness,  a negotiation technique could be as follows: a property salesperson can talk about apartments in an imaginative way but without any details. This creates an empty space and we fill in the description with things we like, making a visualization of our ideal apartment in our heads, which will let the salesperson more easily find out what we are really looking for and rise our appetite for buying something. Duality of negotiation techniques Negotiation techniques are good and bad at the same time. Good because they usually work, which means they are a way of being effective. They are good because they use natural mechanisms embedded in human nature. Bad because it is hard to draw the line where manipulation happens. We could say that using techniques is appropriate under the circumstances that the effects will be beneficial for a person. The question that arises then is how can one determine if something is beneficial for another person or not. The answer will always be purely an opinion. All in all, negotiation techniques are tools which make use of how reality works. If we seek what is good for our partner, then they can make the business negotiations a whole more successful. Just keep in mind, that we will never be one hundred per cent certain as to what is good for our partner.

Negotiator / Knowledge base  / Examples of techniques

Examples of negotiation techniques

In this article I will present a few universal negotiation techniques. In a previous post, I described their role and meaning. Below you will find three techniques with descriptions of how they work, the mechanisms behind them and examples. Low ball Work: We make an offer which is attractive to our partner. Only when they decide to go for it (but before signing an agreement!) do we present additional information, which will make the offer look less attractive than at first. Mechanisms: Firstly, when our partner receives an attractive offer, they will be more eager to say ‘yes’. Due to its actuality and affordability, they will feel its benefits and imagine themselves already in possession of the subject. Consequently, when they find out that they need to give more to have that thing, they will be more eager to do so. This is because it is more difficult to give something away than to decide on taking something. The higher the engagement of our partner in experiencing the subject, the higher the effectiveness. Example: We are renting an apartment. We show our client around and let them get to know the place, presenting an average price. After a week of thought, the client decides to buy. We then inform them that e.g. the parking spot in the underground garage was not included in the price and it will cost more if they want it. Foot in the door Work: We present a tiny request that our partner will agree to. Then, when presenting a greater request, it will be more probable that they agree also. Mechanisms: Firstly, helpfulness is a socially desired behavior. Being helpful makes us feel good. If someone help us with something at little or no cost, they will feel altruism (and therefore will endure in the convincement that they are indeed altruistic, which will make them prone to being helpful in the future) and sympathy towards us (because we will be remembered in connection with these positive feelings). Secondly, the rule of consequence is at play. If someone took a first step, then it is rational to make another one. Example: We are leading a workshop. The behavior of one of the participants is interrupting the group. We create an opportunity to ask that person to help us by doing something e.g. to open a window. In the next case when their behavior is bad, ask them to correct it and they should comply. The semblance of choice Work: We propose a choice of two options, both of which are beneficial for us (and for our partner). Mechanisms: Firstly, having two options to choose from, a person feel comfort because they are not left without a choice. Secondly, by asking a question which gives a choice between two options, we direct our partner’s thinking towards the transaction (they don’t think if they should buy, but what they should buy). Example: We are a car vendor. The client is doing a test drive and in the moment they mention the will to buy, we ask if they prefer a standard model or one with extra kit.

Negotiator / Knowledge base  / Negotiation styles

Types of negotiation styles

A negotiation style is a collection of our behaviors and attitudes, which  we manifest throughout the negotiation process. A style should be aligned with strategy. There are three basic negotiation styles, which have been named after their most probable result. They aggregate a set of beliefs on our approach to negotiations and are a function of our life values. Below I have presented the most important information on each of them. I encourage you to reach out for more literature and reflect on your personal negotiating style. Loose-loose Neither of the sides achieve a real victory. This is a destructive style because each of the sides leaves the table with an agreement… failure. This means both sides have deprived themselves and their partner of the opportunity to satisfy their interests. Such a negotiating style is typical for people emotionally unstable, lacking up to date information and bad intentions. This style is characterized by uncompromising, applying pressure, manipulation, ruthlessness towards the partner, lack of concern for partner’s interests, stubbornness, dirty tricks, blind and egoistic pursuit of one’s goals. Win-loose Only one of the sides achieves a real victory. Due to poor understanding of interests, unsolidity, faults in information exchange, use of techniques etc. one of the sides leave the table defeated and probably won’t be willing to continue cooperation in the future. This style is characterized by strong orientation on only own goals or lack of understanding of the partner’s interests. Win-win Each side achieves a real victory, aligned with interests. This style ensures sustainability of relationships and joint business. Thanks to a common approach to figuring out an optimal option for fulfilling interests, parties achieve a constructive agreement through cooperation. This style is characterized by focus on interests, joint decision making, impartiality of criteria for options  consideration, approach to negotiations as to problem solving, respect for common interests, openness, trust. I think this is the most appropriate negotiating style in today’s business. The negotiator’s dilemma When approaching negotiations, we confront a dilemma if our partner has the same style as ours. It is a lot more comfortable and resolute to talk, when we know that the other person also wants all parties to leave the table victorious. Alas a question arises – what should one do upon confronting a partner who is set to achieve victory only for themselves. This surely is a situation, in which it is worthwhile to take time to rethink if we have any alternative partners – a change could save a lot of unnecessary obstacles. The most important thing which we can do is to set an example of win-win negotiations, so that there is increasingly more negotiators who apply this style. Thanks to this, civilization will benefit on the potential of collective creativity and strong organizations, countries and people.

Eagle’s view on negotiations – the process This article is a review of key elements in negotiations and therefore will help you to embrace them in their entirety. As a preface I want to clearly state something. The collection of knowledge presented below is what we call a negotiation process. It is a scheme of sorts with the main purpose to assist learning how the negotiation phenomena works. In reality, the elements described in it can be interlinked, appear in different order or may not come up at all. Nevertheless, the negotiation process makes us aware of what awaits us and when to expect certain things. This way we can plan our actions more accurately, keep the situation under better control and look at negotiation from a strategic perspective. Dear Reader, I invite you to learn about the negotiation process!
  1. Preparation is thinking forward into the future. It helps us to realize what we want to achieve, so that we can analyze why we want to achieve it. We ourselves (or in our team) have to decide on what is really the goal and which of our needs it will satisfy. Preparation consists of collecting information about our partner and foreseeing his actions, so that we can swiftly respond to his moves. Preparation is a projection of the future. Thanks to it, we get acquainted with situations which we might encounter in the future so that they are not alien to us. Thanks to this, we feel more comfortable when they occur and can effectively operate.
  2. Relationship Building is getting to know a person. We can get to know a person through history (how he wound up where he is, where he was, what he learnt, what network he built, which decisions he made etc.), presence (how he speaks, gestures, what he laughs about, how he reacts to the environment, how he experiences life, which attitudes and values he represents etc.) or future (what are his aspirations, ambitions, visions plans, how he thinks of the future – with energy and enthusiasm or pessimism).
  3. Information Exchange is uncovering yourself to the other side. When we talk about ourselves (eg. our interest) we invite people to get familiar with us and our situation. Assuming that we talk authentically, we will position the other side in a space of acknowledging and understanding our reality. This requires courage and trust for the other side that their intentions are good (please distinguish intentions from goals – eg. someone’s goal could be to buy as cheap as possible and their good intentions will be shown by offering an open conversation and common search for a way to bring down our costs).
  4. Persuasion is the act of causing people to do or believe in something. The effect has to be beneficial to them, or else we’re dealing with manipulation. When someone is persuasive towards you, the most important thing is to remember your interests and consciously make decisions after considering the new pieces of information.
  5. Concessions is acknowledging the superiority of another need. When concessions are an option in our repertoire of actions, we happily don’t have to worry so much about the mistake of entrenching around our positions. Concessions are natural, because not all interests can be integrated. It is a true skill to make concessions with high style – in the name of relationships, good agreements and a constructive future.
  6. Agreement is the building block of mankind. Where there is agreement, there is also progress because people don’t waste time acting against each other. Agreement is a crucial step, which often marks the beginning of cooperation with a partner. However, don’t push it – sometimes an agreement just won’t be the best way to go. You can always walk away from the table.
The above elements come to make the negotiation process. Having embraced negotiations from a broad perspective, you are ready to immerse in each of the six above elements and reach our for practical knowledge.

Negotiations are present in many aspects of life. Personally I specialize in trade negotiations. These can be business (purchasing, contract) as well as non-business (high value purchases, especially real estate). In this article we will take a look around the commonness of negotiations. The most important thing is that being aware of the diversity of negotiations broadens our cognitive horizons, giving us access to a wider inventory of tools and styles which we can then use during our negotiation challenges. Below I will outline the types of negotiations and point out what is special about them (by that I mean what one has to master in order to practice them or what can be learnt from people who already practice them). Let us  keep in mind that the set presented below is open to extension. There is so much richness in negotiation types that it would be too much information to include everything in an article like this. In general, negotiations can be grouped into three main types: business, judicially-diplomatic and non-business.
  1. Business – negotiation in the name of a commercial organization or between its members.
    1. Trade – concerning buy/sell transactions of a good or service. Communication and an ear for listening to needs is highly valuable.
    2. Strategic – usually go on for months or years. The key aspect is negotiation strategy. Building trust over time can prove to be the tipping point of success.
      1. Fusions
      2. Mergers
    3. Internal – between members of the organization. Bosses need to agree on management strategies. Employees need to deal with the rat-race and things like fraud. Salary negotiations, contract terms etc. Social competencies are highly valuable.
  2. Judicially-diplomatic – negotiations typical for the government sector.
    1. Court – negotiations based on normative acts. Negotiators must be familiar with the judicial system, within the boundaries of which everything takes place. Powerful logic and argumentation is highly valuable in the court room.
    2. Police – one of the sides represents the authorities and most usually there is an element of danger. A police negotiator must be familiar with psychology since he will have to handle people with disorders or socially not adapted. It is critical to remain cool and be resistant to fear and pressure.
    3. Diplomatic – negotiations in the name of a nation. They are held in a multicultural, multilingual and often also multi-faith environment. In order to make their way through, diplomats must be open to understanding the differences between mindsets and behaviors as well as show respect toward other cultures.
    4. Politic – one of the sides is a person of politics. The other side may be another politician or a group of citizens. In the latter case, it may be a challenge to reach people from different parts of the society structure. A skilled politician will have high competencies in adjusting the communication in respect to the receiver.
  3. Non-business – we negotiate as private individuals.
    1. Trade – an individual can save some money in their pocket thanks to negotiations while buying a house, yacht, luxury limousine etc. The same goes for selling your goods. It is helpful to know the market situation of the good being the subject of transaction.
    2. Family – reaching agreements within a family can be a real challenge, because it is a very specific group in terms of sociology. It is helpful to be able to step out of a personality typical for family relations. Nota bene conflicting heritage issues will not qualify as family negotiations if they are taken to court or a mediator steps in.
    3. Friends – looking for agreements within a group of people bound by casual relationships. Usually you can learn how to talk with people thanks to the quantity of time spent with them.