Know your style before you negotiate

And then keep a close look out for your adversaries’ style.  Try the MIT two dollar game and Thomas Killman’s test.

So what if before you stepped into a word fight or negotiation, you could see more than just yourself. You could see the other’s wish and want list, you knew their strategy.  Well, what if I told you that the first thing one must master is to feel what is going on within their own skin and then, only then, can they look beyond their skin to become aware of what is going around across the table.  Would seeing breathing patterns that change in your opponent help?  What if your opponent could see your face get red when you cannot and knew what it meant? What if your opponent could sense your sped up breath or calmed breath and knew what it could mean?

Some things to think about before you negotiate (as Derived From MIT Sloan School of Management Butterfly course work)

1) Do you know what you want? Isn’t that what negotiation is all about? Do

you know exactly what your opponent wants?

“Wow. How on earth did you learn that answer? Did you just ask? And they

told you the truth?” If it were only that easy.

2) What is your own natural strategy: (a) Competitors; (b) Compromisers – even if

they are told not to; (c) Avoiders; (d) Accommodators; (e) Rule breakers; (f)

Collaborators; and (g) Revengers. Take the Thomas Kilman Test.

3) Where is your breath? Where is your opponents breath? How does your breath change depending on the strategy you approach or the strategy you naturally take?

4) Chaos theory: Did you ever meet someone who tests the water? For example, their first salvo might be “what if we move the term effective date down to the end of the first recital?”  Is your reaction to say no or to say yes or to fight every period and comma.  Try to see if their reaction is competitive from the start with everything by testing the water.  Try making non-substantive concessions early or ask if we can do something that both parties agree to as a starting point. See if that evokes the opponent’s natural strategy or evokes a new different strategy or just confusion.

5) Rules: (a) “Splitting the difference” is not the only way to divide what is on

the table, and why it may or may not be the best way, in real life.; (b) The

importance of intangibles (such as relationship, trust, friendly feelings) as

well as tangibles (in this case money) as sources of value in a negotiation;

(c) repeated interactions with the same person—in building or losing a good

relationship. We do not usually bargain

just once with the same person. We often interact with the same person more

than once. The effect of successive interactions, positive and negative feelings

become part of the intangibles that are won or lost in the interaction.

5) Strategy vs. style and demeanor. (One can be very competitive and very

charming, or collaborative and aggressive, or competitive and aggressive). Don’t mistake Mrs. Nice with a push over and don’t think that Mr. Aggressive won’t concede or compromise on important issues.  Sometimes people get all caught up in their style and demeanor and it turns out they have no strategy at all.

6) Ethics in negotiations — how comfortable am I with making up a story, and

how do I feel about a negotiations partner who lies or threatens?  Don’t assume both parties operate from a moral equivalency unless and until your data proves it so.