Art of Negotiation
Chapter 15. The Power of Hints in Negotiation
People are greatly influenced by their environment
and the power of suggestion implicit in the people
and situations around them.
Up to 95% of your thoughts,
and decision-making activities are influenced
or controlled by your environment.
Your task is to be aware of the suggestive influences around you
and how they affect your thinking
as well as your partner’s.
Then do whatever you can to control those elements.
For example, choosing a venue for negotiations.
The location of the negotiations has a huge impact on the terms
and conditions that are adopted.
When you sit in the other side’s office,
you will inadvertently suffer some loss in the negotiation.
You lose the psychological advantage
because you are outside your comfort zone
and the other party is firmly in their zone.
The other party is more confident,
feels himself has more authority,
and you are not or if you do,
the opponent is overwhelmed.
Life becomes easier and more beautiful
when we can see the good in other people. ― Roy T. Bennett
You often find that in serious negotiations,
such as: union/management relations
and especially in extremely complex business arrangements,
the parties will agree to go to a separate location,
is outside the comfort zone of both.
This puts the two sides on an equal footing in terms of psychology
as well as environmental influences.
Something as simple as asking to discuss a problem at a coffee shop
or at a restaurant is a better idea than discussing the same problem
at the other party’s headquarters,
even anywhere any other context in which
the opponent has a psychological advantage.
Authority from character
Personality is also another suggestive factor.
The best personality types in negotiation are empathetic,
warm and friendly.
The more comfortable you are with the other person,
the more open and willing you will be to respond to their requests.
The opposite is also true.
The more friendly and cheerful you are,
the more likely you are to get a better deal than
if you were reserved and unsympathetic.
Empathy is considered the number one psychological quality
of great salespeople.
People who know how to lead others into business transactions seem
to have very high levels
They are loved and respected by the other party,
and the other party feels more comfortable entering into an agreement with them.
Posture and body language
Another suggestive element is posture and body language.
According to Albert Mehrabian at UCLA,
55% of your communication with others lies in your body language
– or your body movements
and postures in relation to the other person.
First, avoid sitting across from the person you’re negotiating with.
When sitting in that position,
you have invisibly put yourself in the opposite position.
You’re sending the unconscious message
that the two of you are already enemies
and will “fight” each other to the end.
Over the years,
I’ve found that sitting at a round table
with your partner
or sitting cross-legged are the easiest positions to come to terms with.
Negotiating message from the hands
Another suggestive influence in negotiation,
related to body language,
is hand movements and position.
when you cross your arms,
the other person will most likely understand
that you are closing yourself off
to the other person’s arguments.
You send a signal that you reject or disagree
with what the other person is saying.
One of the common expressions of openness,
honesty and sincerity in communication is to open the hand.
When you negotiate with your arms down,
and palms up,
you’re showing the other side
that what you’re saying is reasonable,
When you lean forward,
look straight ahead,
and nod your head,
you create a warm and positive impression of a caring
and sincere person who truly wants
to find common ground
or connect acceptable to both parties.
Other suggested elements
You are more likely to negotiate a better deal
if the physical environment around you
– feels comfortable.
Relaxed or tired.
You can always negotiate effectively
if you get enough rest before entering the discussion.
hunger and thirst.
Before starting a negotiation,
if you have a delicious meal,
your brain can function at its best.
Same goes for drinking water.
The best foods for the brain are those high in protein.
Stay away from bread,
hot dogs or overcooked meat,
all of which will actually make you feel groggy all morning.
Negotiating after having a meal
with the other party is also an attractive technique.
After having a meal with another person,
we almost always feel better,
having a warmer attitude towards that person.
We will also like them more
when we share something with them.
The last element of strength
when negotiating is your attitude.
In a negotiation, a positive attitude
– defined as playfulness and optimism
– will help you achieve the desired outcome much more effectively
than a negative one.
Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude. — Ralph Marston