Whenever a baby is born, everyone wants this baby to cry. That’s all right. They need to learn to cry, before they can earn their laughs. Who wants to be at a place; where everyday is pelted with difficult negotiations.
Negotiations mean, a mutual discussion in an effort to reach an agreement, which both parties find appropriate.
Humans are partially illogical. You got to negotiate with a lots of them daily.
Every life is a series of negotiations. Every day is string of negotiations to get a better place in resource limited biosphere.
So guys, it is of utmost importance that we know what’s up with this negotiations thing.
Neither you can stand there like a banana tree, nor you can punch people in faces. You got to be diplomatic, when it comes to dealing with breathing people.
So, let’s discuss some basics of negotiations.
Disclaimer – These might not work with your wife, but they may help you to tackle little less complicated situations.
Things to be kept in mind –
1. People are irrational. They work at emotional level, especially in difficult situations.
2. People want to be understood.
3. People want to be in control of the situation.
4. Seperate people from the situation. People are not the problem. Situation is.
5. People want things to be fair according to their own definition.
6. Keep your voice as calm as possible to keep emotions under control, so that brain can work.
Now let’s dig deeper.
Dont shout or exchange names or open your lid, kept on adrenaline and cortisol. Try to control tone of your voice. Take pauses. Be slow. Don’t overexplain. Try to listen.
It can be done, if you seperate yourself and person from the situation and see situation as the problem.
It takes yoga, mindfulness and meditation. Those are difficult things.
Then what is the next thing that you need to do.
Once you control your primal instincts and get hold of your emotions.
Then listen complaints and try to make out meaning of demands.
Then comes your next two big tools.
1. Tactical empathy –
It means understanding their position. Labelling it. Telling in calm voice, whatever you could understand about their situation. Vocalising it. Without judging at this point.
Like saying to an angry customer that,” I understand your discomfort”. “If I was in your situation, I will feel the same.”
It calms the person in front and gives them feeling of control. ( Which they crave for)
2. Open end questions –
Ask a question that leaves opportunity for multiple possible answers from the person in front. Ask it and then throw a pause.
Let the person in front complete it or answer it.
This will give person in front, a feeling of control. It will give them chance to vocalise their concern. And it may bring out facts, which may help you in finding a solution.
Sometimes, even repeating what the person in front has said; followed by a tactical pause, can bring out a lot of facts about the reason why that person is upset.
After you have stopped surge of anger with tactical empathy and found more facts by open ended questions, then keep that voice calm like Morgan freeman and try to reach a solution which is win -win for both parties.
These are time tested skills practised by best real world negotiators. So they are going to be useful in normal life scenarios.
Things that help.
1. Instead of saying No, ask open ended question starting with how.
Like if you don’t want your rent to increase. Ask, “How I am going to afford this increased rent?” Throw a pause and hence make this problem, a problem of the landowner.
He has to tell this solution, how you can afford or tell alternative possible solutions. Saying, ‘No’ would not lead to any such results.
2. Watch your body language. 50% of the message is conveyed by your body language. Show concern about opposite party.
3. Give surprise gifts or non monetary benefits in a business deal.
4. Don’t fear,’ No ‘. No is starting point of a negotiation. Welcome a, ‘No’ from opposite party and start negotiations from new set point.
5. Create deadlines or urgency. Like limited time deals. Limited time offers.
So these are few good things that will always help you in difficult talks.
And don’t mind if you fail sometimes. Afterall failing is all too human.
Inspiration – Never split the difference by Chris Voss Get your copy
Daily you get out of your bed with tired eyes and head to the same bathroom. By the time you have taken bath you work subconsciously. You don’t even realise that you have been in absent mindedness for an hour.
And then same scolding from your wife brings you to senses and worries of your office work slowly crawl on to you. You suddenly realize you have to take bath and eat breakfast in 10 minutes to be on time.
Next day same repeats.
You have developed patterns. You do and think in a same way day after day. There are no new or original ideas.
Your boss also snorts when in meeting you give the same idea that you had given in meeting two years back. Of course that is idea that is never going to work. You and boss both know that.
Now your friend who is himself lazy guy; tells you to be original. He tells you that you only live once and even if you can never get young again, try to be an original thinker to succed. Then you come back, finish your drink quickly and head towards same old bed.
But there are a few things that this guy we are discussing can do. Lets try to enumerate them.
1. Question status quo –
See what you are doing. Identify wrong things. Question them as they are not written in our constitution. You can tinker with them. Even your boss will like if you could change a few bad things. Even your big boss ( Your wife) will like; if you behaved and acted differently. Try to change things for good. Till you don’t recognise defeciencies; how could you act on them.
2. Increase number of ideas –
If a hen gives 10 eggs and 5 of them are good. Then it is highly advisable that she should produce more eggs. By increasing number of new ideas you can increase chances of finding a good idea. Swing your bat and you may hit the ball someday. Don’t restrict number of possibilities you may consider.
3. Try new domain –
Research has shown that professors who had diverse hobbies like gardening, arts, sports, music had greater chance of winning nobel prize. Learn new skills. Learn new language. In stead of accumulating fat in front of television; go and read something. When you expand field of your knowledge, number of original ideas increase.
4. Socialise out of your field –
Meet people from different jobs, different ethnicity, different country and different religions. When you come in contact with new cultures you learn new facets of life. You may find a new idea in the process. Artists who visit different countries benefit from their experience. Same applies to authors.
5. Repeat –
By repeating and discussing idea you become familiar with it. Alongside you tend to get to a little depth.
You can mix new idea with old famous one to succeed. Like King kong movie shows theme similar to beauty and the beast. Similarly Pixar’s toy story shows theme of friendship and sacrifice with use of common toys. Both movies were successful.
6. Start by analysing drawbacks –
Start by seeing weak aspects of your idea. This will make you more receptive of criticism. Also listeners of your idea will be hard pressed to find more flaws, when you have already found few common ones. It makes you sound honest.
Babble website is for children care and its founder Rufus Griscom used this trick to pitch Disney to buy his website. He told them five reasons why Disney should not buy his company. Disney bought it for 40 million.
7. Take mindful risk – When you have got a new idea. Analysis of risk profile becomes necessary. When you take risk in one domain of your life like your job, you must become more cautious in other domains like investing and family life. Don’t quit jobs or throw a gamble. Mitigate risk when you work on your original idea.
8. Feedback– In surge of endorphins you may fly a little high. You may not see obvious flaws in your plan. Make a original idea and get feedback from peers and mentors. They provide you with valuable insights. Use that insight to improve on your plan.
9. Be lazy sometimes– It is never a good idea to jump as soon as you get parachute. First check it for holes and check wind speed. Check for rescuers. As Stephan King said, ” No need to write an idea. If it is good enough it will stick.”
Give your idea an incubation time. Let the market become ripe and receptive. Ideas get fatty and more productive with time. Dont be super lazy but give your ideas some time.