You need to understand that the key to negotiation is being a good listener
To David J. Folk
Before you think about negotiating, you need to understand that the key to negotiating is being a good listener.
Good communicators listen carefully to determine their motivations. Listening carefully means giving your full attention to the other person, rather than thinking about what to say next as soon as they are silent. As Marshall Goldsmith in The One Skill That Separates, p. 86, Fast Company, July 2005 abstract, you need to “listen without distraction.”
Winners listen to understand their motivations and try to make them feel comfortable. Good communicators almost always have to follow the 80/20 rule. To do that, you need to listen 80% of the time and speak 20% of the time. If you can’t achieve that, you have two ears and one mouth. Please use that proportion.
How many people are blown away without stopping talking? How many of us love our voice so much that we have to chime in whether it helps us or not? We often steal defeat from the jaws of victory. If a lawyer fights in court, he may lose because he continues to argue even though he has already won. Something you thought you had to throw in as a knockout punch could make the judge (or vendor or customer) realize something you didn’t consider when trying to get what you wanted. I have.
Sometimes you need to know when not to talk at all. Consider why a robber insisted on his own defense in court. Because he had been through the system so many times, he thought he could do it better than any defense attorney. Our clever criminal interrogated the victim and confidently asked, looking out over the courtroom. “Do you see the man who robbed you here in the courtroom?” He clearly assumed that the victim would be scanning the people in the attorney’s chair and the galleries.
Instead, the victim blurted out, “Yes, it was you.” The defendant lost his composure and said, “If I had the chance, I would have shot him… if… I was there!” If you think it’s all about how smart you are and what you say, you might get similar results.
Any time you communicate, you are selling something. Selling means trying to convince someone of something instead of demanding what you want. You have to know your opponent and yourself. Spend some time thinking about what you are trying to achieve. Is it for short-term sales or for long-term customers and friends? Business is not just about making sales today.
It should be more than that. It should be for building long-term relationships. Building these relationships requires understanding the other person’s agenda and including it in the end result. If someone does the right thing, they will come back to you and recommend you to others. This is amazing, so simple that you need to remember it. You should focus on the goals and objectives of others rather than your own.
Before you try to force anything on someone, ask yourself if you really know anything about that person. The question “What do they want?” should be repeated over and over. When I meet with a client in trouble, the first task isn’t always the great things I can do for them, like the costly scorched-earth tactics to create a groundbreaking precedent. The first order of business is what they consider a reasonable outcome. Once that is decided, we can work as a team to achieve that goal.
It’s naive to sit down and think you can get a ton of information from your opponent. If that doesn’t happen, he must use one of the most powerful weapons in any communication: open-ended questions. In court, leading questions are frowned upon if the witness is not hostile to you. Leading questions suggest an answer, often with a simple yes or no.
Don’t lead when you’re trying to understand. Open-ended questions were: ‘Anything left unfinished?’, ‘Why are you asking that?’, ‘If you had this, how would you use it?’ “What are you looking for?” There are one or two that are most important to you. Asking questions like these can provide valuable information and let the other person know that you care about their needs.
It may take patience to unlock vaults of things others need or value. When I was a child, I was told many times that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Success is often won over the long term.
A big benefit of being a better listener is realizing that other people will like you more. David J. Lieberman provides a trick to use in Get Another to Do Anything: Never Feel Powerless Again – With Psychological Secrets to Control and Influence Every Things (St. Martin’s Griffin 2000). not.
He focuses on psychological principles such as “getting people to like you”, the author’s number one rule for getting what you want. Our natural state is to give and help. Who gets a raise for yelling and criticizing their boss? Think about what makes you like other people.
Let’s discuss some rules for negotiation. Once you understand your opponent’s expressed motives, you need to understand that fear and desire are the most powerful of the unexpressed motives.
Well, don’t get too excited. Desire here is of the type commonly defined as “strong desire or craving”. Those most willing to trade are likely to pay higher prices. Conversely, never let your opponent know your level of strength or desperation. Leave the scene if necessary and let time take over if possible.
All of this sounds like simple guidelines rather than state-of-the-art theories that have just been developed. Surprise, surprise. Many of the rules we are talking about have very old foundations. Benjamin his Franklin method of persuading others to his point of view required perseverance and perseverance. People were supposed to be persuaded slowly, often indirectly. Franklin would say, if you don’t win a deal today, try again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
Here are Franklin’s negotiating tips:
■ Be clear in your heart what you want.
■ Do your homework so that you are well prepared to discuss all aspects and answer any questions or comments.
■ Be persistent. Don’t expect to “win” from the start. Your first task is to make the other person think.
■ Make friends with your negotiating partners. Consider the needs, merits, and benefits of the other party in your negotiations.
■ Have a sense of humor.
Philip Sparber, in The Lawyer’s Guide to Negotiating Practices (Callaghan & Co., 1985), argues that in order to make the agreement more desirable, the psychological needs of the other party should be met and the problems of the other party should be addressed. It reminds us to try to resolve or help the other side achieve their goals. Convince the other party that the solution to the problem or goal has already been achieved, rather than the status quo, and that an agreement can only be reached if one party believes the other party will make no further meaningful concessions. .
We must remember that our negotiations do not take place in isolation. Mr. Sperber also said the length of the relationship, whether the parties will have to deal again, who will initiate negotiations, the type of transaction, whether both parties will initiate negotiations, etc. It’s a reminder that we need to consider variables and regions. Friendly, hostile, fearful, or neutral to each other.
Finally, how you speak and choose your words are just as important as what you are saying. To be successful, be enthusiastic and confident that what you are discussing is doable. Do not fly drones. When you have something to say, get to the point. Avoid ambiguity, weak language, or statements that sound like questions, and be precise. For others to accept it, you have to sound like you believe what you are saying.
And a boring disclaimer. I’m sorry, I have to. Matters discussed herein are of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Each specific legal matter requires special legal attention. Laws are constantly changing and what is discussed today may not be the same tomorrow. Legal issues are subject to different interpretations by lawyers, judges, jurors, and even academics. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of the matters discussed herein. If you are involved in any of these areas of law, you should consult with an attorney of your choice. Volk Law Offices, PA, its attorneys and other employees make no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or completeness of the matters discussed.
About the author
David Volk is a business litigation attorney with the Volk Law Offices in Pennsylvania with 34 years of experience. Matters discussed herein are of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Each specific legal matter requires special legal attention. Laws are constantly changing and what is discussed today may not be the same tomorrow.
Legal issues are subject to different interpretations by lawyers, judges, jurors, and even academics. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of the matters discussed herein. If you are involved in these areas of law, you should consult with an attorney of your choice. Volk Law Offices, PA, and their attorneys make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the matters discussed.
You can contact David Volk at Help@VolkLawOffices.com or visit VolkLaw online. VolkLawOffices.com.