Secret 3 - How to start a negotiation?
Black BELT negotiators are building good connections. It makes sense, right!
But we often jump into the negotiation right away, we focus on subject and position but not people. And above all, we forget about cleaning the communication channel before starting to find a solution.
Our studies show that you will be twice as likely to get to an agreement with a good connection.
So how do make a genuine connection? How do you address emotion spikes? And how do you avoid the common traps?
Connection is the time to establish a genuine connection before any discussion.It is also used to "Clean the channel" if you believe strong emotions exist before the negotiation, then take the time to address them.
A study from Professor Cialdini (1) is made of two groups: the first group was told, "Time is money. Get straight down to business", the second group was told, "Before you begin negotiating, exchange some personal information with each other." The first group closed the deal with a 55% success rate, where the second group closed the deal with a 90% success rate.
From Inness© study (2), the connection phase brings twice more value at the negotiation table than no connection at all.
The need for connection and community is primal, as fundamental as the need for air, water, and food.
Take the time to establish a genuine connection before any discussion:
- Use similarity and mirroring to sync and find common interests,
- Ask open-question on matters your counterpart is interested in,
- Break the ice by talking about sundry topics (but avoid the common),
- Humour, if you take caution, is a highway to the connection.
- Be sincere. If you fake your emotions, you will sound and look fake.
- Use Baritone-effect. A soft, calm, and low-pitch voice as a positive impact on your charisma and persuasion effect (4).
- Check the connection sometimes during your negotiation. Often, it is lost on-the-way to your objectives. So take a step back and check if it is still on, if not, take some time to reconnect.
Clean the channel
If you believe strong emotions exist before the negotiation, then address them. Otherwise, you take the risk that these emotions would emerge later on. If there's anger or tension, label them. However, be as soft as possible; empathy is not an exact science; being soft allows room for misinterpretation and avoid over-reaction from your counterpart. For example: "It seems like there's a bit of concern on your part", "It sounds like you're unhappy about this situation".
If you think that high emotions may arise based on something you may do or say, then you can prevent this reaction by putting words on our they may react. However, only do this if the likeliness to get an emotional response is high. You don't want to project your thoughts, emotions, and fear and to imagine too much about what your counterpart may think. For example:" It may be that the topic I want to share with you would be difficult to hear, how would you like me to share it with you?", or, "My proposal may sound like I am very demanding at first, how can I show that my intention is positive ?".
It may [look|sound|feel|seem|be] [like|that] + [potential emotional response] + [Open question].
- Source. Pr Cialdini «In a series of negotiation studies, a first group was told, "Time is money. Get straight down to business." In this group, around 55% were able to come to an agreement. A second group, however, was told, "Before you begin negotiating, exchange some personal information with each other. Identify a similarity you share in common then begin negotiating." In this group, 90% of them were able to come to successful and agreeable outcomes that were typically worth 18% more to both parties
- Royer, S. (2019). The Negotiation 6-Acts. www.inness.ch
- Rosenberg, Marshall B. (2003). Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (2nd ed.). Encinitas, CA: PuddleDancer Press. ISBN 978-1-892005-03-8
- Zei, B.https://www.vox-institute.ch/eng/publications