The Negotiator Magazine

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So, be careful what you say at the beginning. If the other person takes a position with which you totally disagree, don't argue. Arguing always intensifies the other person's desire to prove himself or herself right. You're much better off to agree with the other person initially and then turn it around using the Feel, Felt, Found formula. Respond with, "I understand exactly how you feel about that. Many other people have felt exactly the same way as you do right now. (Now you have diffused that competitive spirit. You're not arguing with them, you're agreeing with them.) But you know what we have always found? When we take a closer look at it, we have always found that . ."

Let's look at some examples:

1. You're selling something, and the other person says, "Your price is way too high." If you argue with him, he has a personal stake in proving you wrong and himself right. Instead, you say, "I understand exactly how you feel about that. Many other people have felt exactly the same way as you do when they first hear the price. When they take a closer look at what we offer, however, they have always found that we offer the best value in the marketplace."

2. You're applying for a job, and the human resources director says, "I don't think you have enough experience in this field." If you respond with "I've handled much tougher jobs that this in the past," it may come across as, "I'm right and you're wrong." It's just going to force her to defend the position she's taken. Instead, say, "I understand exactly how you feel about that. Many other people would feel exactly the same way as you do right now. However, there are some remarkable similarities between the work I've been doing and what you're looking for that are not immediately apparent. Let me tell you what they are."

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