The Negotiator Magazine

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The problem stems from the fact that we have actually been conditioned into believing that someone's ideas can be improved by criticism, although experience has taught us that when it comes to negotiating, so much more is achieved when focusing on what's right rather than on what's wrong. If we seek to improve upon what we see and hear, rather than diminishing someone's suggestions or ideas, amazing results occur.

Our conclusions and means of handling negotiations are based upon the conditioning we've learned through our educational institutions and from our general upbringing. A sad commentary, that culturally we have become so focused on what's wrong instead of recognising what's right, we often miss opportunities. Rather than working together to create a mutually acceptable solution, negotiators merely play the role of judge, deciding who is right and who is wrong. When both negotiators come from the standpoint of being right, they're unable to hear each other's opinions. Hence, conflict and frustration is frequently the result, and this can be avoided.

If You Want to Win More!

Are we doomed to remain in the half-empty cup syndrome or is there something that can be done to change and improve upon our conditioned negotiation skills? There are usually numerous obstacles standing in the way of a successful negotiation, but with the proper tools and a little bit of "unlearning," there are many options available that will allow us to win more. As Albert Einstein observed, "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Negotiators who fail to keep pace with today's ever-changing business landscape are destined to find themselves stuck in old ways. Accordingly, if negotiators remained open to the positive aspects of ideas or suggestions presented by each side, deliberately identifying the positive aspects first, negotiators would find things moving forward rapidly. By way of illustration, when one person at the negotiation table quickly finds a flaw in an idea presented by the other, even if the majority of the transaction is effective, he or she is using negative thinking habits to focus on what's wrong. To solve the problem we have to begin focusing more on what's right. The principle that I encourage is a win more/win more parameter, where parties explore and seek to become more together than apart, i.e. win more/win more as opposed to merely win/win.

Effective Negotiation Tools!

We need intelligence and sharp focus when we begin the negotiation process but more importantly we need a good measure of wisdom to widen our perspective. Whether you are currently in the process of negotiating a business deal or contract, or simply trying to develop a new set of tools that can empower your negotiation skills, the following are some tips that will help you start moving in a new direction.

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November 2004