The Negotiator Magazine

Back to Index

1 2 3 4 next
download printable version (MS Word .doc)

Mind Games: Power, Personality and Emotion In Business Negotiation

By Delee Fromm

Most of us think of negotiation as a purely rational exercise. The reality is just the opposite. Personality, emotions and strategic moves play a large role in most negotiations and can be responsible for the success or failure to reach agreement. Mind games can also play out behind the scenes so that negotiating your relationship with the other side, including your legitimacy and credibility, can play as large a part as what is going on in the main negotiating event. Thus is it important to learn how to “hold your own” in difficult negotiations and with “difficult people”.

Below are set out just some of the ways to become a more successful and effective negotiator when dealing with mind games.

1. Preparation. Studies show that in 75% of all negotiations both parties wait to see what the other party will do before they decide what to do themselves. Anyone who is prepared has an enormous advantage in the negotiation. Learn to prepare in a way that allows you to anticipate how the negotiation will go, where obstacles will arise and what information you need from the other side. Such preparation will allow you to be flexible during the session, have a mastery of the facts, select the most appropriate strategy and know which strategic moves to use.

2. Increased Awareness. This includes being aware not only of how you react to conflict but also how the other side reacts. Awareness of how you approach conflict is very important. This helps you to understand not only how you normally respond to conflict but also when other responses are more appropriate. In addition to knowing about your preferred response to conflict, it is important to know how you take in information, how you listen (or don’t), how you make decisions, and what makes you uncomfortable during a negotiation. Once you understand your own preferences you will better be able to guess at what others’ preferences might be.

1 2 3 4 next
Back to Index


April 2006