The Negotiator Magazine

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The clarity of the image or vision, as is also the case in goal setting, creates the energy for you to move from a current position to the position that is visualised

In order to get the detail just right, you would need to work at getting the images recalled or constructed in as much detail as possible. Begin with a really familiar image from the past and work your way into more complex events that are yet to take place.

During your preparation, imagine your self standing, sitting, facing the target audience and delivering. When you get it just right you may even experience the butterflies. When they arrive, slow down; start again until you get it just right.  A useful hint would be to not watch yourself in a “TV view” but to actually look down at your notes, see the clothes that you are wearing, see the audience as they are seated in front of you. Recognise faces. Drop positive emotions into your being as you imagine. See yourself taking up space with your eyes.

Once you have run through this routine a number of times, by the time you eventually deliver your hard worked preparation you have been there before and your stage fright will be something of the past.

If you reach a position where you feel that you are loosing the grit and the self confidence starts fading, just rewind, as it were, to where you are comfortable again and build from there. 

The power of imagery

Practising this technique for a short while everyday will get you through the most difficult of situations and probably rid you of the negotiation flutters irrespective of the opponent and negotiating subject matter. Imagery is an amazingly simple technique that will assist you in building negotiating confidence.

Continuously picture yourself relentlessly achieving negotiating success as well as being a groomed and confident negotiator and your probability at actual negotiating successes, including your self confidence, will soar. 

Resources: Manie Spoelstra Wynand Pienaar, 1999. Negotiation Theories, Strategies & Skills. Cape Town. Juta

IPM manpower journal April 1983 – Inner modeling, pg 24 by Richard Israel .

Dave Harris has worked in conflict management training and mentoring negotiators for 20 years throughout the Southern African states. He is an associate of Professor Manie Speolstra of the International Negotiation Academy in South Africa.

Dr. Harris holds a PhD from the Commonwealth Open University (South Africa) with research focusing on "effective negotiation skills as a determinant of leadership effectiveness." He has also completed post-graduate studies in project management and labor relations at the University of South Africa.

Dave Harris owns Tolbos (tumbleweed) Consulting, a management consultancy in South Africa. You may him contact him by e-mail at


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April 2007