You Can Negotiate Anything, Anywhere, Anytime

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

New Year's Resolutions: How to Negotiate With Your Nemesis Like a Pro

2018 New Year's Resolutions

Have you made your New Year's Resolutions yet? Some say resolutions are made so they can be broken. Start with a list, a very short list. What do you want in 2018 that you did not achieve in 2017 even though you tried.  What worked? What didn't work? What held you back?

How to Negotiate With Your NemesisIn relationships, whether at home or at work, there is usually at least one person who is a friction point. No matter what you do or say, no matter whatever strategy you use, it usually turns out badly. You said too much; you said too little; you were too mad; you were too angry. This person is your nemesis. Just visualizing your nemesis or even just saying your nemesis' name probably elicits an emotion like anger, fear, or annoyance.  Like all of us, you probably have more than one but pick one to use your new skills.

1. Don't be Distracted by Your Emotions

A. What is it that irritates or angers you about this person?Sometimes this is hard to determine, but focus on how you feel after you have a discussion or argument with the nemesis. Did they say something or do something that hurt your feelings?

B. Once you have figured out what makes them so maddening, try to neutralize that feeling.Try to get beyond what made you mad in 2017 and resolve to be neutral in their presence and that you will try some new techniques in 2018.

C. It does not matter whether you like the other side or not.Some people are obnoxious, rude and insulting.  However, this does not mean that it is impossible to negotiate with them although it might be more difficult. The other side may be playing you and trying to  "get your goat" as my mother would say. The key is to focus on the negotiation and ignore the other side's efforts at baiting you.

D. Can you proceed?Decide whether the time and energy to deal with this nemesis is worthwhile. If a person is toxic to your life, then you have to make a decision as to whether the negotiation is worth saving and whether you are willing to give it another try. This is why many people like to communicate through their attorneys because they don't even want to look at the other party.

2. Techniques to Deal With Your Nemesis

A. Don't let the other person get under your skin or into your head.Sometimes the best way to succeed is to ignore the comments, especially if they do not pertain to the negotiation. Push ahead to say what you are specifically willing to accept. 

B. Let the other side rant but make it a short rant.A healthy amount of venting can go a long way. Sometimes the nemesis wants to rant about the past,so let him. Just don't take the rant seriously or let it affect your mood. It is almost like recess for children. A few minutes in the playground can clear the mind.

C. If things are going well, keep going, If things are not going well, take lots of breaks.If things are getting too emotional or you are not making any progress, breaks can help. It allows the parties to calm down and you can prepare another strategy if the current one is not working.

D. Schedule according to the personality of your nemesis.If your nemesis is a night owl, don't schedule a meeting in the morning. If your nemesis needs three square meals a day, be aware that your nemesis' angry attitude may be caused by hunger. Have snacks and healthy food available.

E. Try humor.Humor can reduce the tension of a tense negotiation. A well-placed joke can do wonders. Just make sure it is clean and not sexist or racist. That kind of joke would do more harm than good. Everyone likes a good laugh and it helps all parties relax a little.

F. Know when to hold and know when to close.If your negotiation is not going well, your may want to declare an impasse. Try everything you can to keep the negotiation going. If you are making some progress, no matter how little, it may be worthwhile to continue. However, if you have not made any progress for awhile, it may be time to throw in the towel.

3. Techniques to Negotiate With Your Nemesis

A. How to Negotiate With a narcissist                                                                             a. What is a narcissist?A narcissist lakes empathy and does not care about your point of view. A narcissist is arrogant, boastful, egocentric, self-important and selfish.

b. Leave your ego at the door.When negotiating with a narcissist, try to make the narcissist look good. That means you may look bad, but consider this negotiation an acting job. You may have to compliment the other side. Be as sincere as you can muster.

c. Get to the point quickly.Narcissists have a short attention span so don't make it overly complicated.  Bullet points work best. Skip the background material you might use in another setting.

d. Never interrupt a narcissist.Don't be insulted if a narcissist interrupts you. Narcissists interrupt because they think that what they have to say is more important that what anyone else has to say.

e. Give the narcissist all the credit.If the negotiation gets resolved, give the credit to the narcissist. If the negotiation goes badly, take the blame.

B. How to Negotiate With a Bully
a. Ignore the bully tactics.
You are not going to intimidate the bully with the same tactics he or she uses. You need to ignore his bully tactics or remarks and remain confident.

b. Out-prepare the bully.You should always be prepared, but when dealing with a bully you need to be over-prepared. Draft your resolutions, prepare your backup plans and memorize your talking points. Try to predict what the bully's goals are and what will be his objections to your proposals. Your preparation will also help your self-confidence.

c. Call out the bullyWhen the bully acts out and raises his voice or tries to threaten the negotiations, ask him a few questions and see what the response is. You must remain calm and not ask these questions with anger or intimidation in your own voice. ou can ask in a matter of fact tone, "Why did you come to the negotiation today if you don't want to participate? What exactly did you expect from these negotiations today."

d. If the bully continues his intimidation techniques, give him an ultimatum.You could say something like this in a calm voice, "I am finding your behavior intolerable today. If you want to try again tomorrow with your counter-proposals, let's see if we can reach an agreement.

e. Give him one last chance; then walk away.If the bully does not make concessions or want to participate in the negotiations, then declare an impasse and walk away. It would be pointless to continue.

C. How to Negotiate With a Liar                                                                                                a. Tell the Truth,                                                                                                            Even when those around you are obviously lying, be sure you are telling the truth. If you start lying, too, the negotiations are doomed.

b. Assume everything the liar says is a lie unless proven otherwise.When negotiating with a liar, you need assume everything is a lie and act accordingly.

c. Take detailed minutes of all negotiating sessions.
Since you are assuming everything said is a lie or will be denied later on, it is important that you have good records of all of your meetings. If both parties agree, it would be even better to record all meetings. Try to have your side be responsible for the recording. if  you don't record, then take detailed minutes of each meeting. At the beginning of each meeting, pass around the transcription or minutes of the previous meeting for the parties to approve. If it is denied later on, you have proof that it was earlier agreed to by all parties.

d. Get everything in writing.Have the other side sign any provision agreed to by both parties as soon as possible. Have a draft available at the meeting so it can be signed after both parties agree to it. This will make it difficult, but not impossible, for the liar to change his mind later on.

If you follow all these tips, you will be negotiating like a pro.

Excerpts from Third Edition of How to Negotiate Like a Pro, How to Resolve Anything, Anytime, Anywhere by Mary Greenwood. Visit. www.MaryGreenwood.org

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