Wisdom From Books

Negotiate your way to success!

Posted on: March 15, 2010

In our lives, we all have to negotiate in some way or the other.

Trying to get a discount from shop keeper or trying to get a better pay package – negotiations are inevitable.

The question is: How can we negotiate to get our way? Negotiation is the art of saying “no” while maintaining bonding until an agreement is reached.

A good negotiator is able to say, “No, and let’s keep talking!”

Here is an example narrated by author in the book:” Hostage at the table” which gives an example of effective hostage negotiation:

The hostage taker held a knife to the woman’s throat and screamed, “I’m going to kill her for what she did to me. She destroyed my whole life.”

The hostage negotiator dealing with the conflict asked Peter, a former employee whom the woman had fired, to put down the knife.

 “No, I’m going to kill her now!” The hostage negotiator calmly responded, “Peter, can you speak to me fora few minutes so I can help you?”

 “You can’t help me! I have no life left. I’m going to cut her throat. She deserves to die for what she did to me.”

 “Can you speak with me for just one minute? I’m sure I can help you.”

“Nobody can help me now.”

 “Peter, I know you have a family. How do you want them to remember you?” Breaking down and sobbing as the police entered the room, Peter asserted, “I love my children. I cannot do this to them.”

What did the negotiator do? He asked questions, changing his goal repeatedly from the knife to time to Peter’s children. With each concession that Peter makes, the likelihood of success increases.

Five steps of breakthrough negotiation that will help to ensure that the outcome of any dialogue is satisfactory:

1. Do not react to provocations. Step away from the scene, calm down, and carefully plan your response. Do not respond automatically, because most automatic responses are negative and may escalate the situation further.

2. Step around obstacles, do not walk right into them. Use active listening to defuse negative feelings, and use “I messages” to express your feelings. Agree whenever you can, but stand up for your principles as well.

3. Ask people “Why?” “Why not?” or “How is that fair?” Try to move people involved in a conflict away from positional bargaining toward principled negotiation.

4. Make it easy for your opponent to agree. Make the offer as attractive as possible.

 5. “Bring them to their senses, not their knees.” Respect will work better than humiliation. It is important to remember the law of reciprocity; someone gives us something, we give something back. This concession making allows the dialogue to move forward with mutual respect.

Points to remember:

  • Negotiation normally involves some concession or loss. Every win-win has concessions behind it. Therefore, sell the benefits of those concessions to help people understand how a change will be better in the long term even though it may be painful initially.
  • Influence and persuasion are also powerful aspects of negotiation. Authenticity is essential in being able to influence and persuade effectively, giving the leader more “informal authority” to guide others. 
  • By regularly practicing negotiation, influence, and persuasion techniques, we can increase our skills and ability to not be “taken hostage” by the stresses and conflicts omnipresent in everyday life.

Your thoughts?



2 Responses to "Negotiate your way to success!"

Dear Mr. Mirza,

It is really nice book; according to its content, it is worth reading. How can i download this book online?

Thanks & regards,

Thanks for your comments. The book can be purchased from Amazon. Otherwise, there are other file sharing sites on whcih search can be made e.g. http://www.4shared.com

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