Learning and development training

Thought for the day

The full archive of free daily management tips from our team of trainers.

‘Be receptive’

Frequently, we approach a negotiation having considered all the issues and developed a solution that satisfies our concerns. We then see the negotiation as about convincing our opponent of the value of our solution. The problem is that our opponent has also considered all the issues and developed a solution that suits them, and the chances of both parties finding the same solution are pretty remote.

Both therefore start the negotiation with their own solution which they wish to ‘sell’ to the other party. Each is resistant to the ideas of the other. Each solution may solve the problems of one party, but is unlikely to solve both sets of problems. As the negotiation proceeds, people tend to dig in to these positions, their solutions and their ideas.

It is relatively easy to break this spiral. The first step is to recognise that you are negotiating ‘with’ the other party, rather than against them. This involves being receptive to their ideas and their proposals, and indeed encouraging them. It is relatively easy to ask, at an appropriate point in a negotiation, how the other party recommends that you resolve the problem you are negotiating. The skill is then to develop, enhance and build on their proposal, to the point where it is an acceptable solution to both of you. Unfortunately, what most of us do is propose our own solution, rather than invite theirs. If we don’t like theirs, we then counter-propose.

Breaking the spiral starts from the basic premise that the other party will be more receptive to a solution based on their proposal than on yours. Even outrageous proposals from the other party can be modified, developed and enhanced.

© The author

This thought has been taken from Eric’s book ‘Mastering Negotiations’. A master negotiator himself, he is our expert trainer on the subject – click here for details of one of his most popular courses.

Previous Thoughts for the day

Red Arrow‘Encourage your customers to be unreasonable’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Give your customers the benefit of the doubt’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Encourage your customers to complain’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Being good enough, isn’t good enough – give customers a reason to be faithful’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘How to keep a customer for life – give them lots of reasons to stay’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Close the customer service department’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Customer satisfaction is everybody’s job’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Customer satisfaction is not satisfactory’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘The answer is – yes!’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘What are others doing?’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘How can I take better care of my customers?’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Every sales call is a free market research opportunity’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘The customer isn’t always right’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Give your customers more than they pay for’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Wash your dirty laundry in private’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘It’s OK to spend money’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Expect the unexpected’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Have a NIZ!’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Dump trivia’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Less is more’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Speed up routine tasks’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Stop doing other people’s work’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Ask questions’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Take control!’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Listen!’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘You don’t have to answer the question’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Shut up!’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Be receptive’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Go to the balcony’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Think before you speak’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘You can’t stare – but you must watch!’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Don’t be predictable’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘KISS’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Aim high’
read more read more
Red Arrow‘Say “No.” ’
read more read more