An FBI agent gave his top 5 tips to win a negotiation.
“In tense situations like this, the traditional negotiating advice is to keep a poker face. Don’t get emotional. Until recently, most academics and researchers completely ignored the role of emotion in negotiation. Emotions were just an obstacle to a good outcome, they said. “Separate the people from the problem,” was the common refrain.
But think about that: how can you separate people from the problem when their emotions are the problem? Especially when they are scared people with guns. Emotions are one of the main things that derail communication. Once people get upset at one another, rational thinking goes out of the window.”
1. Mirror Words Selectively.
Repeat the last three words the person said back to them. It is a quick way to establish rapport and make your counterpart feel safe enough to reveal themselves. This tactic will also slow the conversation down and give you more time to think.
2. Practice Tactical Empathy.
Demonstrate to your counterpart that you see the nuances of their emotions. Use phrases like, “It sounds like you are afraid of…” and “It looks like you’re concerned about…” Expressing accusations instead of denying them keeps them from festering.
3. Get To A “No.”
Being pushed for a “yes” makes people defensive. However, saying “no” makes the speaker feel safer and more secure. Ask no-oriented questions like “Is now a good time to talk?” or “Have you given up on this project?”
4. Trigger “That’s Right.”
A negotiation breakthrough can happen when you’ve convinced someone that you understand their feelings. Summarize and reaffirm their feelings to trigger the “That’s right” response.
5. Create The Illusion Of Control.
The secret to gaining the upper hand in a negotiation is to give the other side the illusion of control. Don’t try to force your opponent to admit that you are right. Ask questions that begin with “What?” and “How?” to make your counterpart think.
Featured image via Twitter.