Master this way to say "no" that doesn't kill your deals and instead leads to success.
Eric Barker wrote in his blog “Barking Up The Wrong Tree” that gratitude is the tactical nuke of emotions. That when you bring yourself to feel it, gratitude does a remarkable job of wiping the negative emotions away. That’s totally true and one of the key reasons top success performers like Tony Robbins teach people to focus on gratitude.
We all like to think that we have a certain amount of logic, some more than others, especially when it comes to making decisions that have a serious impact on our future – like in negotiation for example.
It is probably fair to say that when we as people make decisions it is heavily based on value, especially in business. We are constantly talking about “how we can find value” or “how we can create value” or “what can we do that makes us more valuable”. All these different uses of the word value confuse me, every time it is mentioned there is a different definition. If what I value is logical and what you value is logical, then how come they are different?
Empathy is commonly defined as being very close to sympathy in many cases. Merriam-Webster defines empathy as the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions. Empathy as it applies to negotiation is neither one, and going into a situation where you are trying to influence the other side using empathy with this characterization will only hinder progress. The linguistics professionals can describe empathy however they see fit. But they are not negotiators, they’re simply people filling books with words and have no feel for application.
We probably love hearing “you’re right” more than we love hearing “yes” and “yes” has been described as the most beautiful word in any language. Yet every time we hear “you’re right” alarm bells should be going off in our mind because we are shortly getting ready to hit an impasse.
There is no question that the average person has some understanding of empathy. It would not be a surprise if your first instinctual reaction to the title of this article was “of course” or “yes I do.” Even if you weren’t sure, with technology today you could go to Google and look up empathy in a few seconds. This however doesn’t give a full understanding of what it means to be empathetic. What I really want to focus on is a true understanding of what it means to be empathetic and how to use empathy as a tool to improve your value, leverage and bargaining position in any negotiation. I don’t usually like to make guarantees, but for most I can promise by the end of this article you will have a better feel for what it means to really understand empathy.