One of my students at USC Marshall recently made this observation during a negotiation: “When he said that, I smelled blood in the water. I knew I had him.” What did the counterpart say that was such a telegraph of a feeling of weakness? An inadvertent “announcement”? A “tell” if you will, that he felt he had no leverage?
One of the biggest problems we see in negotiation begins during the process of preparation. Of course we all know preparation is important but “how you prepare” and “what for” are equally, if not even more important.
The #1 Sin - The Lust for “Yes” Lust. One of the 7 deadly sins of life and the first Deadly Sin of Negotiation. It’s a powerful poison for a reason. Lust is the dangerous alchemy of love and fear combined. You love, yearn, crave something and at the same time you fear losing it so much you close your ears, eyes, and mind to everything that threatens it.
Negotiators are the people on whom the on-scene commander relies to provide an analysis of the behavioral and contextual factors at play during an incident in order to help the development of a strategy for resolution. Get it right and we will get little recognition. Get it wrong and the blame will be at our feet.
A “take it or leave it offer” signals a great deal of insecurity on the part of the other side. If they weren’t afraid to negotiate, they would. They’re either afraid they might give in too much, or they’re under some external pressure that’s got them spooked. This gives you leverage.
Yes is a very tricky concept, especially when put it into the negotiation context. First of all, there are 3 types of “yes” – Confirmation, Commitment & Counterfeit – (the 3 ways to “C” yes) as it were. Now while we do not ever advocate aiming for a “yes” or trying to force agreement through “yes”, there will be times when you have to deal with it. Here are the two major ways to handle “yes”.