Every now and again, the best negotiators find themselves sitting across the table from someone who is nonconfrontational.
Because we are all so accustomed to dealing with counterparts who love to battle, it’s always worth revisiting the most effective ways to deal with nonconfrontational people.
How to Deal with Nonconfrontational Negotiators
Just because someone is nonconfrontational doesn’t mean you can run them over.
When you’re negotiating with a nonconfrontational counterpart, make sure you hear their side of the story first. This will help you build Tactical Empathy™, which you’ll need to get the outcomes you’re hoping for.
Do this by using healthy doses of Labels™ , Mirrors™, and Dynamic Silence™. With the right approach, you can figure out exactly what their vision is, what they’re trying to accomplish, and why they came up with the proposals they’re bringing to the table.
Once you understand their point of view so thoroughly that they have no choice but to respond with the two golden words—”That’s Right”™—it’s time to make your ask.
Use a no-oriented question to kick things off: Would you be opposed to me sharing my vision?
Once you’ve built a relationship with the other side, they’ll be much more receptive to your pitch.
Remember, people are six times more likely to do business with people they like. In other words, if they like you, they’ll do business with you. And getting them to like you starts with actively listening to what they have to say.
How to Negotiate When You’re Nonconfrontational
What happens when the shoe is on the other foot, and you are the negotiator who is more agreeable than confrontational?
When you’re dealing with someone who is aggressive, chances are they are an Assertive negotiator type—meaning they want to be respected and heard.
Use the same tactics you’d use against a nonconfrontational negotiator: Give them space to vent and get everything off their chest.
Once they’ve said their piece, use Negotiation 9™ to uncover the Black Swans and arrive at the intended objective.
It all starts with staying curious. Ask yourself why the other side is doing what they’re doing. While staying curious, you also need to understand that your counterpart is acting the way they are for a reason. If this individual has been aggressive in the past, you need to accept that they will likely continue to be aggressive in the future.
And remember—you’ll have to vent too. Use C.A.V.I.AA.R before sitting down at the table, and try to vent to someone who will feed you positive energy in response.
If you fail to vent your thoughts and frustrations, they’re going to cloud your judgment, making it difficult for you to accomplish your goals. By venting beforehand, you will have a clear mind. This will help you identify the personality type you’re up against—which, in this case, is almost certainly an Assertive.
At this point, you’ll want to launch into an Accusation Audit™ to preemptively defuse the negative sentiments harbored by the other side: You’re probably thinking that I’m not paying attention to you. You might even think this will be a complete waste of time if you don’t get what you want. After this, it’s time to make your ask.
If you feel as though you’re being attacked by someone, you need to remember that your counterpart isn’t attacking you—they’re attacking the problem. The sooner you realize that the problem itself is your shared “enemy,” the sooner you can begin collaboratively working toward a resolution.
Become a Nonconfrontational Negotiator
Despite what you might think, it’s best to be a nonconfrontational negotiator. When you’re thinking about confronting someone, it becomes difficult to concentrate, making it nearly impossible to figure out the best way forward.
If you’re struggling in this area, remember to stay curious and listen to learn. If you are genuinely curious about what someone has to say, everything will fall into place.
Interested in learning more ways to get better results every time you sit down at the table? Continue your journey by checking out our guide, 7 Unexpected Ways to Increase Sales.