Martina Lucaroni – Gi Group
Which is the basis of a good Negotiation? What the techniques that you can use to get the most out of your negotiation?
Take time to build a relationship, make the first offer when you have a strong sense of the bargaining range, and search for wise tradeoffs across issues to create value.
Here five lesser-known but similarly effective negotiation topics and techniques that can benefit all professional negotiators:
Reframe anxiety as excitement.
It’s common even for professional negotiators to feel nervous, but this state of mind can lead us to make costly decisions, according to Harvard Business School professor Alison Wood Brooks. We tend to believe the best negotiation techniques to deal with our anxiety is to calm down, but that can be easier said than done. Try reframing the state of high physiological arousal associated with anxiety as excitement, recommends Brooks. This subtle reframing tactic, actually increases authentic feelings of excitement—and improves subsequent performance in negotiation.
Anchor the discussion with a draft agreement.
The person who makes the first offer in a negotiation is likely to sway the discussion in her favor. First offers tend to serve as powerful anchors, even for experienced professional negotiators. To make an even bigger impact, you might try opening substantive negotiations with a draft agreement, or standard-form contract, prepared with your legal counsel and any relevant decision makers from your team. A standard-form contract not only uses the anchoring bias to your advantage but could save both sides time and money, making this one of the negotiation techniques that could really be worth trying.
Draw on the power of silence.
In negotiation, as in any discussion, we tend to rush in to fill any uncomfortable silences that arise with persuasion techniques and counter-arguments. That can be a mistake, according to Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Guhan Subramanian. After your counterpart speaks, allowing a few moments of silence to settle can give you time to fully absorb what he just said. “If a counterpart drops an outrageous anchor, “your stunned silence will far more effectively defuse the anchor than heaps of protesting would,” says Subramanian.
Ask for advice.
Professional negotiators often assume that asking the other party for advice will convey weakness, inexperience, or both. But in fact, in one recent study, participants rated partners who asked them for advice to be more competent than partners who didn’t ask for advice, When we ask for advice, we flatter the adviser and boost her self-confidence, so consider taking opportunities to ask your counterpart for advice when you truly need it. Not only are you likely to benefit from the advice, but you may strengthen the relationship in the process.
Put a fair offer to the test with final-offer arbitration.
When negotiating to end a dispute under the shadow of a lawsuit, you might find yourself frustrated by a counterpart’s seeming inability to make or entertain reasonable, good-faith offers. How can you come to a settlement that’s fair to both sides in such an adversarial negotiation? One promising but underused tool is final-offer arbitration, also known as baseball arbitration. Here each party submits its best and final offer to an arbitrator, who must select either of the two offers and not any other value. Parties may not appeal the arbitrator’s decision. When parties agree to use Final Offer Arbitration, their offers typically become reasonable, as they now have an incentive to impress the arbitrator with their reasonableness.