Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

3.5. A position is amended without sacrificing fundamental interests for a selected scenario.

ryanrori January 7, 2021

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Think about the person with whom you are negotiating. Listen to the inner person, discovering their beliefs, values, preferences and schemas. Find out what power they have and how they might use it.

I can see that you do not take risks lightly…

Find what they really want

Understand how they prefer to satisfy their needs. Identify their interests and goals that underlie the positions they are taking. When you know what is driving them, you will have many alternative routes to satisfying them.

It looks like it’s really important for you that you move before the new school term.

Questions are asked for clarification and explanation.

When they have made their case, you can then ask deeper questions to probe for further information. If they have left out areas that you might have expected them to cover, it may be because they are not comfortable talking about this. Sustain a gentle approach of interest, curiosity and general inquiry. If you make it sound like an audit or inquisition, then they may well stop talking. Your goal is to make it easy for them to tell you more about their situation.

Questions are asked to test understanding and to summarise understanding of a position. 

Respond to the positions and claims of their opening statements and subsequent arguments, pointing out the limitations, falsehoods and irrelevancies. Depending on your approach, your attack on their position may be aggressive, rational, empathetic or apologetic. Overall, you are seeking to refute their argument, and the way you do this will set the tone for the rest of the negotiation. Note that erosion of their position is effective only when they feel less certain or that they have less to bargain with. Simply asserting that they are wrong may only serve to annoy them and make them more determined.

If they are claiming that something they have is of value to you, you can show how what is on offer is not that important. This is relatively easy to do as only you determine value of what you might get.

Sorry, sir. There is little call for these at the moment.

I don’t really care about how it looks. I just want something to transport the family.

When they make assertions, question them more closely. Change probabilities. Show how things asserted as always true are only sometimes true. Probe for the evidence behind asserted truths. Test the reasoning they are using then use what you discover to undermine what they are proposing as unquestionable truth.

How do you know that? Have you attended every meeting this year?

The train may be more reliable than it was, but it is still late sometimes.