Negotiating: Take Your Ego Off The Table by Garret Norris

Negotiating is part of our everyday lives and conversations one way or the other! To complement the advice, “Put your concerns on the table,” I should add it is often best to Keep secret your deal-breaking or “walk away” Point (commonly referred to by one of the world’s largest negotiation company’s as the P!@## Off point). Some negotiators feel that there is no such thing as a “win, win”, I disagree with this particularly if you intend to have an ongoing relationship. I find that a win-win situation works out well. Avoiding “I” statements is a good tip. It is very important to be wise rather than smart, putting the interest of both parties at heart of the conversation. Think negotiating is all bluff and bluster? Think again. According to Rony Ross, founder and executive chairman of Panorama Software, a provider of business intelligence software to 1,600 customers in 30 countries, the secret to successful negotiating is to take the ego out of the equation. Keep The Discussion Results-Oriented You have to be very comfortable with yourself to deal with something without any ego, (Keep Passion for Business and Emotion for home). I recommend keeping the focus of the negotiation solely on results and what would make the best long-term deal for both parties. By taking the emphasis off the people involved and keeping it on the facts, the negotiation is less likely to become hostile. While it’s easy to take things personally—considering that most business negotiations hinge on assigning a value to you or your product—it’s important that you don’t confuse yourself with the issue. Be Wise, Not Smart Always show respect and understanding for the other party. Framing the negotiation around mutual interests rather than your interest alone helps both sides feel good about it (the law of reciprocity) . And if you’re respectful, it’s more likely the other side will reciprocate. It is far better to “be wise, not smart.” keep your eye trained on the end result. Put Your Concerns On The Table If in a negotiation you are the smaller party and feel threatened, you may worry that the other party may not follow through with the deal and instead develop its own product, which would likely put you out of business. There is nothing wrong with voicing your fears. Avoid “I” Statements “I’ve been in so many negotiations with people who start with ‘I want this. If you talk instead about how ‘we need to reach a solution,’ it’s a very different approach. It doesn’t play to your ego requirements, but it reaches a much better deal. You can protect yourself with “if you then I” statements, “if you give me better trading terms then I will offer more support with selling the product”, If you range my product then I will give you exclusivity for X period of time”. Body Language Oftentimes people in negotiations lean back in their chairs rather than forward, which put a physical distance between themselves and the other side. Try to communicate openness and interest by sitting on the edge of her chair, placing her elbows on the table and leaning into the conversation. It’s all about engagement. For more information about how Garret Norris, KONA Groups Negotiation Specialist can help your business please call 1300 611 288 or email