Le 5 mai 2016, 11:40 dans Humeurs • 0
Whether you work from the comfort of your home office, or in a cubical 50 floors above the street,there’s one thing that you’ll never be able to avoid—negotiating.
There are some people that love the art of negotiation. Some even live for it. They thrive on theexcitement, elevated blood pressure and adrenal rush that comes with the “search for agreement”that negotiations represent. I’m sure you’ve met these competitive types before: they almostalways have the last word; they’re on the aggressive side of normal; they send back their saladbecause there weren’t enough croutons.
Then there are they rest of us. We avoid negotiation, not because we’re scared, but because it’s soawfully close to an argument…okay, maybe we’re just the slightest bit scared. Or, rather, lets call it“out of our comfort zone,” instead of scared—that’s much more civil.
Regardless of how it you makes feel, negotiating is a skill that every business person needs—fromthe CEO to the temp secretary. And when it comes to negotiating, it all about the words you chooseand how you put them together. Literary types call that “diction.” We’re just gonna call it“owning it.”
Here are some words and phrases to avoid when it’s your turn at the table.
1. “Somewhere In-Between”
9 times out of 10, negotiations are about one of two things: money, or time, and there’s a goodchance that you’ll be talking about both simultaneously at one point or another. Since both dealwith what statisticians call “continuous variables,” meaning that they can go on forever,theoretically, you can discuss them in the same way. For example: let’s say you tell an employee oroutside contractor that you need a job done “somewhere between 3 and 5 days from now.” Rightfrom the start, you’re fighting against yourself by giving them two points to choose from, andshowing them that you’re indecisive, which can be read as being a pushover. Not only that, butyou’re almost always guaranteed to to end up waiting for the date furthest away, or if you’retalking money, paying the higher price.
2. Ready, Aim, Raise…
…but it’s important not to aim too high. When your negotiation is centered on money—a salary orraise, for example—I find that it’s best to shoot first, aim high, and ask questions later. I know, I’musing a lot of gun metaphors—forgive me. There’s a reason (for the shooting first, not really for themetaphors) that you want to beat them to the punch: whatever number is thrown out first is thenumber that both partied focus on —it becomes a kind of anchor for the negotiation, and theprice/raise/what-have-you is generally closer to that anchor than not.
3. “The Buck Stops Here”
First of all, no-one says that anymore. That phrase, which is roughly equivalent to saying “I’m theboss,” not only sounds ridiculous when thrown into a negotiation, but it also leaves you backed intoa corner. Depending on whom you are negotiating with, the information that you ultimately makethe decisions can help them force you into answering a question or signing a deal when you aren’tquite ready to do so.
4. Keeping Calm (“Are We There Yet?”)
No matter what the negotiation is about, the party that comes out on top is usually the one who isthe calmest. That means no looking at the clock, no complaining that “this is taking too long,” andplease, take it easy to the bathroom breaks. You always want to seem like you have all the time in theworld. Remember that the point of a negotiation is to get what you want out of the deal, not to endthe negotiation as soon as possible.
5. Keeping Cool Reprise
Obviously, you should enter every negotiation with a cool head, and try to keep it cool throughoutthe proceedings. If you’ve seen any police procedural or lawyer drama, you’ll know that gettingyour counterpart’s blood hot is one of the easiest and fastest ways to get what you want. Don’tfall into the trap: you’re better than that.