Realize or not, we are all in the influence and persuasion business; we all negotiate to one degree or another. Thus, to create better relationships and to lead a successful and harmonious life, it behooves us to hone our skills at achieving good outcomes, to learn from the best.

  1. Experts begin by seeking common ground, mentioning and emphasizing mutual values and shared goals. Most of us want a better world, we just see different paths to the mountain top.
  2. Pros ask far more questions and listen deeply with the intent to learn, not to reply. To be effective, questions must be authentic and come from a sincere desire to fully understand the other’s motivations, needs, and desires. Once one knows the interests behind a position, it is easier to craft a more elegant solution that is more completely acceptable to all. Avoid aggressive, leading, or “gotcha” questions. Experts also understand the value of silence.
  3. Skilled negotiators make fewer points, not more. Experts know that weak arguments undermine stronger ones and that it is not smart to get others in the habit of knocking down your points.

Closing quotes:

“Conflict is good in a negotiation process. It’s the clash of two ideas, which then, all being well, produces a third idea.” – Luke Roberts

“Each negotiation is embedded in a larger context of co-being, which involves empathy and awareness of common goal/condition.” – Bilyana Martinovski

“If you are planning on doing business with someone again, don’t be too tough in the negotiations. If you’re going to skin a cat, don’t keep it as a house cat.”Marvin S. Levin

“If you come to a negotiation table saying you have the final truth, that you know nothing but the truth and that is final, you will get nothing.” – Harri Holkeri, 1937-2011, Prime Minister of Finland 1987–1991, speaker of the UN General Assembly 2000–2001

As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier