Negotiation is a high contact human performance event. Toughen up.


In a negotiation, it is important not to be needy or show need to your adversary. When you convince yourself you need something, chemical reactions start to occur in your body and mind that are designed to prevent your imminent death. Your senses and thinking are distorted. Some negotiation adversaries will simply take advantage of this as you are their natural prey, and others just won’t deal with you because needy people don’t exactly inspire confidence and trust.

Our consumer economy thrives on our neediness and all kinds of sophisticated efforts are made to convince us that we need things and services. Who doesn’t feel lost without a cell phone nowadays, and even that is not ‘enough’ – they have to be ‘smart phones’. My daughter was driving with a friend and got lost on her way to a new destination. Her friend had a smart phone with a GPS and they were able to get back on track. She thought this was proof that she needed her own smart phone or a GPS. It didn’t even occur to her that she could have stopped and asked a local for directions.

I am not knocking smart phones, though I find it annoying when trying to have a conversation in person and someone is attending to their phone constantly. I hope a new etiquette will evolve.

My point is that we are constantly being pushed in our culture to believe we need things to not be miserable or terribly disadvantaged. This is very dangerous for the aspiring negotiator. Unfortunately, so many of us are so habituated to feeling needy that we are numb to its deleterious effects on our negotiations.

As a result, subtle ways that negotiations create need in us are completely missed. For example, imagine someone has agreed to buy a product or service that you offer. How do you feel? Excited? Now imagine they changed their mind and they aren’t going to buy it. How would you feel then? Upset? The source of your upset is the same as the source of your excitement. Your neediness is like a super fertilizer for these emotions. They were triggered by a simple yes. You expected the client to stick to their yes, and that expectation was the seed that created the need in you.

You might go to a colleague and gripe about how flaky people are, but you would be missing the real lesson. The Camp Negotiation Management System will teach you these lessons and more, and help you to undo the conditioning that that sabotages your negotiations.

Like a young athlete has to toughen up and get used to some physical contact in sports like football and soccer, contact that would be unacceptable and even frightening to them in other scenarios, you have to toughen up to be an effective negotiator. Negotiation is a high contact human performance event that also requires great skill and savvy. Good coaching in a proven system is essential to your being safe and effective.

Please share your thoughts.

William Chase

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