Best Negotiating Tip 1002

Crossing a rushing stream is easier if you take the time to locate the stones creating a path across the stream before wading into the water. It is unfortunate to have waded midstream only to realize that you are too far from the far bank to make it without taking a dip.

Once we start negotiating, the process can take over and the competitive spirit can make reachin the other side, settling the argument or resolving a difference, difficult. Often married couples argue over minor issues and drag the discord into a major confrontation because they can't stop arguing once the original issue has been resolved. Their emotions intervene to enflame the discussions bringing past issues and relationship difficulties into the fray.

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Therefore it is very helpful and healthy for the relationship to know when to stop negotiating and settle the dispute. Couples who master this will find that they can take the chill off an otherwise cold night!

If the negotiations have become heated and emotions are obscuring settlement, you need to find a way to let the raging emotions calm. In a business setting this is a great time to take a break, grab a cup of coffee and let things settle down. If it is a personal conflict breaking the discussions off may make sense but can also further antagonize the situation so alternative calming tacttics may be required.

In a personal situation with a spouse, family member or friend there are some ways to ease the emotional tension. The bast way NOT to do this is to say, 'We need to all calm down'. That typically will have the opposite effect. So here are some options:


  • Try asking for clarity, 'Can you help me understand what I did?' is an olive branch extension seeking help from the other person. It is hard to stay emotionaly charged when someone else is asking for your help if you care about them.

  • Try suggesting a brief break in the conversation, 'I need a glass of water, can I get you one?' signals not only a brief respit from the argument but also telegraphs the fact that in all this you do still care about the other person.

  • Try a subtle diversion, 'Did you hear that? What do you think it was?' may be enough to refocus those involved in a common threat, disturbance or opportunity. Often we become so intensely focused that we are unable to step back and consider the bigger, less volatile picture. An unexpected noise, telephone or doorell ring, or the cry oof a child can serve to reestablish proper perspective and ease the tension.


Obviously these techniques are a bit manipullative but, if used sparingly, can serve to help maintain a healthy relationship and keep minor disagreements just that; minor.
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People, being people, will find many reasons not to accept a settlement offer or proposal. This is where the pre-existence of a relationship will make reaching a final accord easier. There is a tactic that often breaks the ice. People like to be liked. One way to segway into the final and formal agreement stage is to say some like, 'I feel you are a man (or woman) whose word I can rely on. I am ready to agree with you on this, are you?' This approach subtly shifts the focus from the point in question to the relationship between the two people. Can they agree to trust each other? If a good relationship has been estalished, even briefly, this personalization of asking the other to be personally bound may make the difference between getting a 'yes' or 'no' response.