Course Manuals 1-12
Course Manual 1: What’s Negotiation
Your entire world is a giant negotiating table, and whether you like it or not, you are a participant. You, as an individual, are at odds with others: family members, salespeople, competitors, or entities with catchy names like “the Establishment” or “the power structure.” How you handle these encounters will determine not only whether you prosper, but also whether you can live a full, pleasurable, and satisfying life.
Negotiation is a field of study and endeavor that focuses on gaining the favor of those from whom we seek things. That’s all there is to it.
What do we want?
We want a variety of things, including prestige, freedom, money, justice, status, love, security, and recognition. Some of us know how to get what we want better than others. You will be one of those people after completing this workshop and understanding and mastering the art of negotiation.
Traditionally, those with the most talent, dedication, and education have been rewarded. However, those who believe that virtue and hard work will triumph in the end are delusory. The winners in life are people who are not only competent but also have the ability to negotiate their way to what they want.
Even if you are not aware of it, negotiation is used in many aspects of daily life. In everyday life, examples include negotiating a price on an open market, negotiating a car purchase at a dealership, negotiating job compensation, and negotiating between warring countries.
What is negotiation?
Negotiation is a conversation between two or more people with the goal of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement or resolving a conflict. During a negotiation, each party will attempt to persuade the other to accept his or her point of view. The goal is to avoid disagreements and reach some sort of agreement between the parties.
It is the use of information and power to influence behavior within a “tense web.” If you consider this broad definition, you’ll realize that you negotiate all the time, both at work and in your personal life.
Negotiating, according to the authors of Getting to Yes, is “a back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed.”
Negotiation is defined similarly by other experts. Negotiation, according to Leigh Thompson’s negotiation textbook The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, is an “interpersonal decision-making process” that is “necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objectives alone.” And, as Max H. Bazerman and Don A. Moore write in their book Judgment in Managerial Decision Making, “when two or more parties need to reach a joint decision but have different preferences, they negotiate.”
These definitions, taken together, cover a wide range of negotiations we engage in in our personal lives, at work, and everywhere in between.
In every negotiation there are 3 keys:
1. Information- the other side appears to know more about you and your needs than you do about them.
2. Time- The other side does not appear to be under the same organizational pressure, time constraints, and restrictive deadlines that you are.
3. Power- The opposing party always appears to have more power and authority than you do.
Power is an incredible entity. It is the capacity or ability to complete tasks…to exert control over people, events, situations, and oneself. All power, however, is based on perception. If you think you’ve got it, you probably do. You don’t have it if you believe you don’t have it, even if you do. In short, if you believe you have power and view your life’s encounters as negotiations, you will have more power.
Your ability to negotiate determines whether or not you can influence your surroundings. It gives you a sense of control over your life. It’s not chiseling, and it’s not intimidating an unsuspecting target. It is the analysis of information, time, and power to influence behavior… the meeting of needs (yours and others’) to make things happen the way you want them to.
According to Herb Cohen (known as the world’s best negotiator)– the two greatest negotiators in history that ever lived were Jesus Christ and Socrates. Approximately 2,000 years ago, neither man was part of the Establishment at the time. Neither had formal authority. However, both exercised a great amount of power.
Both men wore shabby clothes and went around asking questions (and thus gathering information), one in the form of syllogisms and the other in the form of parables. They had goals and expectations. They were willing to take risks as long as they felt in control of their situation. Each man chose the location and manner of his death. However, in dying, both gained followers who carried on after them, changing the value system on the face of the earth. In fact, many people try to live their values in their daily lives.
Cohen believes they were negotiators. They were power people and Win-Win ethical negotiators.
Unfortunately, most people are not born negotiators. The good news is that research consistently shows that most people can improve their negotiation skills significantly through education, preparation, and practice.
Members of the Harvard Negotiation Project created a framework to help people prepare for negotiations more effectively. According to Patton in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution, “the Seven Elements framework describes the essential tools needed to identify our goals, prepare effectively to minimize surprises, and take advantage of opportunities as they arise in negotiation.”
The following are an overview of the seven elements of negotiation:
1. Interests. According to Patton, interests are “the fundamental drivers of negotiation”—our basic needs, wants, and motivations. Our interests, though often hidden and unsaid, guide what we do and say. Negotiators with experience probe their counterparts’ stated positions to better understand their underlying interests.
2. Legitimacy. Many of our decisions in negotiations are driven by the desire for a legitimate, or fair, deal. If you believe the other party is taking advantage of you, you are more likely to reject their offer, even if it is objectively better for you. To be successful in negotiations, we must present proposals that others view as fair and legitimate.
3. Relationships. Whether you have an ongoing relationship with a counterpart or don’t expect to see her again, you must effectively manage your relationship as your negotiation progresses. When you have an ongoing connection, relationship dynamics become even more important: future business, reputation, and relationships with others may all be at stake. You can fortify the relationship by taking the time to establish rapport and maintaining your own high ethical standards throughout the process.
4. Alternatives and BATNA. Even as we participate in negotiations, we are aware of our alternatives off the table—what we will do if the current deal fails. An analysis of your BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, should be included in negotiation preparation.
5. Options in negotiations refer to any available choices that parties may consider in order to satisfy their interests, such as conditions, contingencies, and trades. According to Patton, because options tend to capitalize on the similarities and differences of the parties, they can create value in negotiation and improve party satisfaction.
6. Commitments. A commitment in negotiations is defined as an agreement, demand, offer, or promise made by one or more parties. A commitment can range from an agreement to meet at a specific time and location to a formal proposal and a signed contract.
7. Communication. You will engage in a communication process with the other party or parties whether you are negotiating online, by phone, or in person. Your communication choices, such as whether you threaten or concede, brainstorm collaboratively or make firm demands, make silent assumptions about interests, or ask questions to probe them more deeply, can all affect the outcome of your negotiation.
With a better understanding of these negotiation building blocks, you will be able to learn more about how to prepare to create and claim value in negotiations, manage fairness concerns, and reach the best deal possible—for both you and your counterpart.
Case Study on Women in Negotiation – Linda Babcock, Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender
“People who were instructed to focus on their targets in practice negotiations consistently negotiated better agreements than people who focused on their reservation values instead. The people who focused on their targets did two things differently. They asked for more at the outset, and they hung in there a little longer. They resisted agreeing until they received an offer that was close to their goal. In one study, participants who focused on their targets reached agreements that were 13 percent higher than those achieved by people negotiating about the same issues who focused instead on the minimum they would accept.”
In Linda’s book Ask for it How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want, she share’s:
“In the middle of a negotiation, what they planned to ask for suddenly seems ridiculous, excessive, too much. If this happens to you, hold on tight to the information you’ve collected, and don’t suddenly revise your goals downward. Focus on your target and fight the impulse to concede too quickly. After all your hard work, don’t make the mistake of walking away too soon.”
Negotiations, as previously stated, are a method of resolving disagreements. The key to a successful one is to achieve the desired outcome without causing animosity. Negotiations, whether informal or formal, follow the same general procedure:
Before beginning a negotiation, it is critical to consider not only what you want out of the negotiation, but also what the other party wants. Only by understanding each other’s desires can you hope to meet the needs of both parties in a win-win situation.
If you only seek a scenario in which you get what you want while the other party suffers, you will create hostility and are less likely to achieve your desired outcome.
1. Phase 1: Discussion
The negotiation discussion stage is critical for gaining a better understanding of what the other party is looking for. You want to make certain that you are listening, questioning, and clarifying what the other party has said.
It is also critical to communicate what you are looking for. You don’t want to make the mistake of saying too much and disclosing too much information.
2. Phase 2: Clarification
The purpose of the clarification stage is to ensure that both parties have identified and established a common ground from which to begin negotiations. Misunderstandings should be avoided to the greatest extent possible.
3. Phase 3: Negotiation
As previously stated, the best outcome is a win-win situation. It may not always be possible, but it should be what both parties strive for.
During the negotiation phase, alternative strategies and compromises should be considered. Long negotiations should be avoided, and compromising may be necessary.
4. Phase 4: Agreement
Each party should keep an open mind in order to find the best solution for all parties. Agreements should be clear and unambiguous to all parties.
Women and Negotiation
Overall, negotiation research studies have found that men achieve better economic outcomes in negotiations than women. Such gender differences are usually minor, but evidence from the business world suggests that they can add up over time, and there are strategies you can use to close the gender gap in negotiation. If men, for example, ask for and receive slightly higher starting salaries than women, and continue to negotiate more assertively for themselves throughout their careers, the gender gap can amount to millions of dollars over time.
Case Study: Gender Gap in Negotiation
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, the gender gap in negotiation may explain why women in the United States earned only about 83 percent of men’s median annual earnings in 2021. “In comparison to the median weekly earnings of White men working full-time, Hispanic women’s full-time earnings were only 58.4 percent, Black women’s 63.1 percent, and White women’s 79.6 percent,” the study found.
Researchers have concluded that deeply ingrained societal gender roles are at the root of the gender gap in negotiated outcomes. Girls are encouraged and expected to be accommodating, concerned with the welfare of others, and relationship-oriented from an early age in many cultures. Notably, these objectives clash with the more assertive behaviors thought to be necessary for successful negotiation, which are more in line with societal expectations that boys and men be competitive, assertive, and profit oriented. As a result, women may be hesitant to negotiate forcefully on their own behalf, a tendency supported by evidence indicating that doing so may result in a social backlash in the workplace.
How can women and the companies that employ them close the gender gap in negotiation outcomes? Jens Mazei of the University of Münster and his colleagues examined 51 previous studies that compared women and men’s negotiation outcomes in order to determine whether women can capitalize on certain negotiation characteristics to improve their outcomes.
In addition to confirming that the gender gap in negotiation performance between men and women is indeed narrow, the team identified several types of negotiation that reduce the gap or give women an advantage over men.
Jens Mazei and his colleagues discovered that as men and women gained negotiating experience, the gap between their outcomes narrowed.
According to the findings, women, in particular, tend to achieve more favorable economic outcomes the more time they spend bargaining. This could be because they develop a stronger sense of the protocol of appropriate behavior specific to the situation and/or because as they gain experience, they tend to shed traditional gender expectations.
Previous research has found that when negotiators receive information about the bargaining range in a negotiation simulation, gender differences in economic outcomes tend to be smaller.
According to Mazei and colleagues, when women have access to information about upper and lower limits, they may “rely less on preconceived gender roles as guidelines for their behavior in negotiations.” Although thorough preparation is always important in negotiation, women in particular may be able to capitalize on this result by researching the typical salary range in a field, for example, and then referencing these standards during their negotiations to avoid a social backlash.
“Effective negotiation requires a persistent focus on what is most important.”
― William Ury, The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes
Exercise 9:1: What’s Your Weakness?
Objective: Role Play to Target Certain Weaknesses.
When it comes to negotiating, everyone has a weakness.
As a result, one of the negotiation exercises that’s highly recommended is that participants write down theirs before role playing a negotiation with a partner.
To avoid affecting the other party’s performance, the “salesperson” should not reveal their weakness. They should also not tell the other team members who are watching.
1. Write down your negotiation weakness on a piece of paper. Do not share with anyone.
2. Pair up with a partner.
3. Think of something you will be selling to your partner.
4. Take turns selling that product or service to each other.
5. At the end of the “negotiation,” everyone should report on what they thought the salesperson did well and where they thought there was room for improvement. The salesperson then reveals the weakness they were working on.
Ideally, that will be what the majority of people thought they were best at. Many times, the alleged weakness is not mentioned at all, which could imply that it isn’t much of a problem.
Course Manual 2: Personality Traits
“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
The majority of the negotiation advice available focuses on the mistakes that we all make. Individual differences in personality, intelligence, and outlook, on the other hand, may have an impact on your negotiations.
We bring our distinct personalities and styles to the table during negotiation and conflict resolution. A reserved, cautious person, for example, will likely bargain differently than someone who is outgoing and proactive. There is much we can do to improve our negotiation performance, such as thorough preparation and employing tried-and-true persuasion strategies. Should we, however, try to adapt our negotiation and conflict resolution styles to our partners?
Do individual differences matter in negotiation, and if so, how do they manifest themselves?
In this lesson, we look at new research that connects individual traits to negotiation outcomes and offer suggestions for how you can use this knowledge to improve your relationships and your results.
Consider how you would approach negotiations with the following individuals:
• A manager that when anyone questions her ideas, she becomes hostile.
• A neighbor who is known for putting the needs of others ahead of his own.
• A lawyer who graduated from a prestigious university as class valedictorian.
Based on these brief descriptions, you might anticipate that the first negotiator will try to bully you, the second will be a pushover, and the third will outwit you. Some of their characteristics may also remind you of your own negotiating tendencies, such as conceding too much in order to maintain relationships. Individual differences in negotiation are natural to believe. Most of us have encountered shrewd negotiators who always seem to get what they want at home and on the job, as well as those who are constantly taken for a ride.
Despite this, most negotiation writing, and research has focused on the similarities between negotiators. We’ve learned that almost all of us make rash decisions that cost us money, and that our expectations have a predictable impact at the negotiation table.
Much of what we’ve learned so far about the differences in negotiation styles is due to gender and cultural differences. We know, for example, that men negotiate for career opportunities more frequently than women in certain environments, a gender difference that contributes to inequities over time. Similarly, personality traits such as agreeableness and extraversion can either help or hurt you depending on the country in which you are negotiating. What other differences might result in different negotiating outcomes?
Here’s a list of five major ways people differ, as identified in a Journal of Research in Personality article by Hillary Anger Elfenbein (Washington University in St. Louis), Jared R. Curhan and Lucio Baccaro (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Noah Eisenkraft (University of Pennsylvania), and Aiwa Shirako (University of California at Berkeley):
1. Positive negotiation beliefs include comfort with negotiation skills and the belief that you can improve.
2. Conflict style, such as a preference for collaboration over competition, and ethical tendencies, such as a willingness to make false promises.
3. Diagnostic tests measure intelligence and creativity.
4. Personality characteristics such as conscientiousness, openness, and self-esteem
5. Gender, age, and physical attractiveness are all observable characteristics.
Do such differences influence negotiation outcomes, and if so, how much?
Case Study: How Are Differences Influence Negotiation Outcomes
To answer these questions, Elfenbein and colleagues administered a battery of surveys to a group of nearly 150 MBA students.
The students were then divided into four or five groups. Members of the group then negotiated in pairs until each member had participated in a different simulation (including a merger and a car purchase scenario) with every other member, and each person’s ability to claim and create value was scored. The researchers were able to assess how consistently individuals behaved across several negotiations using the Round-robin method.
What were the final results? A whopping 46% of scoring variations could be attributed to consistent differences in individual performance across interactions. In other words, differences between negotiators accounted for nearly half of their outcomes. These differences influenced both their own behavior and the reactions of their counterparts—and had a significant impact on the outcome of their negotiations.
Should We Adapt to Our Counterparts Style?
The answer is sometimes yes, according to the findings of experiments published in the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research by Scott Wiltermuth of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and Larissa Z. Tiedens and Margaret Neale of Stanford University.
The researchers wanted to know whether adopting a dominant or submissive style would benefit or harm negotiators. They defined dominant behaviors as verbal and nonverbal behaviors used by negotiators, whether consciously or unconsciously, to influence others. Negotiators may project dominance by adopting expansive body postures, gesticulating, speaking loudly, directing the conversation, and expressing their preferences openly and confidently.
Submissive negotiators, on the other hand, are cooperative and agreeable, and they influence their partners in ways that avoid direct conflict. They tend to be physically compact, to speak softly, to use mild language, and to express themselves less directly or forcefully than their more dominant counterparts. The researchers made a point of pointing out that the submissive style they studied was more active than passivity or withdrawal.
Case Study: A Harmonious Pairing
Previous research has found that dominant negotiators claim more value than their counterparts; however, their style can stymie value creation if they are perceived as tough. Wildermuth and his colleagues investigated what happens when negotiators with complementary or similar dominance and submission styles get together in their experiments.
In the experiments, participants were paired off to engage in a simulated merger or job offer negotiation. Some participants were instructed to assert their dominance by leading the conversation, speaking loudly, adopting expansive postures, and so on. Those in the submission condition were told to treat their counterparts with respect, to make them feel competent, to agree with them whenever possible (without sacrificing their own goals), to speak softly, and to keep a compact physical space. Control group participants received no such instructions about their negotiating style. Negotiators were paired with partners in the same or different condition, and their outcomes were evaluated using a point system.
Surprisingly, pairs with one party acting dominantly and the other submissively outperformed pairs in the same condition (whether dominance, submission, or control). The complementary communication styles of the dominant/submissive negotiators aided them. The pattern of one person directly stating her preferences and the other asking questions allowed the negotiators to claim the most value.
We might have expected the submissive negotiators to give up ground to their dominant counterparts, but this was not the case. Rather, the submissive negotiators assessed how to meet their own objectives through questioning. They made their dominant counterparts feel respected and competent in the process.
The findings make intuitive sense. Consider a negotiation in which both parties are attempting to dominate the conversation. Imagine one in which both agreeably encourage the other. Neither arrangement appears to be a winning formula, does it?
Adapting our personal negotiation and conflict resolution styles to complement those of our counterparts may appear both intimidating and difficult. In conflict resolution and negotiation, acting against our instincts can feel unnatural and downright difficult. Consider that we often adapt to our fellow negotiators quite naturally—for example, taking the lead when the other party appears reticent, or taking a more backseat role when someone appears determined to steer the conversation.
Perhaps the finding highlight the fact that we should be reassured rather than concerned when we find ourselves acting out of character in an attempt to complement others’ negotiation and conflict management styles. Negotiation, as this study shows, is a fluid, improvisatory process that requires us to think and react on the fly. Successful negotiators adapt to the situation and their counterpart, whether instinctively or deliberately.
Personality Traits in Negotiation
We have strong intuitions about which personality traits help or hurt us in negotiations, but does research back up our suspicions? Does personality play a role in negotiation?
Before we get started, please answer “True” or “False” to the following questions:
1. Extroverted negotiators typically outperform introverted negotiators.
2. Agreeable negotiators are more likely to succeed than disagreeable ones.
3. In negotiations, conscientiousness is more important than other personality traits.
4. Negotiators who are anxious, depressed, or worried perform poorly at the bargaining table.
5. In negotiations, a creative personality will get you far?
The “Big Five”
When studying personality in negotiation, psychologists generally concentrate on five major factors that are thought to encompass the majority of human personality traits:
In the 1990s, Johns Hopkins Professor Paul T. Costa Jr. and National Institute on Aging Director Robert R. McCrae examined and validated the so-called Big 5 factors. Each factor can be thought of as a spectrum on which individuals fall, such as highly introverted to highly extroverted.
In general, negotiation researchers have focused on identifying commonalities among negotiators, such as our shared susceptibility to the anchoring effect, rather than on examining our individual differences. However, some findings on the subject have emerged. Hillary Anger Elfenbein, a leading researcher on individual differences in negotiation, surveys what we know about how the Big 5 personality traits play out in negotiation in a chapter in the Handbook of Research on Negotiation (Edward Elgar, 2013).
Extroversion is a person’s level of sociability, assertiveness, talkativeness, and optimism. People with high extroversion tend to form ideas and opinions through interaction with others. They thrive in groups and are highly sensitive to the emotions of others. Introverts are at the opposite end of the extroversion spectrum, preferring to work and think alone. Although introverts are more likely to be shy than extroverts, introverts can be confident and skilled public speakers.
We might assume that the best negotiators are extroverts based on these descriptions. Optimism, assertiveness, and a lively, friendly personality are all traits that we know from experience can be valuable assets in negotiation, allowing dealmakers to bridge gaps, elicit other people’s interests, and advocate persuasively on their own behalf.
However, in a 1998 experiment conducted by Vanderbilt University professors Bruce Barry and Raymond Friedman, extroverts performed worse than introverts in a distributive-negotiation simulation in which individuals haggled over a single issue of price. Extroverts appeared to be more influenced by their opponent’s first offer than introverts, a deficit that they only partially compensated for later in the negotiation. In an integrative, multi-issue negotiation simulation in which participants could both collaborate and compete, introverts and extroverts performed similarly. Thus, the answer to Question 1 is “False” based on this study: there appears to be no evidence that extroverts outperform introverts in negotiation.
A former negotiation consultant Susan Cain makes a compelling case in her best-selling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (Crown, 2012) that introverts bring valuable skills to the bargaining table. Extroverts, for example, would benefit from adopting introverts’ tendency to listen to and absorb what others are saying. And, because introverts prefer to deliberate important decisions in private, they may be less prone than extroverts to making rash, ill-considered group decisions.
Courtesy, flexibility, sympathy, trust, cooperation, and tolerance are all characteristics of agreeable people. Many of these characteristics, particularly flexibility and cooperation, appear to be assets in negotiation. But can agreeableness become a liability if it prevents one from advocating assertively for oneself?
According to Elfenbein, most negotiation studies, including those of Barry and Friedman, have found that agreeableness predicts slightly lower outcomes in distributive negotiations, possibly due to agreeable people’s social concerns. However, in integrative negotiations where parties can collaborate to create value, agreeableness has no effect on outcomes. As a result, based on current knowledge, the answer to Question 2 appears to be “False.”
Consider an extreme version of agreeableness: unmitigated communion (UC), or the tendency of some people to base their self-esteem on how others perceive and behave toward them. In one study, University of Texas professor Emily Amanatullah and her colleagues discovered that people who scored high on UC performed just as well as others in one-shot, distributive negotiations with a stranger (where relationship building was not an issue). However, when participating in integrative negotiations, pairs of negotiators with high UC achieved worse combined outcomes than other pairs—yet were more satisfied with their outcomes. Those with a high UC set lower goals and claimed less value in order to protect their relationship with the other party.
Conscientiousness appears to be the Big 5 personality trait most closely linked to high negotiation performance as a measure of self-discipline, organization, carefulness, responsibility, and achievement motivation. After all, experts consistently tell us that there is no better way to improve the outcome of a negotiation than to thoroughly prepare for it.
Barry and Friedman failed to find a link between conscientiousness and negotiation performance in their 1998 study, but this could be because highly conscientious participants in the study had no more opportunity to prepare to negotiate than the less conscientious, suggests Elfenbein. In contrast, a 1991 study conducted by Murray R. Barrick of Texas A&M University and Michael K. Mount of the University of Iowa discovered that conscientiousness predicts overall job performance better than any of the other Big 5 traits. In the absence of a definitive answer to Question 3, it appears at least plausible that it is “True.”
Although some people are more conscientious by nature than others, the good news is that almost all of us have the potential to be more conscientious in negotiation by spending more time preparing and honing our organizational skills.
Neuroticism is a sinister-sounding trait that describes a person’s general level of anxiety, depression, worry, and insecurity. In Barry and Friedman’s study, those with high neuroticism performed similarly to others; thus, the answer to Question 4 appears to be “False.” In a 2008 study, Elfenbein and her colleagues discovered that those with high neuroticism view the negotiation experience negatively after the fact.
According to Dartmouth College professor Judith B. White and her colleagues, negotiators who are concerned about maintaining their social image, or sense of “face,” create less joint value and reach more impasses in negotiations that threaten their sense of self (such as when they play a job candidate in a simulated negotiation).
Openness as a Big 5 personality trait describes people’s imaginativeness, broad-mindedness, and divergent thinking, not their willingness to share their thoughts and feelings (generating creative solutions by exploring a range of ideas). According to Elfenbein, people who score high on openness are intellectually curious and willing to consider novel ideas.
Not surprisingly, in Barry and Friedman’s study, negotiators who scored high on openness contributed to greater mutual gain in an integrative negotiation, but they did not perform better in a “pie-dividing” negotiation. These creative negotiators may be especially skilled at spotting opportunities for value-creating tradeoffs. As a result, the answer to Question 5 is “True”: a creative personality will take you far in negotiation.
Case Study: Why do diametrically opposed negotiators deserve each other?
Kelly Schwind Wilson of Purdue University and her colleagues measured negotiators’ baseline levels of agreeableness and extroversion and then examined how they negotiated online with others who rated similarly or dissimilarly on these traits in a new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
When both negotiators in a pair scored high or low on these traits (that is, both were either highly agreeable, highly disagreeable, highly introverted, or highly extroverted), their emotional interactions became more positive than when they were less similar on these traits. As a result of this increased positivity, similar pairs reached agreements faster, perceived less conflict in their relationship, and had more positive impressions of one another. The more similar pairs, however, did not achieve more egalitarian outcomes than the less similar pairs.
Surprisingly, pairs of disagreeable negotiators seemed to get along even better than pairs of agreeable negotiators. Why? One possibility is that when we bargain with someone whose behavior resembles our own, our appreciation for the perceived similarity outweighs any negative perceptions we may have of him or her.
Personality Traits All Good Negotiators Have in Common
Most people can agree on one thing: successful negotiation is a difficult task. Most people would like to improve on this skill. Although there are hundreds of books on how to negotiate more effectively, this advice can be difficult to apply because negotiating ability is heavily influenced by personality. Some personality traits indicate strong negotiation skills. This is not to say that others cannot be good negotiators; however, their success will be largely dependent on their ability to understand their own personality and build on those traits that are essential for successful negotiating. Nobody possesses all of the characteristics of a world-class negotiator, but the following skills are worth honing if you want to improve your negotiation skills.
Patience: Patience is defined as the act of bearing pain or trials without complaining or becoming frustrated. In today’s world, where instant gratification is expected, the single most important word a negotiator must remember is patience. Patience is the only thing that allows both parties to work through issues that may be impeding the transaction. Slowing down your natural desire to rush through the process allows you to fully understand the needs of your counterpart. If you want to be successful, you must accept that being refused, delayed, or criticized is a normal part of life. Those who are patient will find success.
Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand and share another person’s feelings. In other words, you must be able to put yourself in the shoes of others. Empathy is important in negotiations because it allows you to see the other person’s point of view and conduct the negotiation in a way that benefits both parties. It is the foundation of effective communication and a necessary characteristic for great negotiators.
Integrity: is defined as the quality of being truthful and having strong moral principles, both of which are required for others to trust you in a negotiation. A negotiation is more than just a conversation or a signed contract. It is an unwritten assessment of the participants’ character and integrity. There is no deal without integrity.
Flexibility: Flexibility refers to the willingness to change or modify. You’ve probably set your goals and devised a negotiation strategy, but halfway through the discussion, you realize things aren’t going as planned. The key to closing the deal is to learn to be adaptable and change the situation. If one approach fails, try another. All good negotiators understand the importance of being adaptable.
Stamina: The ability to maintain sustained mental effort is referred to as stamina. When others appear to give up, great negotiators are willing to keep working and moving forward. They understand that if you give up the fight, you will lose. All great negotiators must be physically and mentally strong.
Tips on Using Your Personality For Effective Negotiation
For an effective negotiation, an impressive personality must be combined with effective communication. A charming personality is essential for successful negotiation.
Let us look at how personality traits can aid in effective negotiation.
An individual must try to be themself during negotiations. It is not acceptable to lie or pretend to be good. Do not pretend to be happy if you are not satisfied with the deal. It is preferable to express a concern right away rather than later. Be normal and relax; everything will fall into place on its own.
It is essential to be sincere rather than serious. One of the most important personality traits required in negotiation is sincerity. For an effective negotiation, one must be sincere. Don’t take things lightly. Prepare thoroughly for your negotiation. Before entering into a business transaction, try to thoroughly research all aspects of the transaction. You must understand the negotiation’s agenda. Carry all relevant documents that you may need during the negotiation. Don’t just go for the sake of going.
Be honest. Don’t play games. Sincerity is essential during negotiations. Never manipulate one’s salary in order to get a raise in the next organization. Don’t tell unnecessary lies for the sake of money. The fear of being caught would always be present, and it would somehow reflect on your face. Don’t worry; you’ll get exactly what you deserve.
If you know the laptop costs xyz, don’t go to the next shop and tell the shopkeeper it’s much cheaper there. He is not a moron when it comes to business. Remember that he, too, is keeping an eye on the price that his fellow shopkeeper is offering. It is preferable to request discounts or possibly additional accessories rather than reducing the price.
For a negotiation, one should dress formally. Our clothing has a significant impact on how we present ourselves. A person who is ill-dressed will have a difficult time persuading the other person.
Remember that the first impression is the last impression, so tread carefully.
Assume you go to a shop and the shopkeeper is not well-dressed, has a very casual demeanor, and is almost half asleep. How will you feel interacting with him? You’re obviously not going to bother listening to him.
Example: Tina dressed casually for a business meeting. The other party assumed that Tina was not serious about the deal and thus did not participate in the negotiation. Smart dressing does not imply wearing expensive clothes; rather, it means dressing appropriately for the occasion. Wear formal attire for business meetings, and don’t forget to polish your shoes for maximum impact. People notice your shoes.
Be patient. Impatient people are poor negotiators, according to research. Don’t expect the shopkeeper to agree to your request for a $4 price for a specific item right away and gladly give it to you. You must persuade him, which will take time. You can’t lose your cool and yell at him.
Learn to be adaptable and to compromise. It is acceptable to prioritize one’s personal interests, but one should not be selfish. If you are the first to accept something, you will not become unimportant or lose anything; instead, the other person will look up to you and you will both gain whatever you desire.
For a better negotiation, one must trust the other party. Don’t always look for flaws in others. Not everyone is bad; there are some who are extremely kind and helpful. One should not always assume that the other person will cause him harm. The second party is only there to conduct business; he is not your adversary. Instead of jumping right to the point, begin the conversation with a friendly smile. Take the initiative to compliment him if he is wearing a nice shirt. Consider him a friend. Arrogance should never be displayed. He, like you, is representing his company. Order some coffee and snacks. It will aid in breaking the ice and strengthening the two parties’ bond. Keep in mind that one should not be overly casual or friendly.
Maintain a professional demeanor. Once your transaction is completed, sign a contract in the presence of both parties. For greater clarity, the meeting minutes must be distributed to all participants. After you’ve finished shopping, remember to collect your bills from the shopkeeper. You should not rely solely on verbal communication.
Improve your listening skills for a more effective negotiation. Pay attention to the other party as well. He might think of something interesting and useful for you as well. Don’t think that the other person is clueless; he has also come well prepared. Never underestimate the opposing party. When you go shopping, don’t ignore the shopkeeper; instead, listen to him and then decide what to buy and what not to buy.
Be diplomatic and tactful. Being diplomatic does not imply being astute. There is a distinction between the two. One must be intelligent and understand what to say and what not to say. Analyze the situation and take appropriate action. Don’t say anything just because your boss has asked you to. Use your intellect and react appropriately. It is better not to speak if you believe your statements would sound foolish in the given situation.
Exercise 9:2: What Type of Negotiator Are You?
Identify which type of Negotiator you are based on your personality type.
Use the following Big 5 Personality Traits:
Share with the group your top trait and share why you chose it.
Course Manual 3: Building Rapport
Connecting with others is a professional and personal skill that we use on a daily basis.
Rapport is a connection or relationship with another person. It is defined as a state of harmonious understanding with another person or group. The process of developing that connection with someone else is known as rapport building.
Sometimes rapport just happens. We’ve all had experiences where we ‘hit it off’ or ‘get along well’ with someone without even trying. This is frequently how friendships begin. However, rapport can be consciously built and developed by finding common ground and being empathic.
Rapport is thus essentially an emotional connection with other people.
The process of establishing that connection is known as rapport building. It is usually founded on shared experiences or points of view, as well as a shared sense of humor. Building rapport is especially important at the beginning of a friendship or working relationship. However, the bond formed can last for many years.
Effective communication skills are essential in any professional or personal relationship. The stronger your bond with others, the better you will understand and empathize with them. Humans can establish rapport by connecting over common interests, mutual understanding, and empathy.
Why Is Rapport Important?
Employers are more likely to hire someone they believe will get along well with their current employees. Personal relationships are easier to form and develop when the parties involved have a stronger connection and understanding of one another, i.e., when there is greater rapport.
When we first meet someone new, we try to strike up a conversation. Whether you like it or not, this is why small talk exists: to try to find things in common with other people and form that shared bond. This bond is significant because we all have a desire to be with “people like us.”
It is much easier to establish rapport with someone who is similar to you or who shares many of your interests.
You have common ground and topics to discuss. You also share a frame of reference. This facilitates both relationship building and general communication.
However, we’ve all probably found ourselves wondering:
“I’m sure he/she is lovely, but we really don’t have anything in common.”
Working together will be more difficult and communication will be more difficult in those circumstances because you lack a shared frame of reference. You will have to work harder to establish rapport and grow your relationship, but it is still possible.
Break the Ice
Starting a conversation with a stranger is a stressful event for many people. We might be at a loss for words and appear awkward with our body language and mannerisms.
Creating rapport at the start of a conversation with someone new will often result in a more positive outcome. Whatever stress and/or anxiety you are experiencing, the first thing you must do is try to relax and remain calm. Communication becomes easier and rapport grows as tension in the situation is reduced.
• For the first few minutes of small talk, stick to non-threatening and ‘safe topics.’ Discuss established shared experiences, the weather, and how you got to where you are. Avoid talking about yourself excessively and asking direct questions about the other person.
• Pay attention to what the other person is saying and look for common experiences or circumstances. This will give you more topics to discuss in the early stages of communication.
• Try to incorporate some humor. Laughing together promotes harmony; make a joke about yourself or your current situation/circumstances but avoid making jokes about other people.
• Be aware of your body language and other nonverbal signals you send. Try to maintain eye contact for at least 60% of the time. Relax and lean slightly towards them to indicate that you are listening and mirror their body language if necessary. (For more on Body language re-visit Course Manual 6:12)
• Demonstrate some compassion. Show that you understand the other person’s point of view. Remember that rapport is all about finding commonalities and “being on the same wavelength” as another person. Being empathic will aid in this endeavor.
During initial conversations, make sure the other person feels included but not interrogated. They, like you, may feel tense and uneasy when meeting and conversing with someone new. Make the other person feel at ease. This will allow you to relax and converse more naturally.
Nonverbal Rapport Building
Initial conversations can assist us in relaxing. However, a significant amount of rapport-building occurs without the use of words and through nonverbal communication channels.
We create and maintain rapport with the other person subconsciously by matching nonverbal signals such as body positioning, body movements, eye contact, facial expressions, and tone of voice.
When you have the chance, observe two friends conversing and notice how they subtly mimic each other’s nonverbal communication.
We naturally establish rapport. It is our natural defense against conflict, which most of us will do everything we can to avoid most of the time.
It is critical to employ appropriate body language. We read body language and believe it immediately, whereas vocal communication may take more convincing. If there is a discrepancy between what we are saying and our body language, the person with whom we are conversing will believe the body language. Thus, establishing rapport begins with using appropriate body language. This usually entails being friendly, relaxed, and open.
Paying attention to and matching body language with the person we are with is important, but so is matching their words. Reflecting back and clarifying what has been said are effective strategies for repeating what the other person has communicated. It will not only confirm that you are listening, but it will also allow you to use the other person’s words and phrases, emphasizing similarity and common ground.
The tone of our voice is also important in building rapport. When we are nervous or tense, we tend to speak faster. This can make you sound even more stressed. We change our voices, pitch, volume, and pace to make what we’re saying more interesting, but it also affects how we come across. Reduce your voice volume and speak more slowly and softly. This will actually make it easier for you to establish rapport.
6 Tips for Connecting With Others to Build Rapport
Building rapport requires a variety of social skills that are required to effectively communicate with others. Verbal communication skills alone are insufficient to establish a strong relationship with another person or group.
Remember people’s names. Remembering people’s names and faces demonstrates attentiveness and an interest in who they are. Remembering people fosters trust, allowing for open dialogue and effective communication.
Find common ground. Finding common ground with another person by identifying a shared experience, trait, or opinion is a good way to connect. This type of empathy is useful for connecting with another person because it shows an understanding of their feelings and past experiences.
Actively listen. Giving your full attention to someone who is speaking is what active listening entails. It’s an essential communication skill because it promotes openness and honesty. Active listening facilitates conversation and leads to effective communication. If someone believes you are listening to them, they are more likely to listen to you in return, which can lead to a good relationship and great rapport.
Ask questions. Asking follow-up questions during a conversation shows that you are interested in the speaker’s point of view. This shows that you’re paying attention and want to learn more. Asking questions can help you avoid awkward small talk and move into more meaningful conversations.
Be aware of your body language. Nonverbal communication is essential for establishing rapport. Take note of your nonverbal cues and mannerisms, such as body posture, eye contact, and facial expressions. Face the person speaking to you, make comfortable eye contact, and mirror their expressions as they speak. This demonstrates that you are sensitive to their emotions. Be wary of disinterested body language; looking at your phone or the clock can indicate that you have no genuine interest in the person speaking to you, which can be detrimental to both personal and professional relationships.
Reserve judgement. When someone understands that they can share their feelings and ideas without fear of being judged, they develop good rapport. When your friends, family, or coworkers are speaking, keep your criticism to a minimum and only offer advice or information if they ask for it. When providing feedback, emphasize positivity and encourage openness.
“Many people believe effective networking is done face to face building rapport with someone by looking them in the eye, leading to a solid connection and foundation of trust.” – Raymond Arroyo
Case Study: Examples: Let’s take a closer look at building rapport in specific situations.
At networking events
Take your time getting settled in at networking events to build rapport. Take a deep breath if it’s crowded and you’re feeling overwhelmed. If there is seating available, take a moment to collect your thoughts while keeping your hands by your sides and both feet firmly planted on the ground.
Approach a person or a conversation that interests you when you feel comfortable. People expect to meet new people at networking events, so it is appropriate to approach others and introduce yourself. Use a firm handshake and a firm voice when speaking. You can start a conversation by asking them questions like, “What brings you to the event?” or “What is your profession?”
Provide your contact information after you’ve had initial conversations with a person or group of people. You should maintain contact with people who can assist you in your job search and who can assist you in some way. It’s also worthwhile to form relationships with people you admire or find interesting. Setting up meetings to discuss current projects or future goals can aid in the development of positive professional relationships.
It can also be beneficial to establish rapport with those you meet during the hiring process. Starting to build relationships with these people, from the front desk receptionist to the recruiter to your interviewers, can increase your chances of getting the job. The better you are at making personal connections, the better employers will understand who you are and what value you can bring to their company.
Follow the interviewer’s lead to build rapport during interviews. Do not try to fit additional conversation into the interview if they appear busy and prefer concise, to-the-point answers. If the interviewers begin your meeting with casual conversation, take advantage of this opportunity to start building a relationship. Respond to their questions by asking your own. While you should avoid personal topics like religion and politics, it is acceptable to find topics or hobbies of mutual interest. It is critical that you show genuine interest in the interviewer. Active listening and attentive body language like eye contact can aid in the formation of a genuine connection.
In the Workplace
You can start building rapport in your current workplace in a variety of ways. Some coworkers are likely to form connections naturally, while others may require more effort. In any case, here are some ways to improve workplace rapport:
• Look for appropriate times to engage in casual conversation. While discussing work is important, engaging in more casual conversation can be beneficial when developing relationships. When you meet with someone, for example, start by asking what they did over the weekend or if they have any plans for the week.
• Listen carefully and remember specifics. When you do find opportunities for conversation, the key is to listen carefully, ask follow-up questions, and remember important details. Bringing up previous conversations can provide an important foundation for future conversations. This is how you begin to discover commonalities, learn about someone’s likes and dislikes, and eventually gain a thorough understanding of how they work and think.
• Schedule regular quality time. Find time to meet on a regular basis to continue to strengthen the relationship. You can plan a lunch with the person, drop by their desk when you know they have free time, invite them to coffee or a walk around the building, or spend time together doing something you both enjoy.
An Essential Skill
Every relationship requires the development of rapport. You wouldn’t have a relationship if you didn’t have rapport!
Being able to consciously build rapport is thus extremely beneficial both personally and professionally. It means you can build relationships and improve communication more quickly as a skill. As a result, your working relationships will be more effective, and your personal relationships will be stronger.
Building rapport with people can help you understand how they work, what they like and dislike, and how to communicate effectively with them. While developing rapport is a skill that will benefit you throughout your career, there are a few steps you can take right now to advance your professional relationships.
Exercise 9:3: Practice Building Rapport
Learn how to start conversations with ease and master your ice breaking skills.
Use the following icebreakers and go around the room asking one of the following questions to at least 5 different people. Take turns asking and answering the questions.
• Who would be your first three guests on a talk show?
• What subject would you become an instant expert in if you could?
• When you were younger, who was your favorite teacher? Why?
• What superpower do you wish you had?
• Which section of a bookstore or library is your favorite?
• What aspect of your personality contributes the most to the world?
• What is a skill you learned as a child that you still use today?
Course Manual 4: Creating Value
“Trust and mutual value creation helps both employer and employee compete in the marketplace.” – Reid Hoffman
Being of service is the key to creating value in your business.
Creating value is at the heart of business. However, we can lose sight of what true value is. We turn it into an abstract concept – a kind of business jargon – and lose sight of what it actually means to create value in business.
The truth is that value is something very real and concrete. Consider being of service if you want to learn how to create value in your business. All real-value products are embedded with specific ways of serving customers. Value is created as a result of that service.
Value is created by that which serves.
What is Value Creation?
Businesses would not survive if value creation did not exist. Consider value creation to be the foundation of every organization. The elevator rises as you create value (like a farmer turning seeds into crops). When it reaches the top floor, there are customers waiting to pay for the value created, generating profits for the company. If no value is created, the elevator never leaves the ground floor, and customers seek value elsewhere.
As you can see, work generates value. Consider this: many suppliers provide parts and componen