Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence – to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice – and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a Nation.
If I asked you to think of a business negotiation, depicted in TV, film, theatre etc. chances are it’s a scene of high drama. It’s a desk-banging, horn-locking, hard-balling battle where someone (usually the most aggressive) leaves with everything and the little guy gets nothing.
Now, if I asked you to think back to the last negotiation you were involved in, I’m guessing it didn’t look much like that. But I bet it still had a feeling of edge to it; an understanding that the available outcomes fit into one of only two camps – what they want – and what you want.
But is this ‘us vs them’ version of negotiation due to the nature of the negotiation process itself? Or the human nature we bring to it?
According to my next guest – this battle orientated framework for negotiation – is as broken as it is ineffective.
Professor Margaret Neale is The Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University – as well as Negotiation Strategies Program Co-Director of the Executive Program for Women Leaders.
Professor Neale’s research focuses primarily on negotiation, and in 2015 she co-authored ‘Getting More of What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life’.
This book leverages decades of research to answer questions like: ‘Who should make the first offer?’ and ‘How to create a compelling pitch?’
What I loved about this approach is the definition of negotiation itself – which shifts the focus from a battle mindset – one I’ve never found comfortable or particularly effective – to one of ‘finding a solution to your counterpart’s problem that makes you BETTER OFF than you would have been had you not negotiated’.
Why is that important? Not many of us consider ourselves talented negotiators – but most of us, in one area or our lives or another, would get a gold star at problem solving.
In this episode we jump into:
How much preparation you should be doing for each negotiation – chances are it’s a lot more than you think – and here’s a clue – twice as much as you’re doing right now.
The 4 step structure for how to get what you want from a negotiation – including how to tackle most people’s least favourite part: The Ask.
Why – when heading into a negotiation – you should never solve the easy issues first. Why? Because leaving the big hairy stuff until last is the fastest way to end the negotiation in conflict.
The differences between how men negotiate and how women negotiate. This is not only hugely important for women to understand – but for any men who want to better support the women you lead, mentor or love in getting what they have earned – then these insights might change the way you approach it.
And finally, how to move someone out of survival mode and into learning mode – which let’s face it – is the only mode where solutions are found.
Right now, as we try to figure out what comes next in this pandemic – new rules are being written daily and everything about ‘the old way of life’ has the potential to be renegotiated. I know for myself, this sometimes feels like a huge opportunity – and other days like a daunting challenge – but here’s the choice: do you want to approach these negotiations a) ready for conflict Or b) ready to collaborate?
If the answer is the latter – then yeah, me too.
So, sit back, do whatever you need to do to negotiate some time for yourself – no easy feat these days – and enjoy my conversation with the fiercely sharp mind of Professor Margaret Neale.