- 11 Apr
How to negotiate effectively and in different languages?
Do you know that you need conviction and invest your time and energy to negotiate?
Do you know that the content of your words has less impact than your approach used to deliver your message?
Within organizations, multidisciplinary projects, management, digitization processes, and within conflict management situations, we negotiate in all different ways everyday!
We all may know that we do not negotiate the same way with our boss, colleagues, partners and customers.
We adjust our presentation accordingly, but the principles of an effective negotiation remain the same:
- A solid base of preparation
- Relevant arguments
- A useful presentation at the right time with the right person
- A win-win relationship
How to get prepared?
Before any negotiation, it is important to identify the decision maker(s) of our project.
Why should we take time for that?
Because it is better to negotiate directly with those responsible for the decision than briefing the person who would liaise with them, thus making sure that our message is well understood.
On the other hand, if you want your boss to accept your project, let him/her naturally adhere to your arguments so that they take your ideas to defend them, rallying dedicated teams.
According to neurological researches, every human being is able to mentally simulate a situation. We mobilize for this purpose our brain (our cortical regions) in space-time between the past, the present and the future.
Good negotiators condition themselves by playing the game in all the possible situations of a future negotiation. Also, solid preparation helps turn fear into controlled excitement, enabling one to stay rational.
When I assist entrepreneurs to launch their startup projects, I encourage them to be sincere with themselves as soon as they start doing their SWOT analysis, easily notifying the weaknesses and threats of their business in order to highlight their strengths and opportunities.
What is also interesting is to prepare the SWOT matrix alone and then share it with other team members, listening to other visions, many different from our own, and to discuss the best ways to promote an enterprise in the targeted markets.
What is the best way?
It is best to adapt our behavior to our counterparty’s manners and to propose several offers ensuring their desire for involvement and recognition is fulfilled. Philosophers recommend us not to convince people by any means.
The “win win” relationship must be achieved naturally, as the most “obvious” emotion is important during a negotiation and guarantees a long-term collaboration.
To be a good negotiator is to put oneself in someone else’s shoes. However, psychologists have found that when we imagine ourselves in the place of someone whose values are too different from ours, we put forward arguments, which do not correspond to our own point of view. On the other hand, when we try to find reasons that support the opposite party, reasons that do not offend our convictions, we evolve more.
How to start?
To maintain a harmonious balance of power, it is good to recall the common objective that will serve the interests of each side.
Also, it is important to be aware that our own emotions, our bodily sensations are nonverbal information (position of the body and hands, our vocal and visual vibration), and they are therefore signals sent to the person in front of us.
According to Neuroscience, we activate both a part of our neurons and mirror neurons on the other when we create a connection between us and others. A good negotiation is thus to create a link with the other while remaining oneself!
Why do some negotiations last and fail?
The main cause that makes negotiation impossible seem to be the absence of a shared common goal.
Stakeholders talk for hours about everything and nothing because they do not find it interesting to go together towards an agreement. Hence the efficient negotiator has the capacity to modify the balance of power and the perception of the opposite party, keeping in mind that negotiation is an exchange of good practices.
If people are lying to us, can we sense it?
According to Neuroscience, our brain (cingulate cortex) has resources to track errors.
If we are told a blatant lie, our brain will detect the discrepancy between our perception and the received information, which will increase our attention.
How to do business with foreigners?
It is good to speak fluently a foreign language, but it is not enough. In a negotiation, it is essential to understand the culture of our interlocutors and know the codes of their country.
In France and Monaco, we now often negotiate in a language other than our mother tongue, and indeed, to convey the same message to several people of different nationalities, the approach should be adapted accordingly.
Our body language and the way of communication with others are therefore more important than our statements.
It seems that Americans and Scandinavians prefer to negotiate with a French person who speaks to the point and concentrates on facts, unlike the South American countries where trust is rather established through links made during informal meetings.
Russians, on the other hand, appreciate a power relationship to destabilize us in order to better appreciate a partner at their level. Moreovers if the Russians play a chess game in negotiation, the Chinese negotiate without direct confrontation and play a game where white and black stones are valuable only through their potential connections. They play collectively, rarely speak spontaneously and love to ask questions until we are exhausted … so let’s play the game!