Negotiate with a Hard-nosed Person
A question was raised about a recent post on our Negotiation Guidance Associates blog: How do I negotiate with a hard-nosed person? The first word is preparation. How prepared are you to enter into a conversation with this individual? Here are some tips to A: get ready, and B: enter the conversation.
A. Check how hard-nosed you are. Do you know what your real motives are before entering into the negotiation? Are you aware of what your interests are that lie behind the position you are advocating for? Are you aware of the frame of reference you are bringing to the table? Are you out to negotiate, or are you out to win! Do you know what you want in the best deal you can make? Do you know what you will settle for? If you don’t know, then you aren’t ready for the talks. To get you ready, ask those hard questions and give yourself the opportunity to honestly answer them. Then you will be ready for the conversation.
B. You are now ready to negotiate. Your main task is to discover: 1) the other person’s interest that lies behind their position. 2) What is the frame of reference that they bring to the table? Once you have made those discoveries, you are in a position to seek to match frames and interests. To do that, you have to listen very carefully and thoughtfully to the other person. You also have to accept the fact that you may not walk away with everything you want. But you will probably get some of what you are after. At the end of the negotiation point to the wins of your opponent. Don’t ever gloat over whatever victories you have achieved. Stay humble and grateful for the opportunity to negotiate with another person, even a hard-nosed one.
Good luck, and happy negotiating!