Practicing mindfulness can open your business negotiations up for more creative solutions and productive collaborations
The word ‘negotiation’ brings to mind an antagonistic win-lose situation. But according to the best negotiation training experts, negotiation doesn’t have to end in a win-lose outcome. In fact, long-term business negotiations should create positive, not antagonistic, relationships to serve clients and sellers alike. So how do we move from a confrontational winner vs loser mindset to create win-win outcomes?
Here are four ways you can use mindfulness to enhance your negotiations:
Making business deals involves meeting each other’s needs to achieve a common goal. Empathy in business negotiations can provide insights to better understand others. Important insights include the needs, feelings, attitudes, and thoughts of others. The best negotiation training experts gain empathy by practicing interpersonal skills such as listening, strategic questioning, openness, and positive paraphrasing.
When you’re empathetic, you’re better able to understand the challenges others face thus better able to respond to offers.
Empathetic negotiators also tend to make more justifiable counteroffers. An empathetic leader is also better positioned to create and claim value that moves talks to a win-win outcome. Displaying empathy has the power to reduce mistrust and other antisocial behavior. In fact, empathy can promote positive responses and can encourage consensus building.
Have you ever worked with a boss who thought yelling at subordinates was the best way to get things done? In most cases, displaying too much emotion make others uncomfortable and erodes trust. A boss or colleague throwing tantrums to get their way may also signal a lack of maturity.
For a more inclusive approach, work to manage your emotions as well as those of others by:
Validating Feelings — Are your actions and those of others a result of genuine emotions or deceitful tactics? Some negotiators may use deceitful tactics to provoke a calculated reaction. If someone makes a deceitful attempt at manipulation, avoid showing emotion in return. Instead, ignore any projected actions such as outbursts or sulking.
Mental Preparation — Before entering talks, reflect on what actions and outcomes could potentially rattle emotions. Consider the ways you could maintain emotional balance if those outcomes arise.
Motivate Positive Emotions — You’re not responsible for the reactions of others. Still, you can take steps to support others to manage their emotions. Negotiators with a strong sense of awareness are better able to assess emotional triggers. When you know what can provoke strong negative emotions, you can act to avoid a negative scenario.
Be Open Minded
In business, you will often have to make and respond to offers and counteroffers. You may have to ask for and make concessions as well as claim reciprocal value. Having an open mind can make room for creating more value by soothing fears and boosting creativity. An open mind can also help you to find cost-effective solutions to business challenges.
To practice open-mindedness during business bargaining, you can:
Consider New Opportunities — Just because someone makes a suggestion outside the normal way of working doesn’t mean the idea can’t work. Give the idea serious consideration.
Be Patient — Take time to consider each suggestion. Not all proposals need immediate approval, rejection, or counterproposal. You can continue working on other aspects of the deal as you consider the new suggestion.
Refrain from Judgments — Train yourself to pay attention to what others are saying without making judgments and responding with biases.
Practice Tolerance — Don’t be easily offended by the actions of others. Instead, try and understand the background that informs their actions.
Detachment is a spiritual principle that means an ability to separate your thoughts and emotions from your ego. For the uninformed, detachment may pass off as disinterest or aloofness.
Detachment is the acceptance of the situation as it exists in that particular moment in time.
When you’re detached, you act as an observer or a witness without judging. You take note of actions and events without letting your personal desires interfere or influence the process. Detachment enables you to walk away from unfavorable deals free of negative emotion because you have trained yourself to accept that what you may want may not be a great fit for your business.
By managing emotions without giving in to personal desires, mindfulness can open your negotiations to more creative solutions and productive collaborations. Give it a try and see what happens!
You may also enjoy reading Authenticity In the Workplace: Bringing Your Whole Self to Work by Fateme Baneshoeib