Want to be a Better Negotiator?

Unless you are a professional negotiator you may not enjoy this aspect of doing business.  Many of us avoid negotiating because we don’t like confrontation, we are uncomfortable advocating for ourselves and/or we don’t want to lose.

Whether we are negotiating with a business partner or a family member, emotions can get the best of us.  The author of this Harvard Business Review article Emotion & the Art of Negotiation says, “Bringing anger to a negotiation is like throwing a bomb into the process.”

One way to reduce negative emotions even in the most contentious negotiation is an exercise called “Just Like Me,” which asks us to consider:

  • This person has beliefs, perspectives and opinions, just like me.
  • This person has hopes, anxieties and vulnerabilities, just like me.
  • This person has friends, family and perhaps children who love them, just like me.
  • This person wants to feel respected, appreciated and competent, just like me.
  • This person wishes for peace, joy and happiness, just like me.
  • Because this person is a human being, just like me.

I invite you to try making these statements out loud.  Then notice how you feel about the person on the other side of the negotiating table and envision how the outcome might change.

How Gritty Are You?

During performance review season did you find yourself wondering why people with similar qualifications differ in what they are able to achieve?  Angela Duckworth https://angeladuckworth.com/ decided to find the answer to that question by interviewing high achievers like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.  She also conducted research at West Point and in urban college preparatory schools like YES Prep in Houston.

Duckworth concluded that the secret to outstanding achievement is a special blend of passion and persistence she calls grit, defined as “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them.”  The good news is that grit can be learned and improved over time.  How can you leverage grit to keep working toward your goals even when you face frustrations and setbacks?

To find out how “gritty” you are, take the test here Grit Scale.

Cake in the Car

A friend was taking a cake to a party so he drove very carefully. He accelerated slowly, made gentle turns and approached stop signs well in advance. When people started honking and yelling at him he wanted to say, “Hey! I don’t usually drive like this but I have a cake in the back seat.” He thought they would be more patient and understanding if they knew. Now when my friend sees drivers doing strange or annoying things, he tells himself there’s probably a reason — maybe they have a cake in the car or they are from out of town or they just got devastating news from the doctor.

When I heard this story I was reminded that we don’t always know what might be going on with someone in the next lane or the office down the hall. As we head into the holiday season, what would it be like if we commit to giving others the benefit of the doubt?

How Does EQ Impact the Bottom Line?

The CEO was fed up – if she got one more complaint about the VP Operations she was going to have to fire him.  It was obvious when he was in a bad mood because he yelled at people and slammed doors.  Then they were upset and distracted which affected their productivity and how they dealt with customers.  The ripple effect of his bad moods was negatively impacting the bottom line.

Human behavior is like an iceberg.  We see how people behave but we don’t always understand what drives behavior.  Using Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, is like putting on your scuba gear to check out what is hidden beneath the surface.  Once you know which emotions are influencing your behavior, you can use those emotions more effectively.

In his book Primal Leadership, Daniel Goleman cites research indicating that leaders whose styles had a positive emotional impact on their teams generated measurably better financial results.  Teams with higher engagement have lower turnover, above average productivity, higher customer loyalty and higher profitability.

If you want to positively impact your bottom line, contact cheryl@csbryan.com today for an assessment and suggestions for improving EQ for yourself or someone on your team.

Not My Monkeys

Have you heard the Polish proverb, “Not my circus; not my monkeys”?  This came to mind in a recent coaching session with a client who has a tendency to jump in and fix problems that belong to his team members.
Once he realized that jumping in means he is robbing that person of the opportunity to learn how to solve the problem on their own, we worked on recognizing what triggers him and finding another approach.  He doesn’t like it when people run around with their hair on fire so he will do just about anything to put the fire out.  Repeating “Not my circus; not my monkeys” reminds him not to get caught up in someone else’s craziness.  Then he can step back, calm down and rationally assess whether he needs to get involved – now, later or not at all.
If you tend to be a “fixer” give this a try and get that monkey off your back.

Make Someone Else Tell You “No”

My amazing client Denise Hamilton www.watchherwork.com shared a great story about setting her intention to get tickets to see the show Hamilton in New York.  She didn’t listen to her friends’ warnings that there were no tickets available and if she happened to get a cancelled reservation it would be $800 per ticket or more.

Denise decided that she would make someone else tell her “No” rather than telling herself “No”.  She showed up at the box office and asked about cancellations.  Denise needed two tickets and only one was available, so she asked again.  The agent checked the reservations, moved some things around and gave her two tickets together in the fifth row – for $229 each!

After she took a few minutes to process what happened, Denise realized that her positive intention is what created a positive outcome.  She practiced what Deepak Chopra advises in Setting Powerful Intentions.

What intention would be most powerful for you today?