Ask Any Negotiation Question in
“Ask Amin Anything”
The Online format of group Coaching helps you find the ideal approach to your next negotiation and get inspired by the input of other negotiators, whether in sales, meetings, presentations or within organizational politics
Are you interested in situations and roadblocks people face, and want to learn more about how these difficulties can be overcome? Do you want to profit from the motivation and inspiration inherent in a group exchange under professional supervision?
Do you appreciate the opportunity to stay updated on negotiation matters once a month?
For all these situations you´ll find a good opportunity in “Ask Amin Anything”. In this monthly group Coaching all possible (and sometime impossible) cases are being looked at, and questions asked like e.g.:
- How do I deal with the shark negotiator in my team?
- What can I answer my client on “You are too expensive”?
- How do I influence people if I don´t want to become a manipulator?
Dealing with people is very multifaceted: Argumentation, feelings, communication, goal setting and tracking… it makes sense to answer one or two questions. Or better: ask them and have me answer them. Let´s strategize, prepare, and improve together.
Agenda (every 1st of month)
09:50 Please come in and check your technical requirements
How did my negotiations go last month? Do I get closer to my objectives this year? What are my thoughts and feelings on that ( 2-3 Min/participant)
Are there open questions I´d like to raise? What kind of questions would I like to pose and discuss in the Group setting.
Which goals am I setting for myself? What are my take-aways out of this setting?
The biggest pitfalls in (online) meetings
YOUR FIRST STEP: Choose the basic Setup for your meeting
When you are setting up a meeting, you do have to take a basic, but very important choice right in the beginning: Will the meeting be
1) “all equals“, meaning that all participants are on the same level and can contribute to process & content, or will the meeting be
2) moderated, i.e. will you or somebody else be the Meeting Master conducting it and be responsible for the process.
This setup has a huge influence on the entire meeting, its pitfalls and its outcome.
All Participants have the same status – A good meeting choice?
There are enticing advantages of setting up a meeting of equals:
- Equality feels right.
- Any member can change the path any time. If participants are knowledgeable and experienced in using moderation tools, they can suggest appropriate tools, like One-Point-System, query by acclamation, mind mapping or topic memory.
- It is easy – no need to prepare the process and can be set up in no time.
Use unmoderated meetings only with small participant numbers (2-4). They work best with result-oriented, meeting experienced, well prepared and conscientious team members. Best for creative and open-ended meetings (“Let´s just pick our brains”).
There are also several pitfalls of setting up a meeting of equals:
- Participants tend to talk over each other so ideas get lost
- People are interrupting each other
- Speaking times might differ widely because “John” really likes himself talking which leads to just a few using up all the speaking time
- “Sally” abstains from sharing her good ideas
- Ideas are repeated several times
- Meeting Rules are continuously broken
- Nobody bothers summarizing interim or final results, so that plenty of meetings end with no clear outcome
Your team enjoys quite a few advantages by having your meeting actively moderated:
- Have one person (the “moderator”) responsible for bringing the process forward, not only his own arguments
- Improve the group dynamics by having a dedicated “rule enforcer”
- Have the moderator structure the talking session with clear instructions given
- Have somebody actively inviting “feeble” or “disinterested” participants and their ideas out
- Have a dedicated person to summarize, structure, break and bring the process forward
Be sure to appoint somebody to lead and structure a meeting if the discussion points are controversial or heated. Also make sure there is a moderator if you are expecting less results-oriented or unprepared participants.
It is also recommendable to have somebody moderate (in the truest sense of the word) if participants face big disparities in experience and/or agreeableness.
Best method for result-oriented, time sensitive meetings of any size (“Let´s not waste time nor miss out on good ideas”).
If you are moderating, put the objective of the meeting down in writing. If you are a team member yourself and have vested interest in a specific outcome, pass the buck. You can´t win that one.
Buch Der Meistermoderator
Covid 19 & Home office: Whether you are aware of it or not, you negotiate all day
The longer Covid-19 forces us to work from home, the more obvious it might become that online & offline, in the house and outside, you better be prepared to negotiate well if you don´t want to risk a sudden explosion. You can put of negotiations only so long before people they explode right in your face.
People are often amazed when they learn how often they are negotiating without realizing it (see biggest mistakes in negotiations). This in itself doesn´t constitute any disadvantage, after all, people do all sorts of things without being fully aware what they are doing is actually called.
However, not recognizing when you are negotiating is a big disadvantage for two reasons:
- You are making your life more difficult than it needs be:
If you don´t understand what game you are playing (the negotiation game!) you won´t be able to use it´s rules to your advantage and are often left out feeling dumbfounded by unexpected turns. When the whole family might be bound to stay together for an increased time you should face and negotiate conflicting needs to avoid catastrophe.
- You are not balancing interests and thus risk relationships breaking down:
Understanding and using negotiation strategies & tactics makes achieving your aim, but also the aims of people around you, so much easier. You not only can convince people, but might want to do so investing much less energy and taking into consideration their options. That might start with “simple” (yet not easy) communication skills like listening skills
So, when are you negotiating?
“A negotiation is an interaction in order to influence the behavior of at least one other person, whereby different interests are reconciled and brought about in the developing process. This definition shows that the term can be widely applied. In other words: We often negotiate without conscious realization. The side discussion in the company kitchen to arrange who buys coffee when is a negotiation, just like the phone conversation with your partner to decide on the evening’s entertainment.
Definition taken from Master Negotiator, page 20
This is much less complicated that is looks like:
Whenever diverging interests need to arrive at a common conclusion, whether it be sales prices, a holiday venue or a company takeover, people have to be influenced in order to push interests through. To clarify, this does not mean to the detriment of the other side nor suggest unconscious influence.”
Anything you might want somebody else to do which you can´t force them to, will become a negotiation, if they won´t anyway do it. The key is the phrase “diverging interests”.
- Want your Mum to cook lunch later than she has planned?
You´re in a NEGOTIATION
- Want your kid to stop watching TV without screaming?
You´re in a NEGOTIATION
- Want your spouse to bring down the trash more often? NEGOTIATION
You´re in a NEGOTIATION
- Want to get the fresh bunch of parsley from the market stand, not the old one?
You´re in a NEGOTIATION
I could continue the list… basically every time the other side has a free will to not grant your wish, you will have to somehow interact with them to get your way. If you can´t order, force or otherwise just make them do like you wish (luckily that´s not readily possible), you will likely need to start a negotiation.
This means, all the rules of negotiation come into play, like preparation, strategic planning, communication skills etc. Knowing and applying them might save you a lot of energy and bring about your goals when working and living with other people.