Negotiation has a pejorative connotation, not unlike the one associated with manipulation. Yet, every entrepreneur, leader, corporate executive, professional, academician and consumer who communicates interactively (speaks or otherwise sends signals or suggestions) with another Human Being is engaged in both. The average individual spends most of his or her waking hours negotiating.
It is frightening to think about.
"Negotiation is the language of all business. It is where commerce meets conversation, and all conversation (every single form of communication) involves commerce, whether it is an exchange of ideas or an exchange of hostages. Boldly put, every spoken word, every single form of interaction between or among individuals is, in fact, a negotiation."
- Douglas E. Castle
Negotiation is a dynamic process through which an agreement is reached.
Manipulation is merely a smart-alecky word for "convincing," "persuading," or (sometimes) "seduction."
Negotiation and manipulation are actually neutral terms, and merely tools.
Their power, for better or worse, for good or evil, lies solely in the hands of the wielder. Negotiation and manipulation are the two most important components of all commerce and civilization. One should master both.
My favorite area of consultative practice is in the art and science of high-level negotiations - at the board of directors level, either intracorporately (among individuals or stakeholder factions), or between two entities involved in what, in business, is analogous to dating, and hating or mating. I intermediate. I moderate. Most importantly, I communicate.
My work requires research, intelligence-gathering, frequent practice and experimentation and a technical knowledge of behavioral psychology and the dynamics of both the individual mind and the "group" or collective mind.
In my role as Chairman of TNNWC, I perform a number of different planning and managerial functions for the benefit of the Company. When I am called upon, I will also speak about or advise a client about negotiating something; more often than not, this puts me directly in the middle of the process, actively advocating the party who was prudent enough to retain my services. It is a wonderful process -- in my perspective, it is like designing, constructing and moving into a finished building. It is my passion to reach agreements.
Incidentally, there is no winner in a negotiation where an agreement has not been reached. This means that regardless of the side that I am on, once given my objectives and parameters, I must find some way to have the parties settle together. It is not a war -- it is a tricky, but surprisingly (for most unfamiliar with this type of thing) collaborative process. It involves a high level of cognitive functioning and an incredible amount of focus and de-personalization. There is no place, in my role, for my own ego.
Become familiar with the negotiation process. The more you know about it, the more that:
1) you'll realize that you have been engaged in it for most of your life; and,
2) you'll come to appreciate the delicacy and artistry which are required in order to bring parties into a sustainable state of agreement.
Welcome to my world.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, get your scrolling gloves on, and get out those magnifying glasses [apologies]...
Note: This article was published (in various forms) simultaneously in Taking Command!, Sending Signals!, Negotiation - The Language Of All Business, and in The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter.
Following are some tags, labels, categories and keywords relating to this article to get you started. If you'll just look over the list, you'll automatically open your mind to a new awareness of negotiations going on all around you:
- "earned victories" versus thefts
- acknowledging "points" for the other side
- acknowledging sacrifices from your side
- acquiring territory
- ad hominen arguments
- adult-adult positioning
- adult-child positioning
- agreements in stages
- apologizing - the power of humility
- approaching an averaging point
- balancing the scales
- bargaining chips
- behavioral psychology - factions and groups
- behavioral psychology - individual
- being clear
- being unbreakable
- body language
- boredom and small print
- Braintenance! Blog
- bugs and caution
- building trust
- coming back to the table
- communicating with precision
- conflict resolution
- correcting or reversing a negotiating error
- critical times
- dealing with conflicting agendas
- dealing with hidden agendas
- determining who the decision makers truly are
- distraction and diversion
- divide and conquer
- doing your research
- dominators - how to handle them
- Douglas E Castle
- dropping hints
- establishing authority
- establishing goals
- establishing priorities
- establishing value
- exhaustion - wearing parties down
- exposing your own vulnerabilities
- expressing admiration for the other party
- fast subject switching
- fear of appearing unsophisticated
- fear of loss
- finding common ground
- finding commonality and intersection of interests
- finding the other side's hot spots
- forming alliances quickly
- gains and sacrifices
- gestures and what they signify
- getting at the truth
- getting attention
- getting to "yes"
- getting to decision makers
- give-and-take patterns
- handling an insult
- higher authority
- how to use
- hypnotic environment
- instilling fear
- intelligence gathering and application
- intensive interrogation
- introducing new parties to the negotiating table
- introducing new variables
- leaving the room
- lingering resentments
- manners and matters of conduct
- NLP techniques applied
- parameters and limiting conditions
- perceived limitations
- perceived value
- perception versus reality
- personality typing
- piecemeal victories
- power words
- precision timing
- re-framing words and visualizations
- re-initiating lagging negotiations
- reaching an accord
- role playing
- saving face
- Sending Signals! Blog
- setting the stage and the props
- shocks and surprises
- showing remorse
- sideline conversations and "small talk"
- signs and symbols
- splitting the difference
- stabilizing the chaotic
- stepping "out of character"
- stop and go negotiations
- subliminal suggestion
- subtle "tells"
- subtleties of speech
- suppressing destructive impulses
- sustainable agreements versus "patch jobs"
- tag teams
- Taking Command! Blog
- tenuous agreements
- the art of listening
- The Entrepreneurial Spirit
- The National Networker (TNNWC) Weekly Newsletter
- the quest for fairness
- the quest for justice
- the use of casual conversation to create new alliances
- time constraints - real
- TNNWC Management Consulting
- Transactional Analysis
- un-focusing and re-focusing
- unite and collaborate
- walking away
- when to pretend not to have heard
- when to relent
- when to remain silent
- I win You win (abundancethinkers.wordpress.com)
- Playground Negotiations (hrmexplorer.wordpress.com)
- Role Play Exercises for Building Negotiation Skills (brighthub.com)
- Working Your Way Through Negotiations: A Guide for the Project Manager (brighthub.com)
- Strategies in Business Negotiation (thinkup.waldenu.edu)
- [From the web] Peace groups to GPH-MILF panels: "Negotiate A Political Settlement Now!" - www.mpc.org.ph (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- The key lesson from shutdown showdown: Boehner needs Democrats (dailykos.com)
- Baucus: Social Security off the budget negotiation table (dailykos.com)
- House Democrat says budget deal "very close" (reuters.com)
- Partial Agreement Seen in Yahoo-Alibaba Dispute (bits.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Accused Somali hostage negotiator faces U.S. charges (reuters.com)
- Thomson Reuters and Union Agree on Tentative Contract (nytimes.com)
- AP Journalists Plan a Week of Action Ahead of Annual Meeting (news.change.org)
- NFL Lockout: League, NFLPA Negotiators Meet Again, Push For Deal (newyork.cbslocal.com)
- AP Union Tells Members To Stop Tweeting (mashable.com)
- Stern meets with union; more negotiations ahead (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
- After making progress, what could go wrong and mess up NFL labor talks (fourthandgoalunites.com)
- UN says Ivory Coast negotiation was a 'trick' (eyespytheworld.com)
- Federal shutdown avoided, 2012 budget fight continues (readyfortheshift.com)
- Political Posturing Versus Honesty - Domestic And International Sabotage (douglascastle1.wordpress.com)
- The Art & Science Of Collaboration & Conversation (andrewarmour.com)
- White House releases President Obama's long-form birth certificate (salon.com)
- Huntsman's path to White House starts in China - msnbc.com (news.google.com)
- NFL urges negotiation out of courts (fourthandgoalunites.com)
- Lessons from America's last brush with default (finance.fortune.cnn.com)
NOTICE: This article is Copyright © 2011 by author Douglas E Castle with all rights reserved. It may be republished without permission provided that it is published in full, with all hyperlinks and exhibits left intact, and with full attribution given the author. This article does not contain or constitute medical, health, psychological, legal, regulatory, investment, securities, financial, tax, or any other form of professional advice -- the reader acknowledges and accepts this disclaimer. Further, the reader indemnifies and holds harmless both the author and all publications in which this article appears of any damages, claims, loss, responsibility or liability emerging from the reader’s utilization of any information contained herein.
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