If you are tired of being at the loosing end of most discussions or arrangements, be they at work, with a peer or a spouse, then try the following eight steps to improve your outcomes.
1. Listen more than you talk. It is difficult to understand what the other person desires if you spend all of your time talking and pushing your view.
2. What’s in their best interest? Consider how to best position your views so that they serve the best interests of the other person. What’s in it for them?
3. Use passion, not aggression. Aggression and anger shut down discussions quickly (just sit in on any union negotiation). If, however you demonstrate passion in your views and your willingness to reach a mutually beneficial outcome, your chances of success will skyrocket.
4. Think about your emotions. Use emotion strategically to support your views. What views or opinions truly matter and how can you best demonstrate this?
5. It’s all in the wrists. Remain flexible and open to the suggestions and thoughts of the other individuals. Don’t get stuck in your own position.
6. Consider options. Prepare several options that the other individual might find acceptable and use these strategically during discussions as you work towards an agreement.
7. What motivates them? Understand whether the other individual is more motivated by subjective or objective information. Use supportive information based on their preferences to move discussions towards a positive outcome.
8. Did I mention, listen more than you talk?
You will notice some themes here. First, it is only through considering the other individuals (or parties) views, opinions and thoughts that you can reach an agreeable outcome quickly. Secondly, (and most importantly) the only way to give careful consideration to the other person’s views is too listen carefully. We were given two ears and one mouth for a reason, now is the time to use them.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.