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10 Tips How to Lead Conversation and Negotiation with Difficult People

by Dale Carnegie

July 23, 2014
 Negotiating is a process of agreement on a solution. Compromising and settling a mutually benefitting solution is the result of successful negotiation. To lead effective communication and negotiation you need to be flexible and prepared to generate alternative solutions to a problem. Whether it involves a person, an idea, or organizational change that others are reluctant to, learning to negotiate is an essential communication and human relation skill that we need to master to achieve personal and business success.

Apply the Dale Carnegie Tips for Communication and Negotiation with Difficult People

1. Have a positive attitude
Our attitude is essential to our outcome. We have a much better chance of coming to an outcome involving mutual gains if we approach the negotiation as an opportunity to achive a win- win outcome.
2. Meet on neutral ground
Find mutually agreeable and convenient space to meet that is comfortable to all involved. Agree on when to meet and how much time to devote to the meeting. Prepare for the face- to face meeting, be careful using your voice, face expressions, and other eyes cues that can ruin a smooth verbal communication.
3. Clearly define the issue and plan (do your homework)
Agree on the statement of the issue and the possible solutions. Use simple facts and statements. We must know not only what is at stake for ourselves, but also the other side’s concerns and motivations. Know the must-haves (nonnegotiable items) and nice-to-have (negotiable items). Determine the best resolution, a fair and reasonable deal, and a minimally acceptable deal.
4. Know yourself and your opponent
Deal with facts not emotions. Determine the way you can control your emotions, when is appropriate and how you can speak to the other person. What is the level of trust in the other person and the process? Be conscious of the aspects of yours and your opponent personality that can help or hinder the process. Avoid any tendency to attack the other person, to pass judgment or ideas.
5. Look at shared interests.
Find and establish similarities. Look for common goals, objectives that can illustrate that you are in this together. Focus on the future, talk about what is to be done and tackle the problem jointly.
6. Be honest.
Do not try to play games. Be honest and clear about what is important to you. Be clear and reveal why your goals, issues and objectives are important to you. Show understanding of the other point of you as well.
7. Present alternatives and provide evidence.
Create options and alternatives that demonstrate willingness to compromise,
Consider conceding in areas that might have value to the other person but are not that important to you. Frame options in terms of the other person’s interest and provide facts and evidence for your point of view.
8. Apply expert communication skills
Ask questions, listen carefully, rephrase what you heard to check for understanding, and take an interest in the other side’s concerns. Reduce tension through humor, let the other "vent" and acknowledge the other’s views. Focus less on your position and more on ways in which you can move forward and toward resolutions or compromise.
9. End on a good note
Make a win- win proposal and try to make sure everyone has the filling they have "won" something. Agree on the action steps and who is responsible for what step.
10. Learn the benefits of dealing with difficult people
Reflect and learn from each negotiation. Overcoming a conversation with difficult people, learning how to control emotions, and speak in terms of the other person’s interest and point of view, brings the benefit of becoming more influential communicator. Reach an agreement confidently. Determine a criteria to evaluate the process and solution.

Learn more  Negotiation strategies here!


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