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How to confront - and get your way - without confrontation

  1. Use the late-night FM DJ voice.
  2. Start with “I’m sorry … “
  3. Mirror.
  4. Silence. At least four seconds, to let the mirror works it magic on your counterpart.
  5. Repeat.

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It comes down to the deep and universal human need for autonomy. People need to feel in control. When you preserve a person’s autonomy by clearly giving them permission to say “No” to your ideas, the emotions calm, the effectiveness of the decisions go up, and the other party can really look at your proposal. They’re allowed to hold it in their hands, to turn it around. And it gives you time to elaborate or pivot in order to convince your counterpart that the change you’re proposing is more advantageous than the status quo.

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Active listening arsenal:

  1. Effective Pauses: Silence is powerful.
  2. Minimal Encouragers: “Yes”, “OK”, “Uh-huh”, “I see”
  3. Mirroring: listen and repeat back
  4. Labeling: give … feelings a name and identify with how he felt
  5. Paraphrase: Repeat back in his own words
  6. Summarize: A good summary is the combination of articulating the meaning of what is said plus the acknowledgement of the emotions underlying that meaning (paraphrasing + labeling = summary)

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  • Creating unconditional positive regard opens the door to changing thoughts and behaviors … The more a person feels understood, and positively affirmed in that understanding, the more likely that urge for constructive behavior will take hold.
  • That’s right is better than “yes”. Strive for it. Reaching “that’s right” in a negotiation creates breakthroughs.
  • Use a summary to trigger a “That’s right.” The building blocks of a good summary are a label combined with paraphrasing. Identify, re-articulate, and emotionally affirm “the world according to … “

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Calibrated questions:

  • What is the biggest challenge you face?
  • What about this is important to you?
  • How can I help to make this better for us?
  • How would you like me to proceed?
  • What is it that brought us into this situation?
  • How can we solve this problem?
  • What’s the objective? / What are we trying to accomplish here?
  • How am I supposed to do that?

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By making your counterparts articulate implementation in their own words, your carefully calibrated “how” questions will convince them that the final solution is their idea. And that’s crucial. People always make more effort to implement a solution when they think it’s theirs. That is simply human nature. That’s why negotiation is often called “the art of letting someone else have your way.”

There are two key questions you can ask to push your counterparts to think they are defining success their way: “How will we know we’re on track?” and “How will we address things if we find we’re off track?” When they answer, you summarize their answers until you get a “That’s right.” Then you’ll know they’re bought in.

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No matter how much research our team has done prior to the interaction, we always ask ourselves, “Why are they communication what they are communicating right now?”

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If this book accomplishes only one thing, I hope it gets you over that fear of conflict and encourages you to navigate it with empathy. If you’re going to be great at anything - a great negotiator, a great manager, a great husband, a great wife - you’re going to have to do that. …

You’re going to have to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation - and of life. …

More than a little research has shown that genuine, honest conflict between people over their goals actually helps energize the problem-solving process in a collaborative way. Skilled negotiators have a talent for using conflict to keep the negotiation going without stumbling into a personal battle.