Welcome back to our continuing Wednesday series on negotiations.
Today we welcome a special guest negotiator, Kerry’s Schafer’s friend the Random Penguin, who’s here to teach one of the most important rules of successful negotiation: the Strength of Silence.
Novice negotiators often make the mistake of over-talking. But silence is a negotiator’s friend.
Most modern negotiations take place electronically, via e-mail or other written communication, but when the negotiation takes place in person or by telephone, silence is an important tactical choice.
Here’s how to use it:
1. Let the other party “lead” the negotiation if you can. When you know what the other party wants, without needing to state your desires first, you have the ability to decide how to meet in the middle.
2. If you must lead, take the negotiation one point at a time. Don’t put all the cards on the table at once. Start with the most important point, resolve it, and then move on.
3. State your points as succinctly as possible and then LISTEN to the other side’s response. Sometimes a mutually acceptable middle position becomes apparent from the conversation. But if you’re not really listening, you might miss it.
4. For emphasis: LISTEN TO THE OTHER SIDE’S RESPONSES. Don’t spend all your time thinking about what you’ll say when the other party finishes.
Listening – and hearing the other side – gives you a much better ability to respond with potentially reasonable suggestions and to find the common ground that makes your requests acceptable to the Publisher. And that, in turn, can lead to a successful – and mutually satisfactory – negotiation.
So remember: when negotiating, be like the penguin: savvy, smart, and silent.
Want to know more about The Random Penguin? Tune in tomorrow for a very special interview!