There are a lot of negotiation experts that will tell you to separate emotion from the negotiation you go into. Ever tried to do that in something that you’re really emotionally invested in? Yeah, and how did that go?
If you’re like most people, it probably didn’t go very well. That’s because that advice is BS to begin with. Negotiation is intimate an emotional. You cannot separate emotion from negotiations. And if you are able to separate your emotion from the negotiation you appear cold, as though you don’t actually care about the negotiation or the result. And if you appear that way, how is the other party supposed to empathize with you? And if the other party can’t empathize with you (and visa versa), then how likely do you think it is that you’ll be leaving money on the table?
But there is good news. You can learn to manage your emotions in the negotiation and once you learn to manage your emotions in negotiations, you can even use them to elicit some desired responses from the other party.
This post could be very long and it’s highly likely that you’d lose interest pretty quick, so I’m going to try summarizing how you can use your emotions to draw the other party in.
There are many reasons why you may want to draw the other party in. Maybe you’re using emotional conditioning to develop a base argument for a concession later. Or maybe you’re trying to get them to offer a quick concession. Perhaps you’re just trying to get them to understand your perspective.
Whatever you’re trying to do by drawing the party in there are a few things that you can do to achieve it.
Slow Down Your Speech Pattern – if you want someone to listen to you, slow down your speech pattern and cadence. This is difficult for a lot of sales people who are used to trying to get in as much as possible before they get a rejection. In my estimation, by slowing your speech pattern, you force the other party to listen more intently to what you are saying because the pattern doesn’t match what they’re used to from you.
Use Dramatic Pauses – This is similar to changing your speech pattern. Have you ever heard Barack Obama speak? He is a master at the dramatic pause. He may not even be saying something that sounds eloquent or all that important, but as soon as he starts adding dramatic pauses to his speech, people start to lean in and they wait for the next thing that he’s going to say. So if you want to add emphasis to the next thing you want to say, instead of raising your voice (which often pushes people away instead of drawing them close), add a pause right before you want to say something. Take a deep breath and stop for at least 2 seconds, then say what you need to say.
Body Language Changes
Soften Your Eyes – A furrowed brow is going to do nothing for you if you want to draw the other party in and they definitely won’t empathize with you. Don’t do that. Soften your eyes. You want to look almost puppy–esque in nature.
Tilt Your Head and Lean In – You want to look engaged in everything that’s being said. The easiest way to do this is to appear that way. You need to lean in and tilt your head. Think of it this way. If you’re leaned back in your chair and you look disinterested in the conversation, how likely do you think the other party is going to be interested in in what you have to say?
Don’t try to separate emotion from your negotiation. In my mind, it’s almost impossible and not easy to do. It’s actually easier to learn to manage your emotions and use them to get what you want.