Ready to Leverage, what’s next?
Last week we spoke about how to leverage spend in order to reduce cost. When I discuss leverage in my workshops, in the classroom or with coaching clients, the very next question is so how does this fit with my negotiation strategy?
Although often presented as a very complex process, negotiation in its fundamental form is quite simple. And like anything else, becoming a good negotiator requires practice. Negotiation success is built upon understanding that there are four core negotiation behaviors that everyone operates within (albeit most of us do so unknowingly):
1. Compete: The competitor will do whatever is required in order to win. Loud voice, talking over, repeating. You have likely seen this style used by participants on Jerry Springer when they are attempting to sway the audience into believing their story over the other party.
2. Avoid: The avoider will typically take whatever action is necessary to avoid the negotiation. They will avoid returning phone calls, emails, and in general send communication when they are assured you will not have time to respond (i.e. after hours voice messages).
3. Compromise: Individuals who are seeking concessions in exchange for their willingness to compromise fit within this category. The most common example of compromise is often found when negotiating with car dealers. For example, you might be willing to buy a different color off the car lot in return for some added features or a lower price.
4. Collaborate: Lastly we have the collaborators. Always seeking to work together for a solution (most often they will make this statement repeatedly), the pure collaborators express genuine concern for your interests and help you to better understand their challenges and desires.
Now here is the kicker. Negotiation styles are not always set in stone. That is, someone may appear to be in competition mode, but as a result of a change in circumstance they may quickly shift to the collaborate mode. So it is important to consistently monitor the negotiation behavior of those with whom you are dealing in order to best respond with the most appropriate and effective opposing style. More on how to successfully navigate and apply these styles next week.
Supply Strategy Quiz:
Considering that virtually every discussion we have is a negotiation, rather than a quiz this week, I have a challenge for you. During the next week, spend some time identifying the negotiation styles you are most comfortable with. Then purposely try to apply a different style when the opportunity arises. Notice how you feel when applying the different style, and more importantly notice the impact the different style has on your negotiation outcome. In addition, spend some time attempting to identify the negotiation styles of those around you.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.
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