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Your Weekly Walkaway - Happy Marriage; it's all about ‘Opening Extreme’
The Weekly Walkway highlights negotiation in its ‘good’, ‘bad’ and sometimes ‘downright ugly’ forms. Newsletter Issue No. 21 (17th February 2023)
What to expect?
Quote of the Week - "Negotiation is the art of letting them have your way!"
Tactic of the Week - The Flinch
Thought of the Week - Happy Marriage; it’s all about ‘Opening Extreme’
Remember: You are a negotiator!
You are always managing some form of conflict, a difference of opinion or interest.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"Negotiation is the art of letting them have your way"
TACTIC OF THE WEEK
Flinch at everything! Send nonverbal and verbal messages to make them think you are shocked, surprised or disappointed with their proposals or with what they are saying or doing.
Use your nonverbal messages to make them feel stupid or to make them doubt themselves, doubt their position.
You must show how unacceptable their offers are how unacceptable their position is, and if appropriate, how ridiculous their question is… even if it is acceptable!
Flinch at everything. If you stop flinching, it tells the other party you find their position, their offer, and their question acceptable.
If you don't flinch, they may perceive that they do not need to move or change their position, which in turn dissatisfies them and may create a stubborn or ego response which also could lead to deadlock.
THOUGHT OF THE WEEK
Happy Marriage; it’s all about ‘Opening Extreme.’
“Oh, come on, darling, I want to help save our planet’. I just want to do my bit and buy an electric car.”
I had spent the past month researching cars, sharing all the data with my wife, and I had made a fantastic case in favour of a top-of-the-range electric car. I had used climate change versus the cost of living versus energy inflation, but…even with all my powers of persuasion, my well-thought-out arguments and presentations, she said “No”. In fact, she then had the OMG to turn around and suggest that if I wanted to help save the planet and… lose a bit of weight while I was about it… why didn’t I buy a mountain bike instead and go out more with my teenage sons…
My goal all along!!
Don't tell her, but I had opened extreme and anchored. Oh gosh, please don't tell her, but after all these years of happy marriage, I had learned that to achieve my goals, I needed to set her expectations far away from where I actually needed to end up. I asked for a £70,000 car to achieve a £2,500 mountain bike!
That's right…Yes, negotiation is a complex process. It can be very challenging, especially when your counterpart has different goals and interests than you.
Negotiation is the art of letting them have your way!
So let's take a look at this common and highly effective tactic; making extreme proposals.
The idea behind opening extreme is that it sets a reference point for the rest of the negotiation, also known as ‘an anchor’.
Opening extreme grabs the attention of your counterpart and establishes a ‘benchmark’, an anchor point, and subsequent offers and counteroffers are made with reference to it. By opening with an extreme or ambitious anchor, you change the perception of value in their mind and set a high expectation for the potential outcome of the negotiation; this, in turn, has a significant impact on the final agreement.
You see, you open extreme so you can move. Once you’ve set your ambitious anchor, you will need to give them satisfaction by moving…by making concessions. If you don't move, you will come across as stubborn, arrogant even!! Quite the opposite to the way you thought you would be by opening with exactly what you need, eh?
You see, many of you will open up with what you need in the hope that being fair, honest and nice will achieve happy results. It, in fact, goes against you. By opening with what you want, you can't move. And if you do move, it is away from where you need to be. So if you don't move, ‘they’ think you’re working against them, which creates dissatisfaction! Savvy!
By showing flexibility and moving from your anchored position, you give them satisfaction. And in some cases, you can even make them feel like ‘they’ are winning. That they are ‘beating you’.
By moving from your extreme opener creates a sense of reciprocity; they need to pay you back. That's right; it’s genius;
by opening extreme and moving, you encourage them to move towards you.
And here is the next genius move. As you move from your anchored position, you are also able to test your assumptions about their walkaway, their breakpoint, and what they can't accept. By observing their reactions, their flinch, or lack of. Put simply;
If the other party responds positively to your concessions and continues to engage in the negotiation, it may suggest that their walkaway is further away;
Alternatively, if they respond negatively or become increasingly resistant to further movement, then it may suggest that you're close to their walkaway.
Beware and be aware
Opening extreme should be done carefully. If you open too extreme, you risk creating unrealistic expectations or even losing credibility. You may hit the;
POP the piss-off point.
Additionally, if you move too much or too quickly from your extreme, you risk exposing ‘the game’ and being perceived as a manipulator. Both of which could mean a loss of credibility, value and trust.
Give it a go. Try it out… Next time you negotiate, make an extreme proposal of, say 10% more than you usually would. Open with more or less, obviously depending on which side of the calculator you come from, then plan in some moves and watch what happens. Better negotiated outcomes.
Next week we will be exploring whether you should make the first offer…Or not! And over the coming month, we will take a closer look at ‘Giving Satisfaction’, Employing The Law of Reciprocity and Finally, how we can move, concede, to ‘Test Assumptions’.
We’d love to read your comments or thoughts. What do you think?
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