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The Lack of Leverage Can Destroy Negotiator’s Abilities

“Leverage occurs in every negotiation, even when it’s not invoked.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“We need to destroy their lead negotiator’s leverage to weaken his abilities to negotiate effectively.” Those were the words uttered during the planning stage of a pending negotiation.

When planning your negotiation, do you consider how the lack of leverage can destroy a negotiator’s abilities? Leverage adds weight to a negotiator’s efforts. It can be the difference between a mediocre outcome and one that’s substantially better.

Leverage Constriction:

The use of leverage can constrict the implementation of a negotiator’s plans. Therefore, be watchful of when its usage might be employed against you and how/when you’ll employ it. Since its implementation will alter the flow of the negotiation, you should calculate the timing of its usage to maximize the benefits derived from it. Be aware that all forms of leverage do not bear the same weight. Thus, always examine the different forms of leverage you’ll use, and determine which ones will be most impactful when assembling them.

Timing of Leverage Implementation:

There are several occasions in a negotiation when you should consider using leverage.

1. Ponder using it when you don’t wish to discuss points that will drastically alter your negotiation plan.

2. Use it on defense to inject a point as a challenge to the opposing negotiator from implementing his.

3. Consider how you can inject leverage as a surprise to observe the other negotiator’s reaction. That reaction may uncover hidden elements that you should discuss that your negotiation counterpart would rather keep undisclosed.

Combating Leverage Usage:

Park it – When thinking about leverage attempts used against you, consider whether you should address the premise that’s raised. In some cases, it may behoove you to say, “let’s put that aside for now.” If your request is successful, it will negate the need for discussion about the premise of the leverage attempt. Thus, it’s a way to deflate its charges.

When the other negotiator attempts to wiggle free of your leverage usage, you can use your first effort to pin him to a position. As an example, if you ask if he’d like to accept offer one or two, knowing both are bad, and he said no to either, then you could make another offer that was better or worse than the first one; your offer per better or worse would be dependent on what you were attempting to achieve by your offers. He could reject your third offer but then you could feign exasperation and state that you’re really attempting to be amenable; the implication being, his position is untenable.

Refute It:

I attempt to be transparent when negotiating. That means, while I attempt not to mislead, I don’t disclose every aspect of my negotiation position.

During your negotiations, realize that some negotiators will be as transparent as seeing through a stain-free glass. That will be the exception, not the rule. In some situations, your opponent will outright lie. Be prepared to refute his lies with bona fide rebuts that are greater than his. Using that form of leverage will heighten your position and diminish his if he’s willing to accept your pronouncements. That will cause him to think twice about pursuing that line of deceit moving forward.

In your future negotiations, consider how you’ll use leverage to enhance your efforts. The better you become at identifying when, how, and at what points you’ll employ its usage, the better your negotiation outcomes will be … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.TheMasterNegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Best Practices Growth Industries Management Skills

Cognitive Excellence Is The New Benchmark of Business Performance

By Daniel Burrus and Neil Smith

(In this blog series on how elevating cognitive performance is a game changer for organizations, I’ve invited Neil Smith, CTO at Think Outcomes, to join me in writing on this important topic due to his expertise and the cognitive performance software his firm has created.)

Today, business performance is measured by transactional throughput and is commonly captured in a set of transactional metrics such as revenue, investor ROI, manufacturing capacity, service level performance, available to promise, etc. Commonly, the operations of a business are defined as the transactional activity. Yet, the definition of a business operation encompasses both its transactional operations and its cognitive operations. To break through current ceilings of business performance, the processes in both the transactional operations and the cognitive operations must execute with excellence.

Transactional Operations of an Organization

Commerce activities represent the transactional operations. Professionals are involved in planning and management of tasks to execute customer, supplier and employee transactions. Task-oriented processes occur before, during and after the customer journey. ERP, SCM and CRM software helps professionals responsible for transaction management execute transactional operating processes.

Examples of Transactional Responsibilities

  • Manage sales transactions
  • Manage marketing campaigns
  • Procure products and services
  • Fulfill orders
  • Capture accounting activity
  • Schedule materials
  • Manage inventory turns
  • Plan for distribution
  • Forecast financial performance
  • Service customers
  • Manage human resources
  • Compensate employees

Executives have invested significantly to evolve the processes on the transactional side of their businesses.

Cognitive Operations of an Organization

The cognitive operations comprise teams that think and communicate perspectives for a living. These teams are internal and external to the organization:

  • Senior executives, senior managers and other professionals
  • Management consultants, board members, lenders and insurance providers in the services ecosystem
  • Investors, analysts, supply chain partners and business partners, who are part of the extended enterprise
  • Regulators and educational institutions, who are standard setters

In a cognitive operations, professionals think critically, collaborate, communicate with their stakeholders, make decisions, advise other professionals and monitor uncertainties. As professionals perform mindful work, they often experience gaps in their knowledge that lead to uncertainties. Uncertainties stall decisions. Cognitive processes represent the work that takes place in their minds.

Cognitive operations exist across industries, such as oil and gas, life sciences, private equity, management consulting, environmental management, asset management, space, insurance, banking, aerospace, defense, healthcare, government and education, etc. Below are some examples where critical thinking, stakeholder communications and performance advisory occur in life sciences for their cognitive work:

Examples of Cognitive Responsibilities in Pharma

Chief Medical Officer

  • Develop corporate strategy
  • Brainstorm with clinical key opinion leaders around clinical challenges
  • Create quality control measures for clinical trials
  • Ensure performance among clinical and regulatory teams
  • Collaborate with health authorities
  • Communicate with regulatory authorities
  • Perform due diligence research on business development opportunities
  • Monitor investment in clinical programs

Chief of Staff

  • Improve processes to enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness
  • Identify Hard Trends to strengthen the accuracy of forecasts
  • Prepare CEO for stakeholder meetings
  • Ensure innovative qualitative and quantitative measurements

VP, Drug Process Development

  • Apply anticipatory thinking and new tools to transform processes
  • Demonstrate process reliability
  • Verify process effectiveness
  • Build process control strategy

VP, Drug Manufacturing Process

  • Ensure a stable design environment
  • Assess drug degradation
  • Link material attributes and process parameters to CQAs
  • Demonstrate linkages between process and product reliability
  • Track outcomes for each changing state
  • Establish feedforward and feedback controls
  • Anticipate and monitor failure conditions

VP, Corporate Development

  • Craft risk-managed pricing
  • Evaluate portfolio implications
  • Analyze integrated due diligence

VP, Supply Chain

  • Use new tools to transform supply chain processes
  • Communicate supply chain risks and opportunities
  • Simulate implications of a supplier failure

Professionals in the cognitive operations either accelerate or constrain their cognitive performance based on their mind-set and the technologies they use for their mind’s work.

Professionals in the transactional operations benefit from software architectures for their responsibilities. Yet professionals in the cognitive operations don’t have the same capabilities to perform their jobs. Rather, they have their job descriptions, their experiences and their minds; they utilize multipurpose software in the form of spreadsheets, presentation software and word processing documents. Leaders and managers do not have a software architecture designed to elevate their cognitive responsibilities. Nor do they have a way to think through their uncertainties in a Socratic manner. These issues are critical for a cognitive operation to advance and gain a competitive advantage.

In working across organizations for decades, we’ve seen a theme in which leaders and managers who seldom take enough time to think through uncertainties the first time around is high. Yet there seems to be enough time to revisit the topics a second time as problems arise. Beyond time pressures, confusion persists around how to think through uncertainties. The lack of clarity regarding how to manage uncertainty has led leaders and managers to spend more time managing the crisis and less time managing new opportunities. By learning to identify the Hard Trend certainties that will happen, anticipatory leaders learn to innovate with low risk and have the confidence certainty provides to make bold moves.

What is Cognitive Excellence?

Anticipatory leaders and managers exhibit cognitive excellence through a constant flow of insights and foresights that resolve uncertainties. These professionals become a critical resource to highly effective cognitive operations. They are go-to professionals, whether they exist in an organization, in the services ecosystem or as part of the extended enterprise. Organizations need to instill these anticipatory capabilities in their professionals to achieve greater business performance.

“Past performance is not a predictor of future results.”

This performance caveat is attached to any investment in the stock market, and it applies in business too. Future performance is dependent on anticipatory skills and cognitive excellence. Professionals face change all the time. Some say change is the only constant; in fact, it’s accelerating at an exponential rate, which creates additional uncertainties as well as new certainties! It’s challenging to achieve cognitive excellence in the minds of professionals consistently today without anticipatory skills and software that:

  • Define the cognitive gaps
  • Illustrate aberrations in future performance through measurable evidence
  • Trigger questions of uncertainty in your mind
  • Move you from uncertainty to greater certainty

That’s why cognitive excellence doesn’t just come from experience. It comes from advancing the capabilities of professionals with:

  • Anticipatory leadership skills
  • A responsibility architecture for their cognitive work
  • An agile and anticipatory mental framework to help them address change across situations
  • Software spaces to perform their mind’s work

The ability to nimbly address questions of uncertainty through a repeatable Socratic process greatly enhances leaders’ and managers’ capabilities to perform at a very high level as key contributors to their organizations and their clients’ organizations. This is how professionals can transform the performance of their businesses.

As professional teams elevate their cognitive capabilities toward excellence, their organizations transform into highly performant cognitive factories. Professional teams leverage each other’s thinking through a uniform process to visualize performance patterns for their minds, where they gain insights and foresights. Anticipatory professionals not only pre-experience their own uncertainties, they also help their stakeholders pre-solve their questions of uncertainty, too.

The cognitive era is shaping the coexistence and interdependence between humans and machines. This new era demands leaders to advance the capabilities of their cognitive processes. As machines learn, humans must focus their time and attention in areas where machines are far less effective. Professionals need to redefine and reinvent their business models, markets, products, services and processes to provide the next level of value for their clients. Anticipatory leaders and managers need to focus their time on the layers of both uncertainty and certainty where future state thinking is needed and reassign current state thinking to others. That’s how they’ll continue to differentiate their personal and business brands. Professionals need to accelerate their learning and get comfortable with uncertainty through the use of higher certainty frameworks. It’s imperative for organizations to get on board with elevating their cognitive performance. Waiting will cost organizations the value of cognitive insights and foresights, while your competitors grow their knowledge.

Machine learning is causing a shift in the workforce — an emerging crowd of retrained professionals whose jobs are increasingly occupied by machines. This requires cognitive professionals in their current roles to manage the knowledge gap between themselves and their new human rivals. They accomplish this by advancing their cognitive skill sets, learning to become anticipatory leaders and through the use of technologies built the way they think about uncertainties.

Learn how to elevate your planning, accelerate innovation and transform results with The Anticipatory Learning System and how to maximize the cognitive performance of your team with Cognitive Performance Software.

Categories
Growth Management Personal Development

Four Reasons Why Managers Are So Poor at Feedback

Most HR professionals believe that a manager’s most important job is to give feedback to employees.  Yet most managers are so poor at it which means the feedback is infrequent, poorly timed, of poor quality, or all three.  Why?

Research by Watson and Wyatt states that 43% of employees don’t get enough feedback to improve their performance.  Sibson Consulting reports that HR professionals are frustrated because managers don’t give constructive feedback and 58% of HR professionals give their number one feedback tool, the annual performance review, a C grade or below.  Study after study point to managers who are poor at giving feedback as the major reason why performance appraisals fail.  Studies also show how companies with managers who delivery effective feedback generate 47% higher return to shareholders. (Online Recruitment Resource, 2007)

There is no hiding the fact that we all must improve our feedback skills especially since feedback is required for learning, to improve performance, to reduce stress, and to improve employee retention and employee engagement.  There are at least four important reasons (barriers) why feedback is poorly done now.

First, what managers call feedback is not feedback at all.  It is criticism.  Feedback is data from a process that is used for learning.    Opinion and criticism are the same.  Most managers say they are giving feedback but instead they give their opinions about the employee behaviors or individual performance. We all know that no one likes unsolicited criticism from anyone.   This barrier frustrates and causes discomfort to both employees and managers and that frustration creates a barrier preventing the truth and learning.

Second, current HR polices require managers to give the feedback.  Why not give employees the ability and autonomy to collect their own data?  Employees who collect their own data and can manage their own processes are more motivated and engaged.  Requiring managers to give the feedback means they must be the inspector, spy, the micro-manager, or the omniscient judge.  This is a very challenging, if not impossible role to fill.  Why not provide autonomy and trust to employees instead?

Third, the work environment most often discourages open and honest feedback.  Any feedback (or opinions) from our managers often has consequences attached to it.   For example, managers often control employee pay raises, bonuses, or performance appraisal ratings.  Anything that might damage those ratings might want to be hidden by the employee. How can managers give feedback to something they can’t see?  This type of work environment can be threatening and can act as a poison to the life of useful and honest feedback.

Fourth, I believe most managers intuitively know they should not and cannot evaluate individual employee behaviors without understanding how the work environment, the processes the co-workers interact and impact the employee.  This is one reason many managers avoid giving feedback to employees.  Attempting to provide feedback on the behaviors of employees without studying the entire system (the context) is like trying to explain how to use a towel to a fish.

If we are really interested in giving better feedback we must realize these four barriers exist and must be removed first.  Many HR professionals continue to be frustrated by the lack of quality feedback and yet these four barriers continue to exist and will continue to create that frustration unless we shift the way we think about feedback and we address them.  All the management training in the world will not remove these barriers.  The barriers are endemic in the work environment and so they must be first recognized and then removed by courageous leaders with the right management theory.

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.  See other resources here.

Online Recruitment Resource. (2007, December 5). Watson Wyatt study reveals six communication secrets of top-performing employers. Retrieved from www.onrec.com: http://www.onrec.com/news/news-archive/watson-wyatt-study-reveals-six-communication-secrets-of-top-performing-employers

For more, read on: https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/advisor/wally-hauck/

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