Greg Williams

By Greg Williams

Perception – Does Being Right or Wrong Matter?

Perception – Does Being Right or Wrong Matter? 150 150 Greg Williams, MN, CSP

“Constantly test your beliefs. They serve as the foundation from which you view the world, those in it, and how others in turn view you.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Too many times, people get hung-up on who’s right and who’s wrong. In reality that’s not what they’re really interested in. They’re more concerned with getting others to follow their lead. Being cognizant of that should allow you to focus more on the outcome you seek in a situation and less on how being perceived as right or wrong will make you feel. If you do identify your feelings as the source that motivates you to adopt one action over another, examine your thoughts to assess why that’s so; it could mean that you’re less interested in the outcome versus the way you feel about the outcome. If that turns out to be the case, you have a completely different ‘kettle of fish’ to deal with, one that’s in addition to the perception of right or wrong.

Once you can boil right or wrong down to its most simplistic form and still get others to follow you, right or wrong becomes immaterial. Recognize that you really don’t want to be viewed as being right or wrong, what you’re really after is to have others agree with your beliefs.

Going forward, when you’re engaged in dialog with others ask yourself, “Am I placing too much emphasis on being right or wrong?” Understand the source of motivation behind your actions to convince others that you’re right. That will be the real key to the impact you have on them … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations?

Every negotiator enters into a negotiation believing that her point of view should be accepted by the other negotiator; from her perspective, her point of view is right. If too much emphasis is placed on being right, she may overlook other opportunities to sway her counterpart to the real objective of the negotiation, which is to receive a favorable outcome for her.

Before you can shape someone’s perception, first you have to shape your own. You should have a firm understanding of how you arrived at your perspectives, the value they contain as viewed by others, to what degree they may contain unsubstantiated biases, and how you’ll position them to be viewed as most advantageous by the other negotiator. Once you’ve gathered those aspects, you’ll realize that it’s perception that matters, not who’s right or wrong. That will add a new dimension to your negotiation efforts.

What are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at 

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Remember, you’re always negotiating.

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