“Taking risks can be risky if you don’t control the risks you take.” – Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
Positioning in a #negotiation impacts a #negotiator’s ability to #negotiate before the negotiation begins. Because the way you position yourself determines how the other negotiator will perceive you. And it’ll regulate your interactions. Thus, to be a better negotiator, you must #control any risky #positioning that might impact a negotiation.
Everyone considers what they might encounter before they engage in an activity – that’s especially true in negotiations. And it’s better you shape their perception before they do. Doing so delivers the image you wish them to have of you compared to the haphazard perspective they might create.
The following are examples to control your positioning before a negotiation occurs.
Hanging with Influencers:
You’re perceived as an influencer when you surround yourself with those that influence others – that allows you to become better positioned. To advantage your position, consider becoming seen with the influencers that’ll have the greatest impact on those that you wish to influence. That will improve your positioning based on how others perceive you.
Controlling Your Message:
People will attempt to control your message. And they may hijack its intent to serve a purpose that’s better aligned with their goals, not yours. To oppose their efforts …
- Control others that attempt to control your message. Don’t let them brand you or your message if it doesn’t support your positioning – confront them when they oppose you.
- Beware of ear-jackers – Ear-jackers are people that will eavesdrop on your conversations when they’re in your environment. Most likely, they’ll appear to be engaged in other activities. They may be seeking salacious information that they can twist to demean you or enhance their positioning (e.g. I heard him say ‘XYZ’. I knew there was another side to him that he doesn’t want the public to see.)
- Observe what happens in slow motion. Because we’re bombarded with activities, sometimes we miss what’s before us – most occurrences happen over an extended period-of-time. Take note of the changes that occur around you daily. It’s the short-term changes that could become long-term detriments to your positioning that you should be aware of.
- Be innovative – When you’re seen as an innovator, you’re viewed as someone that’s leading others to their future. If they perceive that as a benefit, they’ll follow you more readily. And when you’re at the negotiation table, they’ll be more willing to accept your offerings.
- Control the flow of your messages. Always consider the impact one message will have on another when you send it into the realm of public opinion. If you initiate messages that are less important too frequently, messages that might have a greater impact on your positioning will be less potent – and the more important messages may miss your intended audience altogether.
Use Appropriate Words:
Words control emotions. And emotions control perceptions. To control your positioning better, control the words that control your message. As an example, depending on the situation, it may be beneficial to use the word squabble versus fight (e.g. we had a squabble) – that’s less impactful than, we had a fight. The exchange of those two words alters the perception of the situation.
Perception is Reality:
When it comes to controlling your positioning, perception is reality. Your integrity intentions can be in alignment with your actions and if someone taints it with their ill-will, you could become seen as someone with less integrity. That’ll impact the way the other negotiator interacts with you. That could be to the detriment of both of you and the negotiation.
Being a better negotiator starts first with how you’re positioned. It shapes the way you’re perceived at the negotiation table. It determines how the other negotiator will strategize to negotiate against you. And it will have an impact on how effective your negotiation efforts will be. To negotiate better, always pay careful attention to your messages and how they position you. Because, the better you position yourself per how you wish to be perceived, the easier the negotiation 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
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