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Can You Negotiate in a Life and Death Challenge?

“Perception determines how you’ll engage in an endeavor. Thus, you should always assess your perception before doing so.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

There you are. Everything is on the line. You’re negotiating in a life and death challenge. What might you do and how might you negotiate differently giving the life and death challenge that confronts you? Would the answer depend on whose life you were negotiating for?

Okay, let’s turn the temperature down a little. Suppose it was your job or a contract that you were negotiating for instead of someone’s life. Would that alter the negotiation tactics and strategies you’d employ?

There are central components that flow through every negotiation. The only thing that changes is their order based on the severity of the negotiation.

The following are components that will occur in every negotiation you’ll encounter. Master them and you’ll have a greater chance of mastering successful negotiation outcomes.

Mindset: Your mindset is your greatest ally or foe.

  • Always be aware of the mindset you possess when negotiating. Your mindset will determine the degree that you think logically or illogically.
  • Your mindset will change based on the challenges you perceive and how you address them. That will impact the interactions you have with the other negotiator.
  • Be aware of what causes you to see yourself differently. Therein will lie embedded clues about why your mind shifts. 

Bonding: I understand you. We’re alike.

  • People like people that are like themselves. And, they want to be heard and appreciated.
  • Bonding helps people to perceive you as being like them.
  • The time to ask for concessions in a negotiation is when you’ve bonded sufficiently. It’s an important factor that increases the odds of getting what you want.

Positioning/Controlling the negotiation: Look how far we’ve come. I see a positive outcome on the horizon.

  • Prior to starting the negotiation establish what will be discussed. That will determine the flow of the negotiation.
  • Set the agenda to discuss the items of greatest importance first. The other negotiator will have his priorities. So, be prepared to trade points to ensure you control the negotiation’s flow.
  • Determine which strategies and tactics are most appropriate for the type of negotiation you’ll engage in.

Reframing: That’s not what I meant.

  • Know when to reframe an offer. Sometimes people perceive offers differently from what was intended. If you sense that, reframe the offer. That will allow it to be viewed from a different perspective, which could make it more appealing.
  • To reframe an offer to make it more appealing, position it as a benefit to the other negotiator.

Pace: Change of pace alters a negotiation’s flow.

  • Bypass points of contention when you want to avoid them (e.g. Let’s come back to that later).
  • Negotiate slower or faster to increase or relieve anxiety or pressure when it’s to your advantage to do so.
  • Changing your pace of speech when making offers will impact their perception. If more time is required to have the importance of an offer appreciated, consider speaking slower. That will subliminally convey its importance.

Hope: The outcome doesn’t have to be bleak.

  • Brandish hope as an ally. Doing so will keep people engaged in the negotiation.
  • Take hope away when the other negotiator strays in the wrong direction. Your intent is to let him know that he’s engaged in a losing proposition.

Every negotiation you’ll be in will not be life and death. But the components above will be in every negotiation you’re in. Using them adeptly will enhance your probability of having a successful negotiation outcome … 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 Entrepreneurship Investing Management Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

Avoid Bias Mistakes – How to Negotiate Better

“Biases are motivators that move us to action. Be aware of those that serve you and those that don’t.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

Negotiator #1 – “I knew they’d back out of the deal. All of them negotiate like that.”

Negotiator #2 – “As I was negotiating with those guys, I knew I’d have to back out of the deal. They never negotiate fairly.”

In the above situation, neither negotiator was aware of their bias. The absence of that mindfulness brought unrecognized pressures on the negotiation. Each negotiator made mistakes because of it. It was also the reason the negotiation fell apart. Are you aware of your biases when you negotiate?

To negotiate better, note when you might possess the following bias mindset.


These are biases that you’re aware of. They can easily slip your mind when you negotiate. It’s like breathing, automatic. The potential danger arises when you negotiate in an automatic mode and having this bias unknowingly directing your actions. To address it, be aware of what you’re aware of. Don’t shrug off a thought too lightly because you think you’ve addressed it. The more aware you are of how you feel, the better you’ll be at identifying why you feel a certain way.


To be unconscious of anything is to be unaware of it. In a negotiation, when you’re unaware of a driving force, unconscious biases may be the source. To combat this possibility, note the source of your emotional sensations. Identify if you’re fearful, elated, expectant, or cautious. Then, note if it stems from a visual, kinesthetic, or auditory source. Doing that will sensitize your emotions to your state of mind. That will alert you to the realities of what’s motivating your action.


It can be risky to lump everyone from the same culture into the same category. People are individuals with their own perspective of reality. The more you view someone as an individual, the greater the chance to see that person for the unique qualities they possess. Negotiating with them on that bases will enhance the opportunity to connect with them at their level. That will lead to better understandings about why they negotiate in a particular manner, while you help them obtain what they seek from the negotiation.


Some people bully others and some are just tough. Based on what you’ve experienced in life, you may deem someone a bully when negotiating. The person may just be a tough negotiator. There’s a difference in those personality types. Be very cautious about how you brand someone when negotiating. Because, the way you brand them will affect the way you view them, their actions, and the way you negotiate with them.


We see what we expect to see. That affects our perception. Realize that your perception of reality won’t always be right. That should cause you to pause when you think, “I know he’s like ‘x’. Everyone in his group is just like that.” When making broad assumptions, be aware that anything which seemingly supports your beliefs may serve as confirmation about those beliefs. The truth may lie further from reality than you think. Don’t conflate like-appearing assumptions that should be thought separators.

The more you’re aware of the biases you carry into a negotiation, the less mental baggage you’ll have. Being aware of that fact and heightening it in the negotiation should lead you to greater negotiation outcomes … 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 Body Language Entrepreneurship Human Resources Investing Management Marketing Negotiations Skills Women In Business

Beware of the 7 Most Deadly Mistakes Negotiators Make

“People that make deadly mistakes will eventually be befallen by them.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

To win more negotiations, you must #beware of the 7 most #deadly #mistakes that #negotiators make when #negotiating. To ignore these deadly mistakes is to negotiate at your peril.

1. They omit planning stage of negotiation

There’s value in preparing for a negotiation. You get to experience what might occur during the negotiation which prepares you for that circumstance. Inexperienced negotiators rush to a negotiation without considering the complexities that might occur. That leaves them exposed and vulnerable to chance.

  1. In this process, consider what a winning strategy might be for you and the other negotiator.
  2. Consider how you’ll get back on track if you find yourself off of it.
  3. Consider what you’ll disclose, along with how you’ll do it, and what you’ll settle for (Note: In some cases, talking less can enhance your position. It’ll allow you to gain more insight).
  4. Control emotions – Assess how you’ll act/react if certain proposals are offered. Be mindful of offering ultimatums. They can be the death knell of a negotiation.

2. They don’t position themselves properly

In every negotiation, the way you’re viewed will determine how the other negotiator engages you. Thus, if you position yourself as someone that reflects the other negotiator’s style, he’ll perceive you as more of an equal.

  1. Part of the positioning process entails building relationships.
  2. Consider the degree of confidence you’ll display (too much and he may perceive you as overbearing, too little and he may perceive you as being weak).

3. They don’t consider the opposing style the other negotiator might use

Negotiators use different styles when negotiating. Know what style the other negotiator might use during your negotiation. Be mindful that good negotiators alter their style based on circumstances.

  1. Hard style negotiator (i.e. I don’t give a darn about what you want; this is a zero-sum negotiation.)
  2. Soft style negotiator (i.e. can’t we all just get along?)
  3. Bully – Be wary of the negotiator that attempts to bully you. Note the difference in his characteristics from the hard style of negotiator. He’ll be more brisk, non-caring, rude, and demeaning.

4. They fail to create exit points in the negotiation

They’ll be times when a negotiation will not go as expected. To offset lingering longer than necessary, set points to exit the negotiation based on circumstances.

  1. Example, if the other negotiator becomes belligerent about a point that creates an impasse, consider exiting the negotiation.
  2. State that the time appears not to be right to continue the negotiation and prepare to exit.
  3. Note any demeanor changes in the other negotiator. If it changes for the better, you will have conveyed that he strayed too far.

5. They don’t read or understand body language

Body language and nonverbal clues add or detract from what’s said. Learn to discern hidden meanings to gain insight into the mental thought process that’s occurring in the mind of the other negotiator.

6. They’re not aware of value

Value can expose itself in many forms. It doesn’t have to be monetary. The more you’re aware of the other negotiator’s value proposition (i.e. what he wants from the negotiation and why), the greater the opportunity to get what you want by giving him what he’s seeking.

7. They fail to perform negotiation postmortems

There’s a richness of knowledge in performing a negotiation postmortem. You can gather insights into what occurred compared to what you thought would occur. From those insights, you can learn greater negotiation skills and become a better negotiator.

When negotiating, always beware of the 7 most deadly mistakes that negotiators make. If you avoid these mistakes, your reward will display itself in more winning and easier negotiations … 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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