“Like priming for paint, future actions are primed by the past.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
Consider this – for the next 20 seconds, think about a time when you were most happy in your life. Please, do it!
Okay, did you do it? Did you think about a time when you were most happy in your life? If you did, now I’d like you to think about someone that you had a recent dispute with, someone that angered you. Is the image of that occasion duller than it was prior to thinking of a happier time? If it wasn’t, you need to learn how to let go of things that cause you angst. You’re only hurting yourself by hanging on to hurtful thoughts. If the memory of the spat you had with someone recently subsided, even if it’s just a smidgen, you were primed by the happy thought you engaged in before recalling that negative situation.
So, what does this mean? It means, when you have pleasant thoughts about past occurrences, the thoughts that follow do not appear to be as harsh. Of course, with the passage of time, your mind will gravitate back to what’s normal for it, related to how you view things that occur in your life. But, that also means that you can control how you view such occurrences. Thus, if you choose to prime your mind with thoughts of happier times, you can choose how you react to everything that occurs to you.
Priming your mind is the door through which you can choose to move in a more positive direction in life. It can also be used to highlight the negative aspects of your life, if you choose not to be positive. The point is, the choice is always yours.
I don’t wish to oversimplify this concept, but it really is simple. You have the power to choose how you feel and how you’ll react to everything that happens to you. Realize that power, control that power, use that power in a positive manner … and everything will be right with the world.
What does this have to do with negotiations?
In a negotiation, your mind is primed by what has occurred in prior negotiations that you’ve been a party to. Realize that as a fact and be mindful of the prejudices you possess going into the negotiation. Plus, if you wish the other negotiator to be in a more pleasant state of mind, prime him with positive thoughts about his past before entering into parts of the negotiation that might be fraught with potential peril.
Engaging in a negotiation with the thought of how you’ll prime yourself, and the other negotiator, will give you greater insight into how you can sidestep potential pitfalls. It will also allow you to be quicker in the avoidance of those pitfalls.
Quick, think about a lucky leprechaun. Did you see a little person in green? Now, think of a number between 1 and 10. Did you think of the number 7? If you did, you displayed to yourself the effects of priming. Most people associate a leprechaun with good luck and someone attired in green. If you didn’t think of a little person in green or the number 7, that’s okay. You think differently than most people. Be aware of that.
Priming works – use it and it will work for you in your negotiations.
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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