Last week we looked at the Olympic weight lifter and the sprinter. Both train hard to develop their bodies. Both are fit. Both are competitors. Both are disciplined.
But how fast will the weight lifter be on the track? What chance does the sleek sprinter have lifting several hundred kilos?
Their differences are obvious. Yet our Olympians still have much in common: pride in representing their respective countries, the thrill of competing with the world’s best or travelling to exotic destinations.
So another important negotiating muscle we need to exercise is our ability to find as many things as possible about the other side, and learn where there may at least some “commonality”.
Therefore, in preparing for an argument or negotiation we need to research the facts. We’ll never make the other party change his or her opinion if we don’t understand it.
We tend to resist doing this because it takes a little time, or because not every point we research will fall in our favor. Yet that’s exactly why we need to do that research - to come up with our counter argument.
No one likes to get blindsided; but it often happens when we over-estimate our ability to “wing it” once negotiations actually begin.
By the way, an argument is still a form of negotiation – although somewhat more emotional or animated. Applying the same skills in an argument as used in negotiation will lessen the intensity and bad feelings.