Archive for the ‘Negotiating tips’ Category

Entrapment

May 27, 2009

Entrapment, means something much different in the world of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). The legal term is basically setting someone up to commit a crime. The best example I can think of is the undercover female cop dresses up as a prostitute and makes the initial contact to potential ‘Johns’ and offering them services.

Entrapment in the ADR world is when a party, as an individual or group, feels they must continue down a certain path because they already have invested so much in this particular choice. Examples of the investment could be in the form of time, resources, or money.

Entrapment could be present in the early stages of a negotiation and also many times is a contributing factor to the escalation of a dispute or conflict. In the book Entrapment in Escalating Conflicts: A Social Psychological Analysis defines entrapment as,”a decision making process whereby individuals escalate their commitment to a previously chosen, though failing, course of action in order to justify or ‘make good on’ prior investments.”

Another way I like to explain the ADR version of entrapment is the party being guilty of having tunnel vision. All the party sees is one ‘route’ for them to take, which is the currently destructive one they are on. The best example is the person involved in litigation, and wanting to continue despite the costs rising, time lost preparing instead of being dedicating to other projects, and the decimating of what was once possibly a professional, multi-beneficial relationship with the other party.


Remember the kids show GI Joe, and the end of each episode they would give safety tips for children and end with “Knowing is half the battle.” I will not go into the whole issue of how our culture always seems to reference war, fighting and battles; that’s for a future blog post. The reference to the quote is great, now we know what entrapment is, now what? How do we help parties avoid it, and if they are unfortunately already imersed in it, move away from it?

Some quick tips are to assist the party to view the conflict not through the win-lose viewpoint or even the everyone loses stance. As I mentioned [here], zero-sum thinking is similar to the entrapment mindset in many ways. One, is emotions are heavily present and another is seeing things only on the level of positions. It is much easier to have that tunnel vision I mentioned when you think you have no other options.

This leads me to options. Expanding the choice of win-lose, lose-win, or lose-lose helps the party see there is a way out of what they see as the only choice. Brainstorming to create options involving both parties also helps breakdown the idea of battling against an adversary.

Before you even get to options, make sure everyone gets a chance to talk and tell their side of the story. Like I mentioned above, breaking down the idea of one option, talking together and listening together opens one’s mind to other choices and the potential consequences.

Entrapment in Escalating Conflicts: A Social Psychological Analysis By Brockner & Rubin available [here] and I am sure many other places

Beyond Intractabilty reviewed the above book [here]

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Communication in Mediation: Tips

April 1, 2009

Communication in Mediation: Tips

I found this PDF file from the law firm Blaney McMurtry LLP (Toronto, Canada) while writing the 7 Elements of Negotiation, Part 6: Communication (LINK). It has a list of tips for communicating during mediation.

From the sheet, they are:

Effective Listening

  1. Attention
  2. Paraphrasing and Summarizing
  3. Ask clarifying questions

Effective Speaking

  1. Focus on the problem, not the person
  2. Speak from your own perspective
  3. Speak directly to the other person
  4. Be specific
  5. Build for the future
  6. Focus on common interests, not positions
  7. Create options for mutual gain

…And finally, foster an atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration.

For more details on each of them, download the file [here] and you can also visit their site [here].

7 Elements of Negotiation

March 26, 2009

7 Elements of Negotiation

We all know that everyone negotiates. We all know that we have been negotiating since we were babies, the difference now compared to then is that as a baby, our method of negotiating was crying whereas hopefully now we have a few more tools in our mediator/negotiator toolbox.Every negotiation, according to Roger Fisher of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, has seven distinguishable elements that are interconnected. They are:

1. Interests
2. Alternatives
3. Relationship
4. Options
5. Legitimacy
6. Communication
7. Commitment

As a negotiator, during your preparation (remember how important preparing is?), you can use these 7 elements to create your gameplan.

As a mediator, it is important to remember these as you can help the parties move forward, move from positions to interests, and keeping the 7 in mind, it helps move from stalemates (among many other positive uses).

Regardless of how you mediate or negotiate, the 7 elements are always present in negotiations. What changes is the importance of one over the other. An example is having your interests met in a particular negotiation might far outway the future relationship you will have with the other party

I am going to breakdown the 7 elements into seperate posts by day as a way to get you to keep coming back to my blog (wait, did I just think that or type it?!?).

Seriously, I am breaking it down element by element to keep the theme of my posts being quick reads, but after the seventh one, I will make a posting having all seven in one place for easier future references.

INTERESTS

Negotiating based on interests has many positive attributes to it. But what does ‘interests’ mean?

  • I want him to pay me
  • I want the radio to stop being so loud
  • I want my money back

Guess what? Those are positions- not interests. The above are what you want to accomplish. To create a greater chance of a mutually beneficial agreement, negotiate on interests over postitions. When you negotiate on positions, both sides have a tendency to dig their heels in, get stuck in their thoughts, spend most of the negotiation defending their postition and attacking the others.

Interest based negotiationg on the otherhand creates more of a collaborative environment and expands your options. By doing this, its creates a win-win opportunity compared to the combative me versus you/win-lose situation.

Using the above listed examples of positions, possible interests behind them could include:

  • I feel like I was cheated and disrespected
  • I need my rest, I go to bed early because I work the early shift
  • I paid for a service that I feel I did not get and I am frustrated

Your interests represents your needs, hopes and concerns.

Ok, now you know your interests, so you think you are done right? Wrong, you are only halfway there. It is great you know your interests, but in order for the negotiation to get a successful outcome, the agreement must be beneficial to both parties. So yes, you guessed it, you have to figure out the other party’s interests too.

Figuring out their interests provides you with many benefits. For one thing, it prepares you on how they may or may not respond to your needs. Also, knowing their interests helps you find out what their alternatives are.

Part Two: Alternatives

Figuring out your interests allows you to figure out your BATNA and WATNA.

It’s ok if you are saying, “huh???”

BATNA and WATNA are acronyms for Best-Alternative-To-A-Negotiated-Agreement and Worst-Alternative-To-A-Negotiated-Agreement. You compare your alternative to the possible agreement that is on the table. You weigh your best alternative and worst alternative with the possible agreement and find out what is best for you. Actually, and this is very important, you need to find out what is best for you given the circumstances.

What do I mean? The agreement on the table might be better than your alternative, however in a perfect world, your alternative might be better. Confused? Read Part 4 and I promise that Options will explain it further.

You need to figure out what is best for you in the current situation by weighing it against your alternatives to getting an agreement. Figuring out your alternatives is key to your preparations for the negotiation.

Generally, you do not want to accept an agreement that is worse than your BATNA.

As is the case with finding interests, you also need to know your other party’s alternatives. Just like you will weigh your potential agreement against your alternative, they should do the same. If you are the mediator, this actually goes for the negotiator too, and a party to the negotiation does not know their alternative- help them! Yes, help them. As the mediator, you want to make sure your parties are informed.

There is a big a difference between giving advice and making sure they are aware of what will or will not happen if there is an agreement or lack of one. Raising awareness of the party’s alternatives, especially in stalemates can help generate movement.

As the other party/negotiator, a great way to get the other party/negotiator to move towards a possible agreement is to get them to see that their alternative to an agreement will leave them worse off than the offer on the table.

Part 3: Relationship

You have your interests figured out as well as your alternative. Both are two very important tasks to take care of during your preparations, as well as to remember during the negotiation. An important question to ask yourself before you begin your negotiation is, “How important is the relationship I have with the other party/negotiator/group they are representing?”

The value, or lack, of the relationship should determine such things like how hard will you press certain issues, how tough of a stand will you take, will you be more attacking or submissive, etc?

If the relationship will not exist after the negotiation concludes, you might not care how they feel or really be all to concerned with their emotions, right? Well, not really. Although you might not care as much compared to wanting to keep a relationship ongoing, I would still advise someone not to go into the negotiation ‘guns blazing’.

The first reason is personal. Maybe I might not care all to much what the other party thinks of me, but I do care what I think of me.

Huh?

What I mean is I have control over me and only me in the negotiation. I do not want to resort to name calling or an all out offensive attack because that is not how I negotiate.

Additionally, consider your reputation. You might never interact with this person or group again, but keep in mind they might talk to other people in your field or market. When someone says, “your reputation precedes you,” you don’t want it to be for being a hothead, do you?

Losing the battle might help you win the war. Ok, first I really dislike referring to any mediation or negotiation to war, so this is a rarity but it fits. If maintaining the relationship is more important than this particular issue/conflict you are having, is it really worth damaging, possibly beyond the point of fixing? This is a very important question to ask yourself.

As a mediator, it is important to ask the parties how important the relationship is. By doing so you are playing the crucial role of reality testing to get them to consider the choices they might make and the future implications it will have.

Part 4: Options

You are now past the early stages of the negotiation/mediation. It is now time to generate some movement. When each side has expressed their interests, next you look at options. Options are the full spectrum of possible agreements. When brainstorming options, keep in mind that each option should meet the needs of both parties- not just you!let me mention a couple of key points to generating options:

  • Create first, evaluate second. List all options first, not leaving anything out. After all possible options have been listed, then go over each and determine if they meet each parties needs.
  • Write them down on paper or a board without giving credit to who said what. This helps move in the collaborative direction instead of confrontation. I find it useful to use the ‘mind map’ method to listing options. It is simple- you put the issue in the middle of the paper, and then draw out branches for each possible option. Some study somewhere says this helps the mind be creative… who knows, but it works for me.
  • Looking at options helps move away from the idea that there are only two options- i win or he/she wins. You are expanding the pie (of options) here.

Exploring options is key to mediation and negotiation. The simple reason is the parties get the satisfaction that they are taking ownership of the issue(s) and have a direct say in how it can possibly be resolved. It has been said many times times the process and method of handling the dispute is equally important to the participants as the issue itself.

Part 5: Legitimacy

How do you prove your offer or options are fair? How do you prove the other side’s offer is not fair? finding a neutral, external standard defines the legitimacy of the offers being made.

Ask yourself, how would such a deal be viewed by a third party?

If it is a money situation, is charging 9% the usual accepted rate? If it is a contract dispute, is it a commonly accepted practice to expect a deposit back? In the community mediation setting, do you expect the 3 year old child upstairs to stop stop moving, let alone running?

As a mediator, it helps at times being experienced, perhaps even a expert in the field you are mediating in. Although you are not determining the outcome, it could provide you insight into what open ended type questions to ask.

As the negotiator, knowing accepted standards will help solidify your offers, possibly lessen theirs, and even create a new option(s).

Part 6: Communication

I if had a personal mantra, it would be Communication, Understanding, Peace. For people to understand each other (no, i do not necessarily mean agree), there has to be a clear line of communication, that goes in each direction equally.

If you want more misunderstandings in life, don’t communicate… with anyone.

How else are we to understand each other, with all our beautiful differences, ranging from language to size to skin color, without communicating? It is impossible. Without communication and understanding, it is not possible to get peace. What I mean by peace is not the absence of violence or negative conflict but rather genuine peace- the kind that is built on the very first two words of the mantra- communication and understanding.

Communication in negotiation/mediation is one of your greatest tools. Depending on how you use it, it could be your best or worst tool. Communication ranges from what you say, how you say it, body movements, positioning, what you do not say, when and how you do not move and gestures.

The type of communication style you use greatly determines your negotiation style. Some quick tips for communicating effectively are:

  • Speak on your on behalf, not for others and assume what they feel/think.
  • Use “I” statements, “I feel frustrated when you missed the deadline because I then have to slow production down and stay later.” Call me crazy, but I think it will much work better compared to saying something like, “You are lazy and never meet deadlines.”
  • Listen actively. Don’t just wait for them to finish to get your counter-point in, but rather use empathy while the other is talking to try and fully understand their point of view.
  • Show you are listening. simple nodding might work.
  • Be relaxed. being stiff and rigid in posture can send the wrong message to the other party that you are not being open minded and not really giving them your attention.
  • it is fine to take notes, but do not scribble and write while looking down the entire time the other person is speaking.
  • Summarize and reflect. Remember, being a part of the process most times is equally important as the issues. Everyone wants to be able to speak and know that they are being heard. You can accomplish this by using such phrases as, “what it sounds like you are saying is…” and, “you seem angry because…”
  • Open ended questions. Using them is the best way to get more information, make sure you understand them, clarify the issues, and also as a way to deflect attacks.

Many books have been written on communication techniques and tips in negotiation and mediation. I highly suggest if you want to improve you communication style, you engage in further reading on this important topic.

Part 7: Commitment

Mission accomplished. As a negotiator, you closed a deal and you are better off. As the mediator, you helped both sides explore the issues and then find a suitable, acceptable option.

The last part of the of the seven elements should not be passed over or forgotten just because you are at the finish line or even feel you have already crossed it. Making sure the agreement reached is realistic and that both sides can keep their end of it is crucial to the process. If there is not a legitimate chance of either of the parties being able to be committed, they will just end up back at the mediation table or even in court.

The best example I can give is a mediation between a debt collection agency and the person who owes the debt. If the person owing the debt agrees to pay $1,000 a month to the agency, but also has to pay $800 in rent and takes in $1,800 a month in salary that would mean the person has no money left to eat… or do anything else for that matter!

What do you do as the mediator? A good tool out of the ‘mediator’s toolbox’ to use can be reality testing. Ask questions such as:

  • “Is this something you think you can stick with?”
  • “Given the situation, do you think that can be done?”
  • “Can you afford this on your salary?”
  • “Only you know if you can stick with this plan, what do you think?”
  • “Do you want to take a little time to think about it?”

The questions can also be asked to the other party as well:

  • “Is this something you think he/she can commit to?”
  • “What will happen if they do not hold up their end of the deal?”

These questions can help slow down or pause the negotiation to help everyone take a breath to see if the terms are something that each can stick with.

Remember, commitments are not only what people will do, but it can also state what they won’t do. Making sure both sides can commit to the agreement ensures that the time and effort everyone has dedicated to the mediation is not wasted by agreeing to something that is not realistic.

Seven Elements of Negotiation: Part 1, Interests

March 16, 2009

7 Elements of Negotiation
Part 1: Interests

We all know that everyone negotiates. We all know that we have been negotiating since we were babies, the difference now compared to then is that as a baby, our method of negotiating was crying whereas hopefully now we have a few more tools in our mediator/negotiator toolbox.

Every negotiation, according to Roger Fisher of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, has seven distinguishable elements that are interconnected. They are:
  1. Interests
  2. Alternatives
  3. Relationship
  4. Options
  5. Legitimacy
  6. Communication
  7. Commitment
As a negotiator, during your preparation (remember how important preparing is?), you can use these 7 elements to create your gameplan.

As a mediator, it is important to remember these as you can help the parties move forward, move from positions to interests, and keeping the 7 in mind, it helps move from stalemates (among many other positive uses).

Regardless of how you mediate or negotiate, the 7 elements are always present in negotiations. What changes is the importance of one over the other. An example is having your interests met in a particular negotiation might far outway the future relationship you will have with the other party.

I am going to breakdown the 7 elements into seperate posts by day as a way to get you to keep coming back to my blog (wait, did I just think that or type it?!?).

Seriously, I am breaking it down element by element to keep the theme of my posts being quick reads, but after the seventh one, I will make a posting having all seven in one place for easier future references.

INTERESTS

Negotiating based on interests has many positive attributes to it. But what does ‘interests’ mean?
  • I want him to pay me
  • I want the radio to stop being so loud
  • I want my money back
Guess what? Those are positions- not interests. The above are what you want to accomplish. To create a greater chance of a mutually beneficial agreement, negotiate on interests over postitions. When you negotiate on positions, both sides have a tendency to dig their heels in, get stuck in their thoughts, spend most of the negotiation defending their postition and attacking the others.

Interest based negotiationg on the otherhand creates more of a collaborative environment and expands your options. By doing this, its creates a win-win opportunity compared to the combative me versus you/win-lose situation.

Using the above listed examples of positions, possible interests behind them could include:
  • I feel like I was cheated and disrespected
  • I need my rest, I go to bed early because I work the early shift
  • I paid for a service that I feel I did not get and I am frustrated
Your interests represents your needs, hopes and concerns.

Ok, now you know your interests, so you think you are done right? Wrong, you are only halfway there. It is great you know your interests, but in order for the negotiation to get a successful outcome, the agreement must be beneficial to both parties. So yes, you guessed it, you have to figure out the other party’s interests too.

Figuring out their interests provides you with many benefits. For one thing, it prepares you on how they may or may not respond to your needs. Also, knowing their interests helps you find out what their alternatives are.

Treat All Negotiators As Your Equal

March 13, 2009

Treat All Negotiators As Your Equal
Why? Well, firstly because treating others like enemies is for violent conflict and that is what we are trying to avoid with a negotiation/mediation, right? Treating the other person(s) like your equal has many advantages. One is as the mediator, if you are trying to show your neutrality, the best way is to treat both sides equal. It doesn’t matter if you do not like or can not stand the position of a certain party.

A friendly reminder is that you are neutral and being so will help move the mediation along. Oh, and one important tip- if you feel you can not be, or remain neutral during the negotiation, you will not be stoned by some secret mediators society (… I think) for removing yourself.

Regardless if you are the mediator or a negotiation, treating the other(s) as an equal has many benefits. Let’s look at a couple of the good traits of a mediator and negotiator and see if they could apply if you didn’t give the other party respect:

Active Listening
Can you really listen to this person if you are not respecting them? Are you listening or just waiting for them to finish to counter their claim? Have you begun to try and look at their interests (you know- go beyond the positions)?


Actively listening is one of the best ways to show the other party your respect them and want to hear what they have to say.

Body Language
Yes, body language is important. Using it properly shows you are actively listening. First though, let me mention the negative- if you want to show the other negotiator you are there to put down everything he says and not actively listen do these: roll your eyes, look away (heck turn your body away too!), cross your arms, sigh, huff and puff (the more the better!) and finally point your finger, that will really get your point of disrespect across.

Just a reminder, the above are suggestions of what not to do 🙂

So what kinds of body language can you do that supports showing the other person you are treating them with respect, and actively listening? Some basics include nodding, facing the person when they are talking, saying ‘ok’ at times, hands folded on your lap or when talking ‘open-handed gestures’ and finally my personal favorite is to smile. yes, it is ok to smile, and it’s one way to lighten the mood while also promoting friendliness.

Empathy
An excellent way to genuinely give the other negotiator the feeling of respect and treating them as your equal is to put yourself in their shoes. This goes back to your preparation of your negotiation and should continue during the course of it as well. Ask yourself- what are they feeling? What are their interests? How would they like it if I offer this or that? Remember, in order for an agreement to be reached, both parties have to agree, so a good way to try and meet their goals (along with yours) is by using empathy.

Staying Positive
You attack enemies, not equals. You are hard on the problems not the person. Keeping those two statements in mind (and keeping this simple and brief) remember- just like how negative comments and actions are contagious, so are positive ones. Regardless of their actions, by staying positive helps show you are trying to work with them as well as respecting them.
Don’t forget, a reason you chose to go to a negotiation/mediation is to try to work things out. Treating the other neogtiator as your equal helps create an atmosphere of collaboration. The same goes for you if you are the mediator, treating both parties equally helps you- the professional- display that respect you are asking both of your parties to show one another.

Mobile Post

March 11, 2009

Today’s Mobile Post

(it means I sent this via my mobile phone!)

Never underestimate the power of taking a break.

A good negotiator trys to never makes a quick decision. Being well prepared allows you to explore all possible options, tactics and offers that may arise.

That said, the unexpected will (and can) come up. Instead of reacting, the better option is responding. Sometimes you need to think about your response and to fully comprehend its full meaning. Taking a break can give you that time.

How to take a break:
Say you need to make a phone call
Say you need to take a break to get a drink of water
Say you need to use the bathroom
Ask to speak to the mediator separately or your partner (if you brought one)
Say there has been alot of things said, and you’d like to take a few minutes just to gather everything with the mindset of going forward

These are just a few examples, I am sure you have some too which are based on experience. Remember, slowing things down allows you to go forward. Also, by taking a break, it helps you maintain your self control.

(note: edited on a PC to add the photo & change fonts)

Building a Golden Bridge

March 6, 2009

Building a Golden Bridge

What?

What does a bridge, no less a ‘golden’ one, have to do with mediation and negotiation? Well, the term is from William Ury’s book, Getting Past No [here at Amazon and many others].

Building a golden bridge refers to making sure you have satisfied and overcome the the four common obstacles to an agreement: involving them in devising a solution, meeting unmet interests, helping them save face and finally making the process as simple and easy as possible.

There is much more to just making an attractive offer to the other party. If the above listed criteria are not satisfied, you might find yourself making what you think is the best offer for them, and then surprisingly they reject it.

1) Have everyone involved in the building/writing the agreement
It is known that an agreement has a greater chance to be long lasting when the parties involved in the agreement also have input into what the agreement states. Even the best agreements can fail, or not even get finalized, if a party feels that they are being shut out. Simple ways to ensure everyone is involved is to ask them questions like, “what do you think?”, “how do you see it?”, “what should we do?”. Even if you are the one who suggested the idea earlier, do not take credit for it. You can say, “as we mentioned earlier”, or to connect your comments with theirs, as Ury states, you can say something like, “building on what you said earlier…”.


2) Look beyond the obvious interests (i.e. money) to include other, not-so-obvious interests
Yes, your mediation/negotiation might be about money but many times there is more to it. Satisfying the amount of money to be paid still will not get the agreement completed if other interests are not met. Remember, everyone is different and unique and thus not everyone has the same values as you. Money might be your bottom line, but they might be equally interested in saving face (the next one I discuss), the importance of the relationship and/or keeping the name of the company/business, etc.

Ury adds to make sure the basic human needs are not overlooked as well: security, recognition, and control over their own fate.

3) Saving face. Just recently I mediated a case involving thousands of dollars, and through various offers and counter offers, we were able to whittle it down to a difference of only $500. Yes, that’s all it was but both sides dug their heals. Why, both wanted to save face and ‘beat’ the other. They had made it so far, but still needed to save face with themselves, in the eyes of the other party, and with their peers.

So how do you get beyond that? Remind yourself, and them, the only way for an agreement to be achieved is if both side’s interests are being met. Also, put yourself in the other party’s shoes and help them. Yes, help them!

This is a collaborative effort, so if they need to save face, give them help on how the potential agreement can do that.

Ury adds other valuable options such as seeking the advice of a neutral third party and finding a standard fairness.

Also, don’t be afraid to let them take credit. On page 124, Ury mentions a great quote attributed to a Washington, D.C. politician,


“There is no limit to how much you can accomplish in this town if you are willing to allow someone else to take the credit.”


4) Keep it simple. Yes, keep it simple means try not to lump everything together but rather take it step by step. At times, taking care of each issue alone will help things move faster by actually going slower. Yes, I am saying go slow to go fast (I am actually repeating it, Ury said it first).

People might like to slow things down too, because getting to an agreement too fast, on what is something very important to them might make them hesitate in making that final agreement just on the fact it’s happened too fast.

Finally, if issues are related, it might be better waiting to try and get commitments on each until the end.

I hope this Golden Bridge list of tips helps you in your future mediations and negotiations, I can tell you it has for me. If you do find them interesting, I highly suggest you get the book.

Go ahead, be Stupid!

February 13, 2009

Go Ahead, Be Stupid!

Yes, the title is a bit gimmicky but what I am trying to say is ‘playing dumb’ works in mediation and negotiation. It does not matter if you are the mediator, a negotiator or one of the parties involved.

What am I talking about?

Playing dumb means acting as if you do not understand. Sometimes that very well might even be the case too! So how do you play dumb?

Ask questions.

Ask open ended questions.

“I am not sure what you mean?”

“I am not sure if I understand, can you say that again?”

“I am not sure if I am following you.”

What does this accomplish? Many things. One is if they are trying to play tricks and sneak in extras just when you think an agreement is reached. By stopping and asking questions, it slows things down and instead of the pressure being on you, it is back on them.

Open ended questions also allows the other party to further explain themselves which then can give them the feeling of knowing they are being heard. It also shows that you are interested in really understanding and hearing what their interests are.

Another positive to ‘playing dumb’ is it helps keep you cool. What if the other person just said something that was meant to instigate you? Especially if the intention was to get you angry and flustered, instead of doing what they want and expect- for you to react, ‘play dumb’ by asking a question which deflects their attempt.

By putting it back to them helps you maintain composure and allows them to further explain him/herself. So, instead of saying, “you are a liar!”, maybe this would be beneficial, “I thought we were about to finalize an agreement, so I am not sure what that last comment means, could you help me understand?”.

Remember, a good negotiator and mediator listens more than they talk.

44 Ways to Listen Like a Great Negotiator

January 21, 2009

44 Ways to Listen Like a Great Negotiator

Jens Thang has written some good articles on various negotiating and mediation tips. One is the above title that I think is worth a quick read. I think it is safe to say he finds it important not to speak or interupt (note points 1, 12, 32, 41).

His site is http://www.thenegotiationguru.com/ but unfortunately it has not been updated since May 2008.

From http://www.thenegotiationguru.com/44-ways-on-how-to-listen-like-all-great-negotiators

1) Ask questions
2) Give acknowledgments
3) Shut-up
4) Paraphrase
5) Follow-up
6) Positive body language
7) Keep nodding your head
8). Say lots of “mm”s
9) Take notes
10) Allow him to finish his sentences
11) Keep an open mind
12) Shut-up (again!)
13) Give full attention
14) Give feedback
15) Don’t get distracted by surroundings
16) Don’t get distracted by your inner thoughts
17) Listen with your face
18) Maintain eye contact
19) Avoid getting emotionally involved
20) Don’t think of what you are going to say
21) Lean forward
22) Summarize what you have heard
23) Empathy, Empathy, Empathy
24) Be genuinely interested
25) Put yourself in his shoes
26) Respect everything he has to say
27) Turn off your cellphone
28) Remove your watch
29) Don’t look at the clock
30) Encourage him to elaborate
31) Ask meaningful questions
32) Shut-up
33) Show that you are open to what he has to say
34) Speak at the same volume
35) Speak at the same rate
36) Be patient
37) Be comfortable with pauses
38) Give reassurance to the other party
39) Accept the fact that everyone has her own style of expression
40) Ask empowering questions
41) Did I say “Shut-up”?
42) Say “Uh-huhs”
43) Smile
43) Agree with what the speaker has to say
44) Do everything I have listed in MODERATION (except for the “shut-up”s)

7 Tips to Negotiating a Better Deal

January 16, 2009

Seven Tips to Negotiate a Better Deal
This article was written by Michael Rosenthal, http://www.consensusgroup.com/, in 2003. It is a quick easy read that has found its way into my portable thumb drive and is easy to use when wanting to give quick tips to someone (including yourself!).
This is a PDF file and the 7 tips are on page six.