Why I try to up-skill my opponent’s negotiating capability
Anyone can negotiate effectively when they have a lot of power. Our mettle is truly tested when we have a difficult position to get over the line, such as needing an unreasonable discount when we don’t have the luxury of being able to simply throw our weight around. Maybe we don’t have a lot of power, or perhaps we do but we value the ongoing relationship more highly than the transaction.
If you are in this position and your counterparty is a highly skilled negotiator, great news for you! I would prefer a skilled negotiator counterpart because an unskilled counterpart would be more likely to:
Unfortunately, we often find ourselves sitting across the table with poor negotiating skill, because much of what makes a good negotiator good is counter-intuitive. A good negotiator is happy to unemotionally explore interests/constraints, share information, and tries their hardest to enable rather than deny requests.
So, if you do find yourself with a difficult position to get over the line sitting across the table from an unskilled counterparty, it is in your interest to help them lift their game! Model good behaviour and coach them to be a better negotiator:
About the author:
Ben’s background is in commercial business to business sales. Leveraging studies in organisational psychology, Ben’s previous role was responsible for growing Profiling Online’s bespoke leadership assessment business locally and abroad across industries such as Banking and Finance, Insurance, Travel, Engineering and Professional Services.