How To Battle Your Negotiating Inner Demons

Tonight is Halloween –  the time of year for ghosts and ghouls to come out in force and trick or treat. However, whereas a sweet or a coin will banish those Halloween gremlins from your doorstep, it can be harder to battle the negotiating inner demons we all have deep inside us.


The Enemy Within

Stephen King, author of countless horror stories, said, “ Monsters are real, ghosts are too. They live inside us and sometimes they win.” When it comes to negotiation we often have more battles with ourselves than with anyone else. As human beings, we are disproportionately more likely to be negative than positive, so as we enter a negotiating situation the voices inside our head can all too easily take hold.

So based on my years of negotiating experience, here are my top tips to help you banish your negotiating inner demons once and for all:


Turn The Volume Down

When we walk into a room to negotiate, we bring with us strong emotions and preconceptions. Chances are we’ve been personally involved with the initial sale, so are very keen to conclude the negotiations as quickly as possible. The more we want something, the easier it is for those negotiating demons to shout loudly in our ears: “They are never going to agree to my terms” or “I know this is going to end in negotiating deadlock”.

My advice is to turn the volume down! Silence those negative thoughts and focus on what’s brilliant about your company, your sector and finally your relationship with your client. By focusing on the positive you will enter the negotiations with a winning mindset and stand much more chance to achieve the result you want.


The Power Of A Winning Mindset

I often find one of the easiest ways to explain the power of a winning mindset to my clients is by showing them the New Zealand All Blacks doing the Haka. No one can fail to be impressed by the way it galvanizes the team together, boosting their confidence and preparing them for the match ahead.

Now, I’m not suggesting you should do a war cry outside the meeting room, but you can find a quiet place to reflect on the things you are good at. All too often negotiating is something we do on our own, rather than with a team. This can be quite lonely so don’t be afraid to talk things through with colleagues beforehand. Write down a list of your strengths and say them out loud – that way your positive voice will boost your confidence levels.


I hope these top tips will help silence your negotiating inner demons once and for all, so that the only gremlins you have to tackle on Halloween are the ones wearing masks and carrying pumpkins.


Happy Halloween!





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