Negotiation touches every part of our lives. Relationships in business and in our personal lives are negotiated. And the skills to do it effectively can often mean the difference between getting what you want or losing out. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate!
In the first section of the book, How to be a Great Negotiator, written by property economist, investor and developer Neville Berkowitz, the characteristic traits of a great negotiator are explored in short, bite-sized nuggets of advice.
Over the next few months, we will bring you the traits needed to succeed at the art of negotiating.
(Courtesy of PersonalEmpowerment.co)
Do the words “Once upon a time …” trigger something in your mind – perhaps feelings of interest, excitement, or anticipation? Perhaps your memory is jogged back to stories your parents read to you as a child, or that you read to your children. Stories have been part of our lives since primitive humans first gathered around a communal fire and told tales that entertained, amused, reassured them and gave meaning to their lives.
People learn lessons and get perspective through stories. So a great negotiator should be an accomplished storyteller. When you tell a story well, you are an artist painting a message in your listener’s brain. An effective story can be used to connect, inspire, and teach, while it relaxes, engages, and entertains the other party. A powerful story and the lessons it contains can remain in your brain for a lifetime and be recalled to memory on an as-needed basis.
A well-told story which is “to the point”, allows you to immediately connect with your audience and get them on your side. It allows them to reach the same conclusions emotionally that you have reached logically. And it breaks up the monotony of a mundane or “left-brain” presentation.
A good story, like a good joke, can create instant rapport. But a good story can accomplish more than a joke. The content and meaning or message of any story you tell ought to reveal something about you, who you are, what you believe, what interests you, and what makes you tick. It’s a good idea to think about the meaning and message any story you may tell contains; because that is the memory you will deliver to the other party through the story. What impression do you want them to have of you? What perspective do you want to offer them? What conclusions do you want them to draw from any story you tell? Does the story demonstrate intelligence, humour, insight, wit? Does it have a point? Or is the story essentially meaningless, frivolous, strange, or even in poor taste and, if so, what impression will that make?
The ability to choose and tell stories well is an invaluable skill worth developing.