Know your purpose and act accordingly

Everything you say and do in a conversation should be consistent with and designed to achieve your primary goals.  First, you must identify what your primary purpose is, and then reflect on how to structure your conversation/negotiation to achieve that purpose.  Beware the attraction of secondary goals (like saving face) that can take over a […]

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Show flexibility and identify unsatisfied interests

People who say “No” often mean “No, unless…” and have flexibility that may not yet have been revealed.  If your “No” is rigid and unqualified, the other party may see no reason to continue exploring options with you.  If you can demonstrate flexibility and also highlight the interests that need to be satisfied, the other […]

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Make each customer your first customer

When we see a lot of customers or complaints, we often get jaded, making it harder to listen to the next one. See each customer as an individual. Avoid judging them prematurely based on past experience with others. See them as if they were your very first customer. Put yourself in their shoes if you […]

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Dealing with someone who makes personal attacks

Ignore the attacks and focus on the issues. Try to determine if you did anything to upset them and, if so, apologize for the impact of what you have said. Set ground rules for behaviour. Name the problematic behaviour and describe how the behaviour is negatively impacting the process. Bring a third party into the […]

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Dealing with someone who talks and will not listen

Sit quietly and let them run out of steam. Let them know that while you may not agree with everything they say, you would like to hear their thoughts and then let them continue. Use interactive listening techniques. Ask to set an agenda that includes time for both of you to speak. Change the physical […]

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