Negotiate Successfully by Using Debating Techniques

In the last negotiation lesson, I expounded on the benefits that proper positioning has and the role it plays, before, during, and after negotiating. This lesson expands upon that theory and takes into account how any negotiator can enhance the outcome of a negotiation by using a few debating techniques.

Positioning:

First, I’d like to cite an experience I encountered at a conference at which I recently spoke. There was a very powerful speaker who spoke on the topic of leadership. I heard him speak in the past, but this time I was moved by his words to the point that I wanted to purchase the DVD set he offered for the continuation of the expansion of one’s mind. As luck would have it, a lady in front of me purchased the last set. She heard me exclaim how I couldn’t believe the bad luck I had to miss purchasing the set. Then, this well poised and well spoken women, turned to me and said, ‘you can have it’. I looked at her suspiciously for about 30 seconds and in my mind, I was wondering what she might want in return (read between the lines if you wish. she had already paid for the set and she was giving it to me for free). It was as though she read my mind when she said, ‘there are no strings attached’. She gave me her contact information and said I could send the set to her after I’d listened to it. As it turned out, this woman whose name is Tori really didn’t want anything in return, but due to her generosity, I’ll assist her in her endeavors in the future.

In the above example of positioning, Tori was not seeking anything from me, but think of what you can do before entering into a negotiation that can endear you to whom you’re negotiating.

After you endear yourself, how can you utilize debating techniques to enhance your negotiation position? The following are a few debating techniques and how they are related to negotiation tactics and strategies.

Debating Techniques:

When debating and negotiating, there are certain principles you should follow …

Clarity: When debating, you should understand the argument.

When you negotiate, you should always confirm your understanding of why you’re negotiating. You should also confirm the other person’s understanding, and get their perception, of what is being negotiated; the reason for doing so is to make sure everyone involved in the negotiation is ‘on the same page’.

Accuracy: When debating, you need to ask yourself if what you hear is true and can it be proven.

When you negotiate, you should at a minimum, mentally question the validity of information presented to you. You should also observe the body language and manner in which information is presented. If you observe the body language of the person you’re negotiation with, you could discern hidden or additional information in the message.

Precision: When debating vague assertions can be assumed to be true until exceptions disprove them.

When you negotiate, if the person’s words that you’re negotiating with are not synchronized with their body language, you can allow the person to continue to unveil their method of ‘bending the truth’ to the point that you’ve gathered enough knowledge of how they use their body when lying. In so doing, you’ll acquire insight into how they lie and you’ll be able glimpse the inner workings of their mind and the mannerisms displayed when doing so.

Depth: When debating, you should observe the comprehensiveness of an argument. In essence, listen for that which is not stated that could prove to be a benefit to your position.

When you negotiate, you should listen for the unspoken word, observe body language, and take note of how unspoken words are used (this is not an oxymoron). In a lot of negotiation situations, that which is not said can speak more loudly than the words that are spoken. You should also take note of words used that could contain dual meanings. Keep in mind when negotiating, just because someone offers a comprehensive rebuttal to a request, doesn’t mean you have to subjugate your position to theirs.

Breadth: When debating, give consideration to whether the argument covers all of the possibilities.

When you negotiate, initially, you should not display your full intentions until you’re somewhat sure that you can get that which you seek from the negotiation. In essence, you cannot allow yourself to become enveloped in a haze when it comes to disclosing your intent of the negotiation less you lose your negotiation advantage.

Logic: When debating you should consider the impact of fallacies in an argument.

When negotiating, a good negotiator can make a plausible argument using false or invalid inferences, the purpose of which may be to heighten the appearance of red herrings. It thus behooves you to be very cognizant throughout all phases of the negotiation.

When negotiating, the more strategies and techniques you’re aware of, and can utilize during negotiations, the better you’ll be at negotiating … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

- Before negotiating, consider the tactics you’ll employ. Proper planning will give you an additional edge as the negotiation progresses.

- Understand the illusion and value that red herrings can create. When used effectively, they create the opportunity to give something that has perceived value to the person with whom you’re negotiating, but that which has little value to you.

- When negotiating, as is the case when debating, a synchronized plan, aligned with the path that you’ll take to achieve the outcome of the negotiation you seek, will allow you the insight of more maneuverability throughout the negotiation.