Many people view business negotiations as confrontational. However, negotiations should be about connecting and about finding where you intersect with the other party so you can reach agreements that are satisfactory to both.
Negotiation team leaders, and leaders in general, should focus on connecting with their team members, and avoid alienating them. Sean Silverthorne, author of the article “Leadership is about Connecting” on Bnet.com, writes:
“…business leaders need to connect with audiences, not establish dominance over them.”
How can you establish connection with your team and with anybody you are leading? According to Silverthorne’s article, there are several things you can do.
- Project trust.
- Project warmth to your audience: by smiling and using humor.
- Use immediacy cues: move physically closer to people, be on the same plane.
- Avoid showing a higher level of competence than others in the room.
- Talk naturally—don’t sound as if you are reading from a script.
Keep in mind that neither leading nor negotiating is about domination. Domination—putting the other party down and forcing your viewpoint—does not result in win-win agreements. Domination is all about win-lose.
Good leaders—that is, leaders who can connect with others—will naturally be good negotiators. Finding ways to connect is at the heart of a successful negotiation.
How do you rate yourself as a leader? Are you good at connecting with others?