Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips June 20, 2010

Is fear keeping you from negotiating?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said during his first inaugural address in 1933: “We have nothing to fear except fear itself.” FDR was trying to motivate a country that was submerged in a financial depression. Yet, these words ring true through the years because fear is such a pervasive, negative emotion that stops many people from acting.

People involved in business negotiations may face many fears: fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of public speaking and even fear of success. Fear creates negative emotions, and often paralyzes people. As Dr. Chester Karrass writes in his book, The Negotiating Game:

“We are all familiar with fear as an inoculator. A buyer who is threatened with dismissal unless he or she meets a target, will be oblivious to the opponent’s arguments...Fear inoculates against persuasion, but may also inoculate against decision-making of any kind.”

Fear stems both from imagined outcomes—the what-ifs—and from real threats. Some negotiators are told that unless outcome X happens, they will lose their jobs. Other negotiators are fearful of what they think may happen: looking foolish, having people dislike them, and so on.

How do you deal with fear? First, you should recognize that you are feeling fear. Then, pinpoint what the specific fear is, and last, ask yourself how realistic is the fear? Will you really look foolish? What if you fail? What is the worst that can happen?

Another way to deal with fear of failure is to reframe your perception of what a negotiation is. The old way of looking at negotiation, where one party wins and the other loses, can be intimidating. The newer, more collaborative vision of negotiation is the Both-Win negotiation approach. If you believe that both parties can succeed, there is no need to fear failure.

Finally, Susan Jeffers, PhD wrote a book dealing with the crippling effects of fear and anxiety in everyday life. Its title says it all: Feel the Fear, and Do it Anyway.

How do you deal with your own fears or your team’s fears during a negotiation?

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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