Negotiating in Life, Business Negotiation February 4, 2009

Think About It

Hi. I’m the new blogger at Negotiation Space.

I’m using the name Considered Response.

I picked it not only because I hope that’s what you’ll get from me when you chime in or ask a question, but because it’s one of the negotiating behaviors that I consider most important.

When a question hits the negotiating table, is it wise to answer immediately?

(Note: There is no answer to these behavioral questions that is always right in every negotiating circumstance. There are no slam-dunks, no “cookie-cutter” methods in negotiating. Otherwise, we might be able to have computers no it for us. But it’s always the top folks, the important people in an organization or department who make the deals. That’s because negotiation requires critical thinking and discernment, an ability to judge context and behave appropriately in the given circumstances. So you probably won’t see me using the words ‘always’ or ‘never’ very often…)

But let’s look at the question this way: you ask your negotiating counterpart a question, or you lay a proposition out for their consideration. How do you feel if they come back with an immediate answer? Probably like they have an automatic response to that inquiry ready, so you’re getting their stock reply. Or like they don’t care to give the issue any special consideration for some other reason. Either way, your position hasn’t been given much weight in the discussion, and often that doesn’t feel too good. How would most people negotiate if they were dealing with someone they thought didn’t respect them? They would likely become more competitive and entrenched in their own position.

How about if they take some time – overnight or a week, or two weeks- to respond?

Don’t you feel like their answer has more weight, that it’s the product of consideration rather than improvisation? Doesn’t that consideration have some value to you, whether or not the response matches your expectations or desires? And, importantly, aren’t they giving you more time to think about the negotiation and consider possibilities you might not have if they’d answered right away? Such as alternatives or even why their position might not be so bad after all…

Our world is moving faster and faster. Sometimes we trap ourselves into thinking the quickest response to a negotiating question is best. Not always true.

The next time you’re in a negotiation and somebody asks you something or asks you for something:
Think about thinking about it.

Until next time…

Considered Response

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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