The time has come when you are close to getting what you want. But you’ll have to negotiate to get it. Maybe it’s a job, perhaps a contract, a new car or a raise. So, what’s the challenge here?

Negotiation is uncomfortable.

Our view at Dynamic Achievement is this discomfort comes from three sources: memories, mindset and skill.

Think of your mental image of negotiation; it is tough, stressful, almost a combat. Seems like an unpleasant way to get what you want.

What we know about the human mind is that activities we dislike naturally cause us to avoid them. Worse, when even stronger feelings and memories lead to dread or fear, research shows our protective mechanisms kick in. This can lead to a range of unwanted behaviours we would not normally show. Activities such as negotiation are crucial to effective interactions and getting what you want. However, our aversion undermines our success. What we suggest is adopting different view of the dialogue using the Three Positions Approach.

The Three Positions Approach to negotiation

3 positions

In negotiations we often view the exchange as us versus them. That mindset is fundamentally confrontational and can cause us to inadvertently access our highly sophisticated fight or flight response.

In the Three Positions Approach, there is the first position (you), second position (them), and the third position (the impartial perspective).

Try this next time you have to negotiate for something: Shift out of yourself (the first position) into the second position, which is their point of view. Understand what the other person wants, why they want it and how they feel about it.

Next, and this is harder still, try stepping back from the whole negotiation and observe both them and yourself. Can you see how you are reacting? How they are responding? From the third position, you can become your own coach.

Doing this is hard, there’s lots to learn about this technique and even more to learn about mastering your mindset. In our experience, the results you can achieve in negotiation and most other challenging conversations can dramatically be improved by using this approach.

Practice makes perfect

First, practice viewing everyday conversations from all three positions: you, them, and the third impartial view.

Second, explore inside yourself to see what you need to do to be able to take the second and third position.

Third, practice this technique when stresses are higher, before entering negotiation. A coach or guide will make a world of difference as you do this.

The next time you are faced with negotiation, invest time in understanding yourself, what you want and why. Do your homework. It’s just as rewarding to understand who you’re negotiating with, and as the saying goes walk a mile in their shoes.

Done well, that negotiation can become a conversation that leads to what you want, and what the other party wants too. Plus, it frequently comes with greater respect and understanding versus a confrontational, traditional negotiation.

Contact us to learn more.