In Tight Negotiations, Aim for Empathy—Not Agreement
In a difficult negotiation, working toward a common ground is sometimes an effective tactic—start with what both parties can agree on and work to a mutually beneficial solution from there. But what happens when there is no common ground? When both parties are so far from each other that their goals are near-mutually exclusive? How do you move negotiations forward then?
The answer, it turns out, may be to work to understand the opposing party's motivations as deeply as possible—not because it helps you find a common ground—but because it's an effective way to build trust between parties.
In her recent article "Commonality Vs. Common Ground—Which Is Better?" on Psychology Today, Dr. Kathy Cramer, Ph.D., explains:
Try to be genuinely interested and curious in the "why" behind your opponent's point of view. This establishes a level of trust, a true sense of the commonality we share as human beings.
By sowing the seed of trust, curiosity creates opportunities to see value in the other person's stance. And when conflicting parties trust and can see the value in each other's positions, the bar to finding a way out of the conflict altogether is significantly lowered.
The rest of the article is short, and offers a handful of tips on how to enact this strategy. You can read the whole article on Psychology Today right here:
Thanks for reading guys, and see you all next time!
MONDAY MIKE FACT: I'm currently reading a book on North Korea called, "Nothing to Envy: Ordinary lives in North Korea." It's fascinating and smoothly well-written, but is also, unsurprisingly, all-caps SUPER sad.