I’m just back from a holiday along the West Coast of Scotland, and it has given me plenty to think about, not least facing fears.  I’m not the happiest person on boat, and my husband and son were keen to go out on the water to look for wildlife – dolphins, seals and maybe even a whale.  I like the idea of wildlife, but have always been afraid of boats.  Ok, maybe not the boat, but the boat sinking while I’m on it.  I blame the film Jaws, which has terrified me of deep water ever since… you just never know what might be underneath waiting to eat you!

Anyway, as it was our holiday, and it seemed safe (it was a guided tour on a big enough boat, and the sea was dead calm that day) I gave in and agreed.  It was a wonderful few hours on the water, and I am so glad we did it, however it got me thinking about facing other fears.

In negotiation there are many fears that people must conquer in order to become a better negotiator.   For me, there are 2 main ones:

  • The fear of ‘no’. Rejection if you like, makes us nervous about asking for what we want.  Perhaps suggesting a solution that is rejected, or asking for something that is important to us that is declined.  It can hurt us, and make us nervous about putting ourselves out there.  But, as my grandma used to say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.  If they say no, ask why, suggest an alternative or perhaps even simply reframe it so that they can say yes.
  • The fear of honesty. This is something that comes up in every negotiation, ‘how can I be honest, without giving away my position?’ There is a fine line to tread here, and its important to get it right.  There needs to be honesty in negotiation, so that the other side can trust you enough to want to deal with you.  I have seen many circumstances where, when asked a direct question, a negotiator will lie.  Not always because they are trying to be devious, but because they fear the truth will weaken their position.  Far from it though, honesty strengthens your position.   How can you argue against the truth?

To learn how to face these fears with confidence, and the right way without losing out in the deal, contact me for a chat on how our negotiation training can help your team.

It’s not easy to face your fears but I believe it is worth it.

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