Persuasion and Negotiation

During our class, we discussed 6 principles of persuasion and their effect on company culture. In order to supplement our understand of the topic, I would like to introduce negotiation concepts that help in micromanaging interactions. Persuasion and negotiation basically share similar consequences, in that we want people to be thinking in a similar position. With persuasion techniques, we are typically looking at ways that we want to build or leverage positive social capital to get what we want. However, within organizations, clashes are likely to occur in formal environments, which will lead to deadlocks between conflicting opinions. Utilizing my understanding of negotiation techniques, it is my hope that we will be able to enhance our understanding of how our actions can affect others within organizations.

One of the techniques, which can be applied in being more persuasive, is training to become better active listeners. The technique requires individuals to be more proactive in paraphrasing what the other party has said. This helps in confirming the understanding of the same position by both parties and runs a lower chance of misunderstanding. In building up workplace relations, being able to be an active rather than passive listening is essential to being convincing.

In a book by Len Leritz, titled “No-Fault Negotiation”, he identified the 5 problematic types of people in the workplace. The 5 problematic types are as follow:

1) The Bullies who attempt to intimidate rather than negotiate

2) The Avoiders who try their best to not deal with problems and instead may duck responsibilities

3) The Withdrawer whom like the proverbial turtle, hide in their shell and refuse or are unable to participate

4) The High Rollers who use shock and haste to get what they want by confusing the other party

5) The Wad Shooters who employ “my way or the highway” in order to gain the best possible benefits for themselves

Within organizations, it is more likely that collective groups will be represented by the identities above and how they deal with people. The 6 principles which were discussed in class, will need to be applied cautiously depending on which group we are interacting wi  th.

Leritz also has a list of 11 other ways to dealing with the problematic 5, but due to the brevity of this journal, we shall be looking at only 5.

1)   Getting their attention –  This involves building up a boundary for situations that is particularly effective against bullies. When the other party is aware that you are being pushed near to the end of your boundary, the more likely they are to pay attention to what you are doing.

2)   Call a spade a spade – When negotiating, pointing out that the other party is stonewalling or making things difficult can contribute to a more conducive discussion. It helps to elicit emotional responses such as shame or realization that will help to place both parties back on track

3)   Put fears to rest – This technique mainly refers to assurance to that the other party will be more trusting towards you. It can be used in conjuction with reciprocation in order to create a more stable relationship between 2 parties. Particularly useful with avoiders whom may have underlying reasons as to why they are not willing to be persuaded.

4)   Put the ball back into their court – Understanding the needs or wants of the other party will be helpful in knowing their position. Asking the other party to explain how they are able to justify their current position will erode the bargaining power of those whom are making unreasonable demands such as the wad-shooters and high-rollers.

5)   Point out consequences – Due to the complexity of workplace arrangements, it is likely that both parties will be affected by the outcome of decisions made. Being logical and convincing may help to point out the gravity of situations and thus contribute to a mutually beneficial solution for both sides.

In conclusion, human interactions are trickily complex and may lead to misunderstandings even with the best of intentions. However, combining both the 6 principles of persuasion and Leritz’s recommendations, we are likely to have a better chance of surviving them without stepping on too many toes.

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