“The Art of Negotiation” is a book which can be helpful in all aspect of our lives:
- It offers over 150 techniques for successful negotiation and communication in one’s everyday private and professional life;
- It describes how we can recognize manipulation and lies;
- It introduces both cooperative techniques and “dirty tricks” in negotiation, not for us to use them, but to know how to react when others do;
- It shows how each person can reach their objectives while respecting the needs, wishes, and objectives of others;
- It points out that negotiation is not the trade and distribution of values, but a form of art and creation of values;
- It emphasizes that the business values expressed through character are much more valuable than the business values expressed through money.
CONTENT OF THE BOOK
Thoughts on the book
Negotiation and character
What is not negotiation?
What is negotiation?
KEY CONCEPTS IN NEGOTIATION
Initial offer, target price and point of resistance
Possible agreement area
Creation of values
Objectives in negotiation
Objectives and positions
Preparation for the negotiation process
Ego in negotiation
Development of good relations in negotiation
Trust in negotiation
Compromise in negotiation
Representatives, advisers, and mediators in negotiation
Cultural differences in negotiation
PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF NEGOTIATION
SOCIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF NEGOTIATION
How to recognize manipulation and lies?
Recognizing lies through nonverbal communication
Recognizing lies through verbal communication
Manipulation and motivation
READ THE EXCERPTS
In modern business, the emphasis is shifting more and more to possessing and adopting certain skills, techniques, and tactics. Negotiating is certainly one of the skills that can help us in all our life situations: however, to build excellent and long-term private and business relationships, we need more than knowing a technique, more than mastering a skill or using certain tactics. We live in a world where knowledge, information, acquaintances, money, and position have become the source of power. Where is character in all that? Why do we state the value of a deal in money instead of stating business value through character? When are we going to adopt the ethics of character whereby only true kindness and character enrich the techniques we’re using and the skills we have?
What does strength of character entail? Strength of character means that a person lives, speaks, thinks, and works in accordance with moral norms and inner truth. Skill is a house. Character is the foundation. A beautiful house or skill that was built on shaky foundations or character is not long-lasting and it will collapse regardless of the fact that it was built using high-quality materials. Skills are branches and fruits, whereas character is the root. We can’t expect healthy fruits if the root is not healthy or if it is rotten. Skills are form; character is the essence. Skills help us achieve excellent communication with others; character allows us to have excellent communication with ourselves. Skills are (re)action and motivation; character is inspiration. Skills are initiative; character is identity. Skills are control; character is self-control. Skills are the answer to the question of what; character is the answer to the question of how, in what way. Skill helps us criticize, in order for others not to regress; character helps us set an example for others, in order for them to progress. Skills help us define alternatives, character helps us define priorities. Skills are the outer force that leads us; character is the inner strength that guides us. Skill enables us to use a rudder; character is setting the right course. Skills emphasize consciousness; character emphasizes conscience. Skill promotes advantages; character promotes values. The main rule is: to LOVE, to BELIEVE, to be HONEST.
Applied to sales, it looks like this:
• that we need to LOVE ourselves, love the product/service we sell, and love the people we sell it to
• that we need to BELIEVE in ourselves, to believe in product/service we sell, and to believe in people we sell it to
• that we need to be HONEST to ourselves, honest about the product/service we sell, and honest to the people we sell it to.
What does that mean? This means that we can’t develop truly excellent interpersonal relationships if we haven’t previously built a truly excellent character. We can’t control things around ourselves if we don’t control ourselves. We can’t develop good interpersonal relationships if we haven’t developed a good relationship with ourselves. We can’t manage a company if we are not managing ourselves. We can’t discipline others if we are not self-disciplined. This is exactly why character goes beyond knowledge, skills and techniques. Luckily, character can be formed, developed, upgraded, improved, cared for. How?
When we want to point out the high quality of a product, we emphasize the quality of raw materials and components. The same thing applies to a person, or its character. We are the ones who integrate certain attributes, principles, and traits into our character. Since character defines our system of values, the attributes which are a part of our character are of the utmost importance. Some of those attributes are: persistence, courage, patience, modesty, conscientiousness, diligence, perseverance, morality, rectitude, loyalty, humanity, goodness, respect, honesty, kindness, consideration, integrity, simplicity, consistency, self-discipline, etc. Character traits are actually a means for us to reach our goals and success. But the question is: how to do that? Did successful people simply decide to be successful? Did they just learn and implement the rules and principles before us? Did they invest in their character?
How to integrate all these attributes and principles into character? By practicing! Only through persistent practice, after a certain period of time, does character become a virtue and the virtue becomes a habit. This means that before we become a top-notch negotiator, we need to be a top-notch person, and to be a top-notch person, we first have to build a top-notch character.
However, where we will invest our character is as important as what we have invested in our character. What do we choose to be consistent about? What are we persistent about? What are we brave about?
So, I’m not saying skills aren’t important. They are important. Because if we don’t have sufficiently developed abilities, we won’t be able to use all our potential, nor all possibilities for cooperation with others because they won’t trust us. To use only character with no skills can cause a lack of productivity. On the other hand, to use only skills without character can cause distrust. That’s why skills and character depend on each other, but character is primary. Why? Because skill is based on character, not the other way round. The difference between skills and character is in the fact that character defines us, and skills don’t. Also, the difference is that certain situations and circumstances require us to use a certain skill, while the use of character is universal. What they have in common is that one has to work on both skills and character, they need to be permanently upgraded, developed and cared for. And what is the goal? The goal is to achieve harmony between them.